The morning air was stagnant and muggy, and the frustration level of participants was rising as quickly as the temperature. Like so many others, the group arrived full of energy and confidence, having no idea the difficulty of the challenges which awaited them.
The challenge required focused balance and unsolicited cooperation for successful completion to take place on the low ropes course. Rarely does a group succeed the first time, and I had a pretty good idea of how things would go.
“Again!” One participant blurted out in a moment of sheer discouragement.
Several people had lost their balance and fallen, breaking ties with the group, resulting in everyone having to start over again. Although the participants were told of the consequences of falling, they became irritated, and the group entered a stormy period.
“Seriously, we are never going to get this done!”
Within seconds, echoes from a few more disgruntled participants joined in, adding to the overall feelings of defeat. Several members were ready to give up.
Not surprised at all by the developing dynamics, I knew the group was finally on the verge of major success because they were now operating authentically, and everyone was finally on an even playing field. All egos had been put aside for the sake of group accomplishment, and those overly confident individuals were at last willing to listen to the quiet thinkers. Within minutes of regrouping they found their success, and what inhabited the group for the rest of the session was a spirit of respect and trust.
It was important for this group to experience falling. It was also important for them to understand that falling did not necessarily mean failing. Success was right around the corner, and it was not until experiencing a number of falls were they able to fully embrace the changes and effort required to succeed. The group had to learn the lesson of “falling forward.”
- Success rarely comes without falling.
- Falling does not equal failure.
- We choose to fall backward by quitting or fall forward by courageously pressing on.
- Success is sweeter in the falling.
No doubt, you have experienced this same dynamic in your own life. The human tendency is to fight against falling in our attempts or even heap shame and guilt upon ourselves and others when success is not obtained in an area. Too often, in our own lives, falling is looked at as failing. The reality is that falling is a very valuable part of the process. If we embrace the concept, it can cause us to sharpen our skills, open our minds to new ideas and develop compassion and understanding for ourselves and others in the process.
This is when success truly means something and becomes a treasured journey because we have grown as individuals in the process.
“Never confuse a single defeat with a final defeat.” F. Scott Fitzgerald
“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.” Maya Angelou
So, the next time you face a challenge which seems too difficult because of the set backs, perhaps it’s time to refocus, embrace the fall and point yourself in the direction to “fall forward.”
What challenges are you facing?
By embracing the concept of falling forward, how can you achieve success?
©The Luke 2:52 Project