I recently listened to an interview with Darren Hardy, the founder of Success Magazine. He talked about what happens when things don’t go the way we plan in business and in life. You know, those things that shake your confidence, affect your identity or turn your world upside down . . . divorce, death of a loved one, a serious health crises, bankruptcy, closing a business, downsizing, foreclosure and natural disaster are some of the big examples. There are many little ways that we can be rattled because how we thought things worked and who we thought we were has been challenged. . . . someone giving us a bad review or leaving a nasty comment on our blog, not closing the big client, getting 15 “no’s” in a row from potential clients, a loved one not believing in our business vision and pushing us to get a job, putting our heart and soul into a program and no one buys it. These are all things that we encounter in business and in life. How we deal with them determines whether we bounce or splat.
Darren used a ball metaphor and identified 3 distinct stages of the process. I really liked the stages he outlined and want to share them with you adding my own Melanie perspective.
The Fall – as soon as the negative situation happens and affects life as we know it, we begin the fall. During the fall, things feel out of control. Chaos swirls around us and fear, self doubt and frustration abound. The fall affects how we see ourselves and who we thought we were. We often experience an identity crisis where we don’t know who we are, what we feel and what we are capable of doing, being or having anymore. The answers and solutions to our problem are elusive and we are free falling. We spend a lot of emotional, mental and spiritual energy trying to grab on to anything that will stop the fall and give us some solid ground under our feet.
The Impact – we hit the bottom. Sometimes we see the bottom coming and we brace for the impact, other times we think we have hit the bottom only to find we are falling again so the true impact comes as surprise to us. During impact we feel the full effects of the situation. The changes are no longer imagined, they are real, unavoidable and painful. It is a time to grieve our losses.
Now here is the good news . . . what we do during impact determines whether we splat or bounce back up. If we keep our focus on what was and everything we have lost, looking for someone to blame, we will SPLAT. We make ourselves into victims holding on to righteous anger and nursing resentment. We stay emotionally stuck, wallowing in self pity and protecting ourselves from further pain with anger and bitterness. We hate where we are but we are afraid to take the risk of moving forward because we might fall again.
The Bounce – we use the point of impact to truly grieve our losses, let go of the past, reassess ourselves and our life, count our blessings and create a new vision of what we want to do, be or have. If we are open to stepping into an expanded identity and creating a different plan, we can use the energy of the impact to spring us upward again with the possibility of going even farther and higher than we were before.
Many, many successful people have fallen hard and lost almost everything. They made the choice to use the impact to take them back up and further than they realized was possible. Look around – these people are everywhere, everyday people turning tragedy into a springboard for inventing themselves. Life didn’t create them, they created their life. So let me ask you . . . when you experience your next fall (big or little) are you going to splat or bounce? The choice is yours.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this article.
I just adore the photo you ran with this. This really hits home for me because I suffered from a totally out-of-the-blue stroke a little over a year ago. In fact, 2012 in general was pretty much one financial crisis after another. I had to hit bottom, selling my car, to bounce back up.
Thanks to my faith in good and some true-blue friends, I crawled my way back and I’m back on solid ground. I’ve set new goals and have steps to reach them. I acknowledge what I’ve been through and thank God for the talents that I still have. I’ve finally found hope and a positive outlook again. It wasn’t easy but I definitely want to tell people that it can be done. I’m living proof. Just never say die. You never know what great opportunity is lurking around the next corner.
Lisa, you have an amazing story. Thank you for sharing it as proof that you certainly can bounce back! I’m looking forward to hearing how you go farther than you though possible.
First of all….I hate to admit laughing at the pic of the child face diving into the wave….but I have to admit I did! Poor kid!
I loved the posting and it is true. We have choices and can redirect a “challenge” to a gain if we choose to! Thanks!
It is a funny picture, Walter. That’s why we included it. It is all about choice, huh? Thanks for sharing your appreciation!
Great metaphor for business and life! I’ve noticed that while I can usually bounce, if certain unresolved, old painful feelings get triggered, I go right to SPLAT.
Excellent awareness, Nancy! I think that is true for most people. Unfortunately many don’t realize old wounds have been triggered.
Thank You. It inspired me.
Thank you, Tom!
I really enjoyed the honesty of this article and the associated replies. I can identify with the SPLAT scenario. Having enjoyed a very fruitful career both as an employee and employer for over 27 years in the print industry I lost my twin sister and her husband (both 28 years of age}, my Mum,my first son and my father in a 5 year period. However our company continued to flourish for the next 21 years because I threw myself into it. But like most situations like mine the ‘chickens came home to roost’ I suffered 2 massive heart attacks, lost my business, my house and my beautiful family. It was time to dust my self off but it took me 6 long years. Things are looking up and my confidence has returned. Fingers crossed things will continue and with the help of God I will see light at the end of the tunnel and hopefully its not a train coming in the wrong direction. May I wish you all a very belated happy new year and a healthy one for all your families.