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.