My daughter is 2. She falls a lot. When she runs, when she climbs, when she tries to take steps too fast, when the 110 lb dog whacks her in the face with his giant tail, when her shoes aren’t on quite right. My husband, Justin, assesses whether or not she’s injured, and if not, says encouragingly, “always get up, Gwyn.”
It’s good advice for a two year old. Falling is going to happen, but what will make her resilient and adventurous and confident is knowing she can get back up and try again.
And put that way, it’s good advice for a twenty year old, or a forty year old, too.
Had a bad day? Get told no when it mattered? Make a bad decision? Make a series of bad decisions? Blow a deadline? Forget a birthday? Get in an argument? Lose an argument? Lose your temper? Do it in public?
Always get up.
There’s no shame in falling. But always get up.
Kat Sweet says it very nicely, in reference to public presentations.
We try to get all of our failures out of the way in a private, controlled environment so that we’ll be flawless by the time we’re presenting in public, but it doesn’t always work that way. The way to build resilience is to fail forward and fail repeatedly until it becomes mundane. Whether the demo gods are smiting you, or your neurotransmitters pick that exact moment to kick you in the ass, whether you’re a first-time presenter, or you’ve been onstage for the better part of three decades, things can go south in unanticipated ways. When that happens: Recognize that it happens to everyone. Cry. Have a drink and a hug. Then get back up. Rinse, spin, repeat. The world won’t end.