Kim’s Insights: Recovering From a Fall
I literally fell out of my chair while I was on a call with a coaching client.
The client did not say anything to shock me or to knock me out of my senses. I was simply sitting too far on the edge of my seat when whoosh, the wheels rolled out from under me. I fell flat on my butt, wrenching my shoulders while my arms remained on my desk. The chair landed with a thump right on top of my head.
I was in the middle of my sentence prior to the fall and I just continued talking the minute I landed. The two second pause in between my words just added extra emphasis. Sometimes you have to pause… before you continue talking.
My fall sounded really loud to me – like a bit of an earthquake. My drop was definitely loud, and the chair landing on top of my head was even louder. But the client did not hear a thing. He, too, just went on with our call. To him, absolutely nothing unusual had occurred.
I stayed on the ground for a minute or two, coaching from the floor. I just needed some time to gain my bearings and determine how to untangle myself from my bulky executive chair.
When I finally got back into my seat, I began to feel the aftermath of the shock. My head was clearly bruised and I felt an intense pain radiating from my neck and down each arm. But I just kept right on coaching without missing a beat.
Sometimes that happens – things fall apart all around you and disaster strikes, but somehow you find it in you to maintain your composure. You find the resilience to keep it together simply because others are counting on you.
This is an incredible skill to have, especially when there is an emergency or an important performance requiring you to carry on with the show, regardless of a critical problem occurring in the background. It requires focus and dedication to keep going and not give way to the distractions around you.
You could say that this is a typical day for any entrepreneur. No, entrepreneurs do not fall out of their chairs on a daily basis, but certainly they find themselves fighting fires quite regularly, keeping their head just above water and battling the urge to throw in the towel every other day.
What distinguishes successful entrepreneurs from the rest of the crowd is what I call “emotional resilience.” Another way to put it is they just keep getting up each time they fall. They have the mental, emotional, and spiritual agility to bounce back from adversity when it hits, and they have the muscle to leverage the adversity and turn it into an advantage.
Many people ask me if this is a skill that can be developed or if it’s something that one is born with. Here’s my response: some people have a stronger predisposition for emotional resilience – it comes to them with greater ease. They have a clear perspective and don’t turn molehills into mountains. They are confident and they believe in their ability to succeed. They have a measure of toughness.
Others have more self-doubt and find it harder to get back up after a blow. They stay down for a while and take a little more time to dust themselves off before getting back on the horse again.
That said, emotional resilience is a muscle that can be built like any other muscle. It requires exercise. What kind of exercise? Asking the right questions. When you experience a blow, or even a failure – the first question to ask is, “What do I believe to be true about this experience?”
When you identify the beliefs you have about any given experience, you will uncover precisely what it is that is interfering with your ability to move forward in a productive manner. And if you learn to challenge your beliefs, then you begin to make major traction.
A great starting point is to check out the Frame of Mind Coaching Assessment. It features a series of questions that will get the ball rolling, allowing you to examine and challenge your beliefs.