The Value of Falling and Bouncing Back
As a leader, bouncing back is one of the most valuable things I have learned in life. Bouncing back is not the same as resilience. Bouncing back is much more than surviving a situation and getting back on your feet.
Bouncing back has to do with the belief that we will be able to come back from hard or difficult situations and, in doing so, we will come back as winners, obtaining better results and making more progress. Bouncing back is coming back, but with more strength, more desire, more energy, more stature and more success – with much more impetus than before.
A red rubber ball that I adored when I was a little girl is the origin of my bouncing back idea. The stronger I threw that ball against the floor, the higher it bounced. I remember it as being magical, invincible and defiant of gravity. It was always bouncing back much higher and getting stronger!
The power to bounce back, the knowledge that we can bounce back, has repeatedly helped bring about the turning point of recovery and has guided me and many others on our way back with renewed desire. Knowing that we can bounce back – with that faith that we will do it with God’s help – has motivated us, encouraged us, and has been the divine source of our inspiration. It has positioned us to succeed no matter how hard we feel the fall – or the push.
There are many reasons for falling – disappointments, disloyalties, selfishness, losses, dismissals, betrayals, or heartbreak, both personal and professional – and our reaction is different in every case. But we all know how these falls feel, how they hurt, and how they can sink us and take away all our energy and even our desire to fight.
But there is always a tipping point, and it comes when we hit bottom, when we feel that we cannot take it any longer, are ready to give up and abandon the fight, are overwhelmed with self-pity. But right at that moment, when we are at the bottom of the pit, is when we manage to remember the rubber ball thrown hard against the floor, when we rediscover the liberating belief that we will be able to bounce back, that we will bounce back; that, like before, we will return with more enthusiasm and more strength, resurfacing with more drive to go even higher.
Why does the idea of bouncing back work, inspire us so much, and help us to get ahead with more fervor than before? I have learned that it is because when we fall, we learn, we get stronger. Every affliction teaches, every failure leaves lessons that make us grow. Each one of them forces us to establish and order priorities, to be more effective, to define what we want and how we want it, to think about outputs or solutions, to evaluate options and needs, and to get rid of the extra luggage that is no longer useful. It also forces us to transform fears and doubts into our best allies, which give us the strength to bounce back.
In other words, the falls prepare us to return to battle better equipped, with clearer ideas and a spirit with more desire to succeed and achieve. Falling makes us wiser; bouncing makes us winners.