Flubs happen, what matters is how you recover

Most of America knows that Kristie Alley and Maksim Chmerkovskiy took a spill during a couple of week ago during a live performance of a rumba. His leg buckled and plop! they ended up on the floor. Legs cramp, ankles twist, minds go blank and all your carefully rehearsed choreography vanishes. Mistakes happen. It is an awful feeling to make a big flub publically it is embarrassing. It can easily paralyze you. Like many people I was, and remain impressed, with the professionalism and “stick-too-itness” they embodied by getting up, catching the rhythm and finishing the dance beautifully.

I was reminded of all the times I flubbed on the dance floor, in relationships, at work and in social situations. Now I am grateful for those awful moments – not that I would EVER repeat a single one. I am grateful that I could get some perspective, at times administered by some straight talking family, friends, colleagues (you know who you are) sometimes on my own. Each time an opportunity and to step back, look the mirror and honestly answer “What good can I take or make from this?” and “In the scheme of things how awful is this really?”

Yes, it is banal to say you learn from mistakes. But is also true and not easy to do. Courage is be required to learn from mistakes. You can decide what story you tell yourself about the mistakes or accidents that happen in your life.  People are creatures of extremes when it comes to flubs and tend to tell one of two stories.

Story 1: “I am human. This feels yucky, I am embarrassed. It does not need to happen again and this will pass.”

Story 2: “This is awful and I’ll never be good enough. This always happens to me.”

To me the first story is the harder one, it implies ownership, personal agency and the will to do something(s) different in the future. The second can be a very comfortable place, even if it is negative.  So what story do you tell yourself when a public flub occurs?

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