Fall Seven Times, Stand Up Eight
By Afiq Jauhari
Nanakorobi yaoki. Translated into English, this Japanese saying literally means ‘fall seven times, stand up eight’ but it actually refers to how a person should always try to get back up when life knocks you down. This is also applicable at the workplace, when you’ve made a blunder such as losing an important client, failing to close a deal that was already in your hands, or ‘choking’ while giving a presentation. However, what do you do after standing back up? Do you stand up just so that you can be knocked down again, or do you bounce back strong after making a mistake? Do you know why you were knocked down in the first place, and do you prep yourself so you will never fall for the same reason again? Do you realize the importance of standing back up, and will you read below to find out the four tips on what to do when you fall?
Calm Yourself Down
What’s the first thing you should do when you feel like your mistake might mean the end of the world for you? Simple. Look out your window, check for falling meteorites, and tell yourself ‘this is not the end of the world’. This may seem trivial to some but the combination of hormones and emotions when dealing with distress often leave people in a state of disarray after committing a mistake. Never let the negativity linger. Panicking is almost always never helpful, so try to keep your head through calming activities such as drinking a cup of water, gazing at a tree while taking deep breaths, or listening to a pick-me-up song. You’ll notice that after calming yourself down for a good 3-5 minutes, it’s much easier to stand back up, no matter how unpleasant the consequences may be.
Reassess the Situation
Part of the benefit of having a level mind is that it makes is easier to think and assess your current predicament, and what led to the complication in the first place. Consider all variables, and try to ascertain the cause of your mistake. What did you do wrong? This may be because you had insufficient skill or knowledge in a particular area, or was not fully prepared for all possible impediments. However, the mistake may also have happened because of reasons outside of your reach. If this is the case, don’t fret. Just remember that there is always something to learn from mistakes, and reassessing the situation after calming yourself down is the first step to doing it.
Damage Control
Not unlike how a politician’s PR team will scramble to do damage control whenever their candidate makes a ‘boo-boo’, you should also employ the same concept whenever you make a mistake. Of course, not having your own PR team is not an obstacle for you to mend ties with your colleagues. There’s no need to pull off a ‘Tony Montana’ on your workmates. Simply list down the people affected by your slip-up, and apologize if necessary. Make sure that you make it known that you will learn from this particular mistake, work on it and appreciate their assistance in helping you if the same situation arises again.
Prepare for Future Downfalls
Ever wondered why the saying mentions falling down more than once? It’s probably because no one is perfect, and you’re bound to make other (or even the same) mistakes in the future. Even Murphy’s Law acknowledges this: “Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong”. It is up to you, then, to prepare for the inevitable bumps in the road as you’re moving along in life. Brush up on your knowledge and skills, and believe that you can overcome the same type of problem if you’re faced with it. Hey, even Jauhari’s Law acknowledges this: “Anything that can go wrong, will not be a problem if I’ve prepared for it”.
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