Sometimes, Gotta Let Them Fall

Letting Go Never Easy, But Necessary

Sometimes and some personalities, we have the desire to jump in and save the day, even “save” them, when we see someone in the ocean heading right for a wave, big one, and really rough waters, when we see them headed for the edge of a waterfall or a cliff.

It’s a beautiful instinct and even government liberal progressive officials have that policy when it comes to corporations.   It seems like a really great noble thing to go in and try to rescue someone who has put in wrong people for the job all kind of stuff you can spot a mile a way is going to end up sending things and them right over that cliff.  I know that we should be willing to point out to those we care about and when we care about something when we see red flags that we see red flags, so things and persons don’t go over the cliff, the waterfall.  If it is a life and death situation then yes of course we must intervene.  However, there are times in for example one’s professional life, friendship, and other relationships, situations when as much as you know you have some really solid advice etc…when though it is painful and even with one’s kids, parents, you have to step back. Why?

Some lessons about quality of people not quantity, right fit of people for the job, any number of decisions, sometimes the person has to to fall, come crashing down and have it all come crashing down around.  Not that one wants to see the other suffer, but there are times when no amount of words, yelling, screaming, even graphs, nothing will get them to realize that they are close to a cliff and can fall right over any minute.  They have to be seeing the red flags you thing to yourself, been given the stern lecturing, yelling, two cents worth of advice, all of it,   Yet they keep going towards that cliff and like I said your instinct may be in a work situation or a personal one to run in and rescue, bang your head against the wall over and over to “rescue” the situation, the person,  When they made the choices and decisions they made, they were likely convinced they were the right ones and may not be open to seeing the truth even if it is right in front of them.  You might be thinking “why is it important they be allowed to fall off that cliff?”, again keeping in mind if it is a life and death situation then yes intervene, but even then sometimes they have to crash to get it.  In order to learn better ways to do things, to make right choices, choose the right people, right partners so on and so forth, sometimes we have to fail, we can’t be rescued because when one is rescued and if  over and over again well a few things happen according to a good article I discovered in Forbes and I agree with this myself:

  • Self reliance and resiliency are never learned
  • One never learns to take risk, even manageable risk
  • One never learns to adapt to failure and setbacks
  • One never learns to innovate
  • One never learns to take control of situations, or confront people etc… constructively

What do you do?  Forbes made some suggestions and this was for work situations but, you can use the gist of these suggestions for even personal situations.

  1. Share past stories of struggle. Everyone’s been there.
  2. Practice recovery so people aren’t paralyzed by failure. When I was coaching sports, we didn’t just diagram plays. We always developed a Plan B. That’s why great organizations scenario-plan. It helps people think of struggle as part of the process.
  3. Help people around you think like long-term investors in their own ideas and their own careers. The aim shouldn’t be to try to have one uninterrupted string of successes, but rather to have a portfolio of some winners and, yes, some losers.
  4. If someone is struggling, your job is to figure out how to get them on the right path. Help people learn from failure and move forward.
  5. Champion failure that turns to innovation. Find examples where ordinary failure has led to extraordinary opportunity.
  6. Encourage failing fast. Sometimes we recognize that something is failing, and our instinct tells us to push harder to make it succeed. Knowing when to pull the plug is always difficult but is necessary.

Not fun to fall off a cliff or a waterfall at great height or any  height, but if you jump in to rescue, even one someone has chosen the wrong people for whatever reason things are not going well, or in a really awesome direction, and you do this all the time directly rather than guide, encourage and allow them to fall flat on their tukkus and sometimes hard, not doing them any favors, or society because you create a whole world of snowflakes and such.  Please don’t do that!  Thank You. Guide, encourage, let people fall, fall hard sometimes, pray and meditate over these things, but don’t run in to rescue constantly.

Amen