Reflecting on the fact that older people often sustain serious injury when they fall down, my workout partner mused one day that, "We forget how to fall." He's a lifetime surfer and skateboarder. At the age of 51, he falls all the time. And he heartily recommends it. "When you know how to fall, you don't get hurt so badly."
As kids, we fell down all the time. It was just a part of daily life. We fell down and we got back up. We fell running, and on our bikes, and in all kinds of ways. We didn't get discouraged, or distraught, or too badly bruised, at least most of the time. But, as adults, we forget how to fall, both literally and metaphorically, and so, when it does happen, we get seriously hurt, discouraged, and distraught.
Falling is, of course, a well known and much used image for failure. As kids, we tried new things all the time, and rarely got them right the first time. But, for the most part, we didn't let that bother us. We adjusted, adapted, and usually, after a time, prevailed. Sure, someone had to patch the knees of our pants, but that was almost a sign of honor, wasn't it? We were out there in the world doing things. We were active. We were brave. Falling down was just a natural part of it.
And it always is. Don't be afraid to fall down. In fact, try new little things so that maybe you can get some practice again at falling down, if you haven't had a tumble in a while. And then roll with it. Don't be tense. Be flexible, and go with it. Then just get up and try again.
The importance of those childhood lessons never goes away. Just remember: Falling is a stage of learning, and an early stepping stone to mastery. Fall often. And fall well.