Bouncing Back

Tuesday, March 05, 2024

In the Shape Talk blog, "Keep Knocking," posted just before this one, we talk about the "Law of Averages," and how, typically, the more doors you knock on, the more that will open. And also, the more that will close.


So what?


If you don't understand the "Law of Averages," you may lose your motivation to bounce back and keep knocking. But, if you understand that you often have to experience the "no's" before you get to your "yes," the rejection becomes part of the process to "win." Of course, you can raise the probability your "Law of Averages" are above average by focusing on what you can control, like improving your batting technique if you are a baseball player, or strengthening your communication skills, if your success is partly dependent upon your relationships with others. Rarely does anything improve consistently or significantly with just one "try."


It reminds me of a poem I had to memorize in 6th grade and recite in front of my class, "Try, Try Again." When doing a google search, I find many different versions, attributing nearly as many authors. Here's what I remember.


If at first you don't succeed,

Try, try again.

'Tis a lesson you should heed,

Try, try again.

Then your courage should appear,

to press on and persevere,

You will conquer, near fear,

Try, try again.

Once or twice, though you should fail,

Try, try again.

If we should strive, 'tis no disgrace,

But what if we do not win the race;

What should you do in that case?

Try, try again.



Knowing the law of averages is what helps produce stability and resiliency. Otherwise, why would you keep trying? In addition to knowing your law of averages, you also need to know your Shape and the answer to these two questions:


1. What does your Shape need to keep going?


2. What does your Shape need to bounce back?


Although everyone is different, your need is directly related to your Shape. What would make you put forth the effort to "try, try, again?"


Check out the possible answers below. Do any of these resonate with you and your Shape? 






The Box needs information, a logical approach, a process, and a plan. The Box is less about emotional inspiration from outside sources and more about personal responsibility that comes from within. Instead of motivation from the "heart," or "gut," the Box looks internally to its linear thinking brain to bounce back. If it's possible on paper, the Box will typically "buy in" and press on, one step at a time. No big fanfare required. In fact, the less the better. It's not about one big, dramatic "comeback." It's about taking the time to think about the probability of success and the best plan to get there. 


What's the possible downfall for the Box? When they take too long to bounce back.


The Triangle needs a purpose, an incentive, a goal, consequence, or reward. It's all about winning and not losing for the Triangle. Defeat is not an option, so bouncing back is innate for the Triangle. The Triangle will work to get stronger, faster, and better, focusing on what they can control and depending primarily on themselves or their trusted team to get it done. While a ticking clock could cause panic for some, the Triangle works best under pressure. The Triangle needs little time to process or plan their next move. 


What's the possible downfall for the Triangle? When they are so quick and laser focused that they forget to pause and assess before taking action.


The Circle needs a connection, a cause, a reason related to the "greater good." Most always, the Circle's motivation to bounce back is for the overall well-being of "we" or "them." It's not so much about what's logical or winning a trophy for the Circle. It's about how other people feel and how the Circle feels about them. The Circle wants everyone to be happy.


What's the possible downfall for the Circle? When they let only emotion make their decisions, without considering the facts. Or when they are so concerned about helping others, they forget to take care of themselves.


The Squiggle needs external inspiration and a deadline. When several doors close for a Squiggle, one of two things can happen. 1) Their free-spirited and creative "Squiggle" gets squashed, causing the Squiggle to quickly plummet from "high to low." Excitement turns to apathy. "Oh well," says the Squiggle, "I didn't really want that door to open anyhow. Time to just go with the flow." This can cause the Squiggle to wander, instead of getting back in the game. Or, 2) Because the Squiggle is high energy and is often considered the "rebel" among the group, a closed door can be perceived as personal rejection or a challenge to the Squiggle, as if someone is telling them what they can or can't do. Nothing fires up a Squiggle more than figuring out a way to open that door. Even if the Squiggle doesn't really care about opening the door anymore, it's about being creative enough to open it anyhow. Bouncing back for the Squiggle is proving it can be done, not necessarily getting a second chance to walk through the door.


What's the possible downfall for the Squiggle? Losing sight of what they really want. Without a deadline, or a crowd to cheer them on, the Squiggle can lose focus and drive, often settling for way less than what they are capable of achieving.


Finally, what about the Rectangle? As we know, the Rectangle is a transitional Shape and is a temporary phase that the other four Shapes experience during change. Keep in mind that it can take 3-18 months to see the other side of personal change, and 3-7 years for a cultural change, such as a political movement or a merger and acquisition.


So what does your Shape need during change to bounce back and press on? To understand this, you have to understand what your Shape needs to embrace, manage, and lead change. Next week, I will break it down for each Shape. We will look at what each Shape experiences during a Rectangle phase and what each Shape needs for stability and resiliency during change.


I love hearing your thoughts, perspectives, and answering any questions you have regarding any of our SHAPE TALK topics. Please reach out to me directly anytime.


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- Susan Hite, CEO and Innovator of Shapes powered by PsychoGeometrics,