In January my aunt, Jacqueline Clayton, appeared on the Steve Harvey Show and won the “Harvey’s Hundreds” game. Like the rest of the family, I proudly watched her courage under pressure (it isn’t easy to compete in front of an audience) and cheered her successful win. We talked about it for a few days, shared the video, joked about her being rich and letting us “hold something”; then, like most things, it went into the family memory bank.
She went back on the show in February and revealed what those of us who weren’t present on the day of taping didn’t see. Excited and adrenaline-filled just from the “success” of her name being called, she took off running toward Steve Harvey, tripped on the last step before reaching the stage, fell forward and slid across the stage like she was sliding into home plate. She didn’t stay down for more than the few seconds it took her to get back up. While everyone, including Steve Harvey, was worried and scared she was hurt, they offered to give her time to “get herself together”. My aunt declined the offer, steadfastly focused on playing AND winning the game.
I’m inspired by the bravery, strength and humility she exemplified by allowing that footage to be aired. Mary Kay Ash said, “We fall forward to succeed.” My aunt’s experience reminded me of the value and lessons contained within our falls and perceived failures. I learned from her that sharing the end result of a win/success is not enough. We must also be transparent enough to celebrate and allow others to be inspired by the challenges, setbacks and stumbling blocks we encounter along the path to success.