Bouncing back after a Fall


The Brits 2015 sure did end with a ‘Bang’, literally! On Wednesday, over 5.3 million ITV viewers witnessed Madonna, the queen of pop, fall from stage during the performance of her new single ‘Living the Love’. The incident was the result of a wardrobe malfunction, that caused the popstar to be pulled off of a steep platform along with her cape. With a few loud gasps from the audience and viewers at home, Madonna was back on her feet singing the lyrics ‘I’m not giving up, I’m going to carry on!’

And she did exactly that! In fact, if you had tuned in just moments after the event, there would be no evidence of anything ever going wrong. So how did she manage to carry on after such a shocking moment in front of millions of people?

Madonna’s age may not have helped her literally bounce back up after her fall, but the pop queens’ years of experience performing on stag,e certainly played a big part in helping her maintain focus for the rest of her routine. Not only did Madonna demonstrate her professionalism, but she also revealed her ability to thrive under pressure. This is a key factor used within our personal resilience framework and if we consider the other components, it is clear that Madonna exhibited most, if not all of them:


Success Strategies: Having years of experience, Madonna is likely to have a set of learned skills that she has developed and used throughout her career, to enable her to cope with the pressure of performing on stage. These strategies would have been what allowed Madonna to repress any emotional response that was initiated by the fall and instead, maintain full use of her cognitive resources. This explains how she was able to continue with the dance routine, without making any further mistakes.


Performance mindset: This is what allowed Madonna to bounce back so quickly. Instead of viewing the incident as the end of the world and thinking she couldn’t possibly recover from something so dramatic, she thrived on the challenge and continued to perform at her very best.


Resilient character: Above all, Madonna’s strength of character is what most people would have noticed from her performance. Her self-belief and drive shone through and ensured that one silly mistake was not going to ruin the show.

As well as these personal resources that helped Madonna cope with the situation, there is another factor that needs to be considered: her identity. Many people may think that the popstars’ identity and confidence may have been slightly damaged after the embarrassment of falling over in front of millions of fans around the world. However, after Madonna’s post on Instagram saying, “Nothing can stop me and love lifted me up,” I think it is clear that there is nothing that can keep her down.


We can only hope that next year the Brits has a smoother ending and if not, then let’s pray whoever it happens to next can learn a lesson or too from Madonna and carry on.

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