7 Ways To Get Back Up When Life Knocks You Down

Feb 18, 2015, Life

Success in life isn’t about never failing or falling down. If you’re moving and working to achieve your dreams, obstacles will be placed in your path…there is no doubt about that. Show me someone who hasn’t experienced hardship and I’ll assure you they’re someone who has never achieved anything great in life. So, don’t fear getting knocked down. Instead, choose to focus on the “getting back up” part. In this post, I’ll share with you 7 simple strategies for getting back up when life knocks you down…

“Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place, and I don’t care how tough you are, it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is going to hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard you hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit, and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward!”

Those are the lines from Rocky Balboa (2006) that I just love. They speak directly about this topic today of getting back up when life knocks you down. Check out the clip from the movie here:

…So, we know now it’s not about how hard you hit, but how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.

That’s easy to say, but often difficult to do – some circumstances we face in life and seriously tough…hard to pull ourselves out of. Simply hearing someone say, “Get up, dust yourself off, and keep moving forward.” can sound like hollow, meaningless advice if we don’t know some tactical steps to actually get back up.

So, here are my top 7 ways to get back up when life knocks you down.

1. See It As A Growing Process

I believe that many times we’re given challenges by God as a learning experience for us to discover just how much we’re capable of. To overcome any challenge, you have to grow in the process…Getting back up when life knocks you down m

God has given you, me, and everybody incredibly big dreams; dreams the world likes to tell you you’re not capable of. But I believe God wouldn’t give them to you if you weren’t able to achieve them. You have them to help guide you to the greatness you’re made for.

Know that every time circumstances arise that could easily stop you in your tracks, it’s an opportunity of personal growth for you – refinement by fire – and that you’ll come out a better and stronger person on the other side.

2. Take A Break, Or Change Directions

At times, it’s helpful to just get away from something you’ve been working on. Whether for a few minutes or hours to do something like exercising, getting outside, reading a book, spending time with a friend, or for a longer amount of times like days or weeks to re-evaluate and re-group, that time away can totally revitalize you and get you ready to sprint hard once again for your goals.

There are no coincidences in life. Everything happens for a reason. So, taking a break can help you analyze and evaluate what you’ve been doing. You may discover a new approach or plan of attack for your goals, or you may even find that you need to go a totally different direction. Whatever the case, taking a break can give you a quick dose of clarity on the situation.

3. Stay Away From Denial

When things don’t go as planned, or a challenge arises, it’s very easy to deny or rationalize the situation or our choices. In that moment, be real with yourself…don’t whitewash the situation or act like everything’s just going to be A-Okay without doing anything. Accept that “it is what it is” so you can emotionally move forward with a plan of action steps to get you past the situation.

Then you can see the challenge for what it really is and begin taking action to deal with it. Also, once you’re out of denial, acknowledging life has knocked you down in some way, you can – as the famous Disney song says – “Let It Goooo!” Clinging to a belief, behavior, or object will only drain your energy and cause you to dwell on it more. If you release your emotional grasp on these things, it’ll open you up to so much greater opportunity in life.

4. Ask For Help

If you’re the strong, “I can do it on my own, thanks!” kind of person, amazing strength can be found in becoming vulnerable in this moment of getting knocked down and asking someone close to you for help.

Also, a lot of personal growth can come from asking for help…see every down moment as an opportunity for personal growth.

Likewise, when you’re not in the middle of life knocking you down, keep your eyes open for opportunities to help others when they are in those situations. You never know how incredibly impactful your help may be to someone. As the saying goes,

“While you may only be one person in this world, you may be the world to one person.”

5. Remember Past Challenging Times

It’s interesting how our minds like to trick us: we have all experienced chaos and crisis at some time in our past. And we made it through that just fine. But our minds love to make us believe the current one is the worst, most difficult, impossible to get past, circumstance ever.

Sit in silence for a moment, let your thoughts all fade away, and just think back to some related tough times you’ve had before. Recognize how you made it through those moments, and overcame those challenges, when at the time you may have thought it impossible.

6. Keep Up Healthy Routines

When you keep a set of daily healthy routines/habits, both your emotional and your physical reserves will be kept full, making you more resilient when those tough times in life come your way. The routines can be different for everyone, but for me, for example, I like to stay emotionally, mentally, and physically healthy through my daily habits of:

1) Exercising – usually sprints, burpees, jogging, etc.
2) Daily Gratitude – Starting first thing when you wake up, journal 3 things you’re grateful for – take time to think about it, choose something new each time that you haven’t written before…it will absolutely help you get a great start to your day. And at the end of the day, revisit what you’re grateful for and it will help you sleep much better. (I use Five Minute Journal for my daily gratitude journaling)
3) Meditating – spending 30-45 minutes in silence, focusing on my breath, and just observing my thoughts
4) Reading & Listening to Positive Audio – it’s like feeding the mind with knowledge, wisdom, and other people’s experiences that will help you be more prepared for the circumstances you’ll encounter in life
5) “Brain Train” every day – it’s been proven that brain training, like with the help of Lumosity, re-wires neurons (grows the brain and keeps it young), and improves neuroplasticity
6) Nutrition – proper nutrition is key…while many people focus on working out & exercise for health & weight loss, they neglect to realize nearly 80% of your health and wellness depends on what foods you put into your body. Take time to eat healthy foods
7) Sleep – get plenty of rest; 8 hours is recommended. While some productivity and life-hacking fanatics may tell you things like “you can sleep when you’re dead”, having enough sleep is key for long-term, maintained health and productivity. Don’t neglect it

7. Have A Good Dose Of Humor

While a failure, setback, or difficult circumstance may seem like a seriously big deal now, being sad and despondent about it certainly won’t help improve the situation.

If you made a mistake, choose to laugh about it…you know, in the future, whenever you recount stories of life experiences to friends & family, it usually involves laughing at your past mistakes. So, if you’re going to laugh at it looking back on the circumstances in the future, you might as well choose to have some humor and laugh about it now.

In Conclusion

I could go on much longer with tips on how to get back up when life knocks you down, but these 7 have helped me the most in getting through those tough moments in life.

Here are some other tips I think are worthy of “Honorable Mention”:

  • Understand that change is constant – instead of fighting changes, embrace them, and roll with the waves of change
  • You don’t have to like it – We’re not talking about ignoring your circumstances or acting like everything is rosy. You can acknowledge that the time you’re in sucks, but you don’t have to stay there. Accept it, choose how to get past it, but you don’t have to love it.
  • Consider the worst-case scenario – Imagine, for a moment, what is the worst that could happen with your current challenge. It’s usually FAR less catastrophic than our worrying minds make us think.
  • Ditch the victim mentality – Yeah, yeah, I know, life is unfair…but it is for all of us. Successful people have something in common: none of them have a victim mentality. They take personal responsibility for their life, knowing they have the ability to overcome any setback or unfair treatment in life. You can be a victim or a victor, but not both. You choose.
  • See the positive in it – I know it can get old hearing “everything happens for a reason,” or “every cloud has a silver lining,” but it’s absolutely true that most challenges and crises give us a gift – a learning experience, wisdom gained, personal growth – that may not be visible at the time, but that we can see when looking back on the moment in the future.
  • Above all else, pray – No matter your spiritual or religious beliefs, there is tremendous power in prayer.
  • Stay in the present – When going through a rocky, rough spot where life has knocked you down, stay fully in the present moment, doing what you can to get through it and back on track, instead of dwelling on how things used to be in the past or how you want life to be in the future…Doing those things only leads to depression and angst.

Now go out and get what you’re worth! Prove to the world what you’re made of. Show that you believe your dreams and goals are worth whatever it takes to achieve them, and nothing will stop you…not for long, at least. Because you now know how to get back up and keep moving forward!

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