POW! What to Do When You Get Knocked Down (Part 1 of 2)
What do you do when you get knocked down?
And you will.
This is LIFE we are talking about.
It is not always blue skies, sunshine and smiling people waving to you from either side of the street. Sometimes it rains, sometimes it even storms and sometimes it even comes with the added drama (and potential pain) of lightning and thunder.
What do you do then, Mr. Sunshine?
Let me first share with you the story of a young girl who got knocked down in life early.
Born to an unwed teenage mother, this young girl spent her first years on her grandmother’s farm in Mississippi while her mother looked for work in the North. Life on the farm was primitive, and despite the hardships of her physical environment, she enjoyed the loving support of her grandmother and the community.
But at the age of 6 the girl’s world took a turn for the worse. She was sent to Milwaukee to live with her mother, who had found work as a housemaid. In the long days when her mother was working and absent from their inner-city apartment, the young girl was repeatedly molested by her cousin, uncle and a family friend. The horrific episodes of physical abuse lasted from the ages of 9 to 13, leaving the girl emotionally devastated.
Frightened and vulnerable, she tried to run away but was sent to a juvenile detention home, only to be denied admission because all the beds were filled. At the age of 14 she gave birth to a baby boy… who died in infancy. She was kicked out of the house and on her own. At 14.
How was your upbringing? As bad as that?
If this girl suffered permanent depression, became an alcoholic or got addicted to drugs, no one would be surprised.
But not this girl.
She did not let the adversity and storm of her past keep her knocked down throughout the rest of her life or stop her from becoming the woman and mega-force she is today. She excelled as an honors student in high school and won an oratory contest, which secured her a full scholarship to college.
Now the entrepreneur and personality has the admiration of millions and a net worth of $2.9 billion. Despite her many knockdowns, she got back up and transformed into the woman we all know and love today—Oprah Winfrey.
Oprah’s story is just one example of someone who has gotten knocked down not just once but several times in her life, yet was still able to achieve a life of success, happiness and meaning.
Ask any great achiever who has achieved success despite great obstacles, if they could go back and avoid the obstacle, would they.
And the answer invariably is “no.” Isn’t that interesting?
That is what we are going to address in this two-part blog series: When you get knocked down in life, how do you get back up so you are not knocked OUT?
We all experience failure, setbacks, disappointments and obstacles. And yes it hurts, and that is OK. We are human. Now the difference is how long you let it keep you down.
Confucius has this to say: “Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”
So it’s OK to get knocked down; it’s even good for you—it’s the beginning of growth. And it’s OK that it hurts at first. And it’s OK to give yourself some recovery time. Now just try and reduce the time it knocks you out.