Okay, okay. You know that and I know that you know that. But we don’t fall that often so what we actually need to do as we are falling and right afterward can be a mystery. And I’m not just talking about physically falling.
So you’ve fallen. Something in life has hit you hard and you are down for the count. The first thing you do, before even getting up, is quickly assess the damage. Believe it or not, there are things in life that require you to stay down for a while. Sometimes we need to let ourselves feel sorrow, grief, and sit in the place that life has knocked us down into. We need to gather ourselves before we can stand.
If you’re trying to stand but have two broken legs, you’re only going to make things worse, right? So if you’re trying to get up while suffering from untreated, crippling depression you need to get some form of help first. Doesn’t have to be therapy or your typical anti-depressants. There’s a lot out there.
Okay, so we assess our situation. We check out the damage we’ve taken. We understand that we might not know even half of all the damage done. How many times have we physically fallen, see a bump or two only to find a ton of bruises and even a scratch later on? We can’t know or see everything in the moment. But assessing our damage to our mind will help us gauge the severity of the incident.
Then we get up.
All right, this isn’t actually the hard part. What? What do you mean it’s not? I know. We’re all told that getting up is the hard part but what is getting up really? When we physically get up from a fall all we’re doing is acknowledging that we aren’t really damaged or that hurt. When you fall off a bike and you get up, you’re just deciding to get back on it.
It’s just a decision.
It’s the decision to want to be better. To want to get better. To get stronger, to be happier. To keep going.
I’ll say it again.
Getting up is just deciding to keep going.
Everything that follows your decision to keep going is the hard part. And I don’t think enough people realize that. You know you need to get up, you know you want to keep going and not give up it’s intrinsic to our human nature to cling onto our determination. But we aren’t given any guidance on how to recover.
We know band-aids are important. We know to clean a wound so it won’t get infected. We know we can air it out without a band-aid at night and if it’s bad we know we should go to the doctor.
But what about our brain? What can we do to prevent an emotional infection?
Well, first thing we need after getting up is motivation. We need to find something that keeps us going, keeps pushing us, and makes us hungry for the next day. Without motivation what is there to keep us going?
Motivation can come in many forms. It can be speeches on YouTube, someone on YouTube or otherwise that you find inspiring, music, goals, images, quotes. It can be the sun itself! The point is, pack your life with motivating factors…gummy bears around every corner to keep you going.
All right, you’ve got your motivation. Now where do you put that energy?
Too many people forget about these. Goals are vital for setting ourselves up for success. We’ve gotten up, we have our motivation now we cannot go willy nilly. We need to push our energy and motivation into a specific direction or else we won’t get anywhere at all and we might just fall down again.
Make your goals attainable. Set a time frame, a realistic one. And don’t be afraid to make baby goals along the way. Think hard about where you want to go. It’s okay to change your long-term goals. It’s okay to change any goals. They are yours after all.
Inevitably with goals comes failure. You just won’t be able accomplish all of your goals successfully. It happens but that’s why the next step is so important.
Love yourself and accept your failures.
I just wrote about this last week! We need to accept our failures for the benefit of our health and our heart. Too often we are bogged down by the weight of our perceived failures instead of letting them go, regrouping and starting over. Give yourself a break. Try your hardest. Set realistic goals. And let it go. We won’t be able to succeed at everything, sometimes how hard we try doesn’t even matter.
Which brings me to my next point.
Loving yourself and accepting failure doesn’t mean you don’t work as hard and it certainly doesn’t mean that you expect failure. You still have to work hard and yes even on the days you really don’t want to. Without hard work we will not succeed. We won’t even have a chance at it.
And, you’ve got to do physical work.
Yep! You have to workout. As much as you might want to, you can’t just go after your goals and mope around on the couch at night. To maintain energy, physical health, and mental health a safe, effective, fun, and challenging workout is an absolute necessity.
This is my last point but it isn’t my least important. On your way to trying to accomplish your goals and recover from a fall, smile. This is a hard one. A real hard one. But that doesn’t make it any less important.
If we are constantly frowning throughout our day we are telling ourselves to be in a bad mood. We are communicating to our brain that we are not happy and so, we become unhappy.
A little smile goes a long way. If you are struggling at all from being knocked down in life, do this. Forcibly smile throughout your day. Look in the mirror and give yourself a big ol’ grin. Go online and find things that genuinely make you laugh. It’s important to bring happiness and hope into your life as you recover from your fall.
Look yourself in the eyes in the mirror and say:
You are a survivor. You are a fighter. You are good.