I’ve Been Knocked Down, Now What
Jack Dempsey on one knee. (From Washington Post)
The ability to get up after being knocked down
is the most important ability in life.
Alison asked, “After being knocked down it feels a lot slower to rise up? Is it ok to take it slow?”
Don’t pop up quickly after being knocked down.
It’s humbling to find yourself looking up from your back. Wise boxers climb to a knee – clearing their head – until the referee’s count reaches eight.
Taking a knee isn’t defeat its preparation – preparation to kick ass.
Pride yells bounce up quickly, “Get up you fool. Don’t let anyone know it hurt.” Pretending it doesn’t hurt doesn’t help.
8 Principles for getting up, again:
- Self-reflection. Few things are talked more and done less. Few times are better than when you’re on one knee. Don’t talk to others before you talk with yourself.
- Forgive. Forgiveness is a process not an event. Act without offenses in mind – even when they are. Acting with offenses in mind results in bitterness, revenge, or both. Feeling forgiveness isn’t as important as acting in it.
- Accountability. Holding someone accountable to make restitution and offering forgiveness may be separate issues.
- Embrace. Few things change us more than brokenness, embrace it. Embracing frailty opens your heart and mind. You’ll see yourself and others more clearly when you feel the burn and let it hurt.
- Support. Channels of support are open when you’re broken. Pretending it doesn’t hurt, squeezes support out.
- Honesty. Avoid whining. Open your heart to select trusted friends. Tell them the things you wish you didn’t feel, but do.
- Responsibility. Own personal weaknesses that tripped you up. “How few there are who have courage enough to own their faults…” Benjamin Franklin.
- Adapt. You’ll repeat the pain if you don’t learn and adapt.
How can leaders make the most of “one knee” moments?
What helped you when you were knocked down?
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Post in a picture by Larry Coppenrath:
The getting up slowly took me 16 years unfortunately. I suggest a somewhat more prompt rise!
Agreed.. I wonder if, at least sometimes, it’s a good idea to move forward even if everything isn’t clear.
Glad you rose up.
Dan, Eddie just took the beatings 16 rounds long. He had time to reflect and now he is clear on his goals. He want to take up the fight and win.
I believe that “time” is destiny. We grow over time. For Eddie it was 16 years, others may take shorter. Time is less important as long as we can focus on our goal.
Moving forward even as things are not clear is a necessity as it helps not falling into depressions and creates the space for reflecting.
So many good points in such a short post. The most important thing for me to remember in those one knee moments is that I control my destiny. I am a victim of my own decisions. Once you firmly grasp that concept, it is a lot easier to develop a plan to overcome whatever has knocked you down. People do not want to believe that they control their destiny. They want to believe that the bad things that happen to them are someone else’s fault. It is a tought pill to swallow. Really good post Dan.
It is a tough pill. I’ve found that swallowing it moves me from blaming to taking responsibility. So far, blaming hasn’t done me much good. 🙂
Good post, Dan. It is our human nature to pop back up and get right back in the race. But, we only hurt ourselves in the long run.
I think these are important times to reflect, as you have said in the first step. Reflect on what’s going on, and if you are on the journey you want to be on. And if it is not, we have to own up to the responsibility of making the changes needed.
Sometimes getting knocked down is the only time many of us slow down. We should learn to use those times as opportunities.
I’m reading your comment and then KaPow, “Sometimes getting knocked down is the only time many of us slow down,” hit me between the eyes. So true.
Thanks for sharing your insights and always passing along these posts to your followers on twitter. I appreciate your passion to add value to others.
I always have to remind myself that this is my moment to recover from. I can look to others for support but not to fix things or rescue me. I have to recover from the blow on my terms and my time and not look for the short-cut out.
“Look for support but not a fix,” powerfully clear.
Thanks for adding to the conversation.
I have learned that forgiveness is a choice I make, not a feeling I have. It is so important to act on what I need to do instead of what I feel like doing. I love these posts each day……they are impacting the way I think and therefore the way I lead. Thanks.
Thank you for your positive feedback. You encourage me.
Sometimes, I’m not proud of the way I feel. I own that I feel it but I’m not proud of bitterness or selfishness… or … Sometimes the way I am isn’t the way I want to be.
Thanks for sharing your insights.
This is a great list for anyone who is experiencing a set-back in life or career. A leader can make the most of their one-knee moment by reflecting on which of these come easily and which are more difficult. Those who find it hard to forgive others will waste too much energy on bitterness instead of improving themselves. Others won’t be honest with themselves and won’t see what needs to change. Thanks again for sharing.
Great seeing you today.
You’ve hit on an important point… bitterness is about them and gets in the way of forward movement for me.
Your comment, combined with the others, help us all see how important and challenging one knee moments are.
Thanks for adding value.
One knee moments…wow…what a great way to think about those times in life that take our breath away. You’ve offered some very practical and useful responses, Dan. I have my best learning in those “one knee moments.” I am most teachable. So much so that I no longer want to immediately get to the other side of my pain. I don’t mind lingering and learning. It has led to a life of expectancy – embracing what is next, who and what will show up in any given day. One knee moments may be set backs, or they may be what propels us ahead at a greater rate and with more impact.
Wonderful post that packs in so much punch, Dan.
This has been a big weakness for me – getting up too fast. Over time, I’ve only just begun to realize the value of letting that go and slowing down. Each of the principles you describe serve as an excellent guide as to what constructive actions to take during that time you should be pausing before you get back up.
This is one of your best blogs – such great truths for a leader. Regarding my own experience, I’ve told those around me I wouldn’t take a million dollars for what I learned – but wouldn’t pay a plugged nickel to go back through it again.
Leaders can look for the lesson to be learned in the “one knee” moments. Ask for your eyes to be opened to what is going on; it is a time of self-reflection as you’ve said.
This post reminds me of the song “Get Back Up” by Toby Mac:
“You may be knocked down
But not out forever”
And also “I Will Not Be Moved” by Natalie Grant:
“My brokeness helped me to see
It’s grace I’m standing on
I will stumble, I will fall down
But I will not be moved”
Obviously, music is something I use to communicate my feelings and understanding, as well as for a soft cushion when I’m on my knees.
A key for me is to not play the victim or the blame game, but take responsibility instead. I can’t control my circumstances, nor can I control others. With God’s help, I can control myself. There is always something I can do.
No one escapes “knockdowns” ! As a famous man once said “It’s the opportunity to start again more intelligently.” . Now I am wondering if there is a difference between “Accountability” and “Responsibility” in this context ?
When I really haven’t been sure I can get back up, I start by focusing on those that depend on me to move forward, then work back to myself. Sometimes by taking the focus off myself for a bit, and framing steps based on what others need for a bit, helps me to start and gets the distance, strength and momentum I need to take that harder look at myself and the situation that landed me there.
An excellent post with some good teachings. ‘One knee’ moment is to accept the reality situation and look forward with practical solution to safeguard the self-esteem, secured finance & happy normal family life.
The reasons of set-back could be any but you being the victim has to get up with a double force to prove yourself on your capabilities.
The destiny even has its role. Nothing works well when you are passing through a difficult phase in life. My observation reveals that everyone experiences a difficult patch of one decade in a life cycle. One should have good patience and perseverance while maintaining good health during such difficult times. However, no one should loose faith in the God and seek practical solutions to come out as a winner.
Many layers to your post Dan, can see it came from you deeply. Thanks!
The act of one knee of course has spiritual connotations as well and that can be factored in as we rise up again.
Also made me wonder about leaders engaging in intentional one knee moments—not because they have been knocked down, but to give pause, to give thanks, to reflect, to recharge and re-engage with a clearer head and a sharper vision.
I think the tincture of time helps most when knocked down…
I would add two things to minimize the “knockdown” and recovery period: First, RECOGNIZE what is going on around you in co-worker environment, your dept., the corner office, your company, its products, the industry, and economy in general. Then be PROACTIVE by nurturing your network, continually evaluate your skill set and education for relevancy, and start taking action. An example might be working for a company in an industry with no growth, no profits, and no upward movement. Start immediately to determine where else you could apply your skills, utilize your network, and start actively seeking other opportunity. With the average job search time now 10 months (longest since being measured by BLS) you could have a 6 month head start — which would be very beneficial.
Thanks for this reminder Dan. Proverbs 24:16 says for a righteous man falls seven times, but they will get back up again. My two year old twins have taught me a lot about falling, but getting back up again.
One more remarkable post. I think being knocked down is not sign of being defeated. And knocking someone down is also not the sign of being won. Success and failure depends upon acceptance. As long as you don’t accept is, you are right. I strongly believe that success is not about how high you jump but how high you bounce back when you have hit the bottom. I always strengthen my confidence and courage when being knocked down. I look inward and strengthen my unwillingness to accept defeat.
When someone knocked down, it teaches lessons how not be knocked down again. But the person, who knocks down, actually feels proud and hence this proud prevents him to learn more tricks. Failure teaches lesson, success prevents lessons.
Another excellent post, thank you for this great insight and information, I passed it on via twitter!
When you get knocked down use the opportunity to look at your strengths and weaknesses and be confident. Know who you are as a person and then when people knock you down you will know the truth about yourself and your confidence will not be broken.
When I played sports I found myself taking longer to get up as I got older – gathering myself and re-focusing. Same approach in all aspects of life nowadays.
I’d say I experience a “double-knee” moment. It took a lot of positive reframing and realizing as much as I want to stand accountable, some things and circumstances ARE bigger than us mere mortals. Understanding that and being able to see the positive allowed me to move on.