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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Accountability. Holding someone accountable to make restitution and offering forgiveness may be separate issues.
  4. 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.
  5. Support. Channels of support are open when you’re broken. Pretending it doesn’t hurt, squeezes support out.
  6. Honesty. Avoid whining. Open your heart to select trusted friends. Tell them the things you wish you didn’t feel, but do.
  7. Responsibility. Own personal weaknesses that tripped you up. “How few there are who have courage enough to own their faults…” Benjamin Franklin.
  8. 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: