Photograph by Lee Down
Some days are brutal! I know you know what I mean. We’ve all had them! I’ve had so many metaphors run through my head for how this feels.
- Keeping your head above water when the world is pushing you under. (I thought it sounded to much related to cash)
- When you feel like a bobbing yo-yo. (a what?)
That’s enough of that, the title says enough – like that song, “I get knocked down, but I get up again. You’re never going to keep me down.”
This is where it gets challenging. Now I’m supposed to tell you how. But what if? What if the advice I give you, that works for me, and works for six other people, doesn’t work for you, nor 567 others? Oops.
Screw it. I’m not here to tell anyone what to do. I’m just telling some stories. Your truth will speak to you, maybe the writing will help call it out. Let’s give it a try.
Entrepreneurship is a challenging road, and here’s the thing: Life is tough enough without any of us wanting to make it harder. But who knew when we were young, ambitious, courageous, naive, trusting, and invulnerable? I didn’t know; I lived and breathed optimistic spontaneity. It is true – anything is possible – provided . . . . . .
Ha! What is that about?
Timing, opportunity, location, and a whole host of variables exist beyond our control. Anything can happen, and one decision can take you so far from experiences that may be extraordinarily beneficial at some later date in your life. And yet, who knew? Who knows? I’ve found myself, at 43, looking back upon one decade or another and seeing how small choices have had extraordinary results – both positive and negative – in my life. As for getting knocked down, I’ve been knocked down hard – a few times.
These days, great things are happening. The odd part of that is the vulnerability that I experience. Imagine I could fly.
In order to fly I must leap out off a cliff into open space spread-eagle. Yes, that is exactly what I mean by this vulnerable experience. Now, once I’m out there, I must remain spread-eagle in order to soar and stay aloft. Yes, I’m floating in space, defying gravity, soaring above the earth, and I feel an instinctual impulse to withdraw myself into a cannonball in some crazy response to the alarm of defying gravity.
Who said I couldn’t fly? Who said you couldn’t fly? I can see many people who’ve suggested such things to me in the past, growing up and in adulthood. Did that necessarily stop me? Rarely. Most often I would dig my heels in and hear this spirited internal response, “I’ll show you,” or “I’ll show them.” So could I honestly buy the idea that it is people today that are slowing me down or blocking my way? Partly, but very minor in their roles, as the power choice is wholeheartedly my own.
So what happened? I freak out sometimes, I panic, I worry, I cry, I get angry. Okay, I admit it: I’m human. Yes, there have been experiences in my past that haunt my todays. You see? That’s it, right there. On up days, it’s full steam ahead. On low energy days, those ghosts from our past tease at us.
When life is overall running quite smoothly, we weather these transitions with the ups and downs much more easily. When there is some big stuff going on, or has been for a while, this can become progressively challenging. And it is always boiling down to how you respond, in order to determine the outcome of each life chapter. Things getting more negative? Take a close look at your thoughts and patterns. Things improving? You know what I mean.
Whether knocked down, getting up, or staggering along, just remember to do just that: stagger along, keep focused on here and now. Push the feelings, fears, worries aside, and look at you and your choice to experience goodness. Let go and enjoy where you are, while learning to relax into the unfolding of the next moment. This isn’t always easy for a worrier – trust me, I know – but putting a conscious effort to it, becoming aware of it, builds up the ability.
And don’t beat yourself up over it. I used to beat myself up for having lost what I once had. Life, she’s a grand and demanding mistress, offering the ride of a lifetime.
I get knocked down, but I get up again. You’re never going to keep me down.