Rock bottom can be an inviting place. It’s cool and dark and silent. You’re not responsible for your actions, and you don’t answer to anyone. The problem with rock bottom is that if you stay down there you will be swallowed up by decay. Getting back on your feet can be one of the most challenging things you may ever do, and it can also be one of the most rewarding.
Perseverance is a major tenet of various martial arts, including my chosen art of taekwondo. We fall, we get hurt, and we get frustrated, but we never ever give up. It’s not just about beating an opponent or earning a black belt. It’s about the knowledge that we can tap into our inner strength at any time. I’ve had many moments throughout my taekwondo practice of feeling frustrated, anxious, and even angry. More than once I’ve driven home from practice feeling deflated and wondering if I was just making a fool out of myself for nothing. And then a quiet, firm little voice inside me says: “Get. Back. Up.”
It’s so tempting to give up, especially when you’ve experienced what seems like an inordinate and unfair amount of setbacks. Another bout of illness? Another job loss? Another broken relationship? When does it end? It ends when you choose to get back up. You have the power to change your choices, and you have the power to change the outcome. Getting back up that eighth time means that your situation has not beaten you down into submission.
You can rest in rock bottom for a moment in order to assess your situation and ask for help, but you can’t stay there. You are a fighter. You have the perseverance to survive, climb out of the pit, and thrive. Get. Back. Up.