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Fall down Seven Times, Get up Eight - Japanese Proverb

Fall down Seven Times, Get up Eight – Japanese Proverb

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.

Fall down Seven Times, Get up Eight – Japanese Proverb
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About Melanie Gibson

I am the author of the taekwondo blog www.littleblackbelt.com which chronicles my journey from white belt to black belt and all the life lessons in between. For a few hours a day I am a buttoned-up corporate consultant, and in “real life” I’m a writer, a fighter, a yogi, and a seeker.

8 comments

  1. Very inspiring. Love your perspective!

  2. crazy as it nay be…but I have been having difficulty getting it together in my head, I once hit rock bottom, and hope never to go back, but back sliding is a scary place to be and scraping to get back up on balanced ground is difficult at best….but being on this social outlet and it seems the universe is sending me personal messages today from many off you out there in blog land…..this post is honestly about the 5th post I’ve received today with inspirational words that hit home…so thank you and keep up the great post…

  3. Great!!! Inspiring!!

  4. Beautifully worded and inspiring.

  5. Rock bottom can become a solid foundation, but without erecting walls and a roof, there is no home, and not a place to live.

  6. I really like the comparison with martial arts. I’ve always been fascinated with the mental aspects of the various martial arts disciplines.

  7. Thank you, everyone, for your kind comments. My brother’s response was, “Oooh, cool and dark down there at rock bottom. If there’s a fan with a low frequency hum I think I’ll stay.” Sigh…

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