When Life Knocks You Down

Inevitably, there are going to be moments in life where we feel defeated.

Sometimes things just don’t go the way we imagined, regardless of how much effort and pre-planning we put into our ideal outcome.

Depending on the severity of this “let-down”, the variety of emotions that we may encounter can be plentiful.

There’s no designated emotional response for when things don’t go our way. Sometimes we feel sad. Other times, we may feel angry or discouraged– or all three at once. And in some rare cases, we may even feel thankful… but I’d venture to say that this is usually an after thought, as opposed to an immediate reaction.

So, what can we do to bounce back from a situation that feels something like a let down?

I found a great article with three steps to take when you need help getting back up when life knocks you down:

1. Hold yourself accountable.

The thing was, I never had up until then. You see, I used to be an expert at blame. I blamed other people (a lot), myself (mainly), and the world (usually). I used to wonder why things weren’t happening for me the way I wanted them to. But then I never really did anything about it.

That day I suddenly understood that I alone was the only person who could make my life better. Me. Only me.

I held myself fully accountable for maybe the first time ever, and at that moment I became not just empowered but free. Because I was now in control of my life fully and completely. I realized that up until then I’d been making excuses for what had or hadn’t happened without taking responsibility.

I think we’re all in danger of this too. We find it easy to blame everything else for our problems without looking inward at what negative beliefs or habits are really to blame. In fact, most of us create excuses out of nothing. As a species we’re very good at it.

But imagine if we were to put the same amount of effort for excuse-making into service? Determination? Enthusiasm?

2. Move your focus.

I also recognized that I’d fallen into a nasty habit of focusing on the obstacles in every situation rather than the opportunities. I’d been looking behind me at what had happened rather than looking in front of me at what could happen.

When I realized that, everything changed.

Because the thing is, what we focus on is what we move toward. It becomes our reality. So when I was only focusing on feeling unworthy and what I hadn’t done, I was creating a life of regret and unhappiness. By changing my focus, by looking forward again and focusing on the next step in life, I instantly saw sunlight bursting through the clouds.

For me this was not about focusing on something and expecting to magically conjure it into existence but simply focusing on the good. By focusing on what I could do next, rather than my self-imposed limitations, I was able to align with the amazing possibilities life had to offer.

So when you’re feeling knocked down, ask yourself, what is my focus right now? Am I focusing on something I want or something I don’t want? Am I seeing the opportunities or only the obstacles? What am I looking at?

The answers to these questions will help you get clarity, create awareness and elevate you to where you need to be.

3. Change how you speak to yourself.

The last thing I realized was that I had to change how I spoke to myself. When I stopped and listened to my inner voice I realized that I was the one who had been dragging me down. Yes, I’d had a few knock backs, but I could choose how I was dealing with the situation, and currently I was choosing to beat myself up over it. That had to stop.

Just like choosing where we place our focus, the language we use is also something we have full control over if we take a moment to connect with this power.

On that day I understood something that I know to be true first hand: We are nothing but the stories that we tell ourselves on a regular basis.

I realized I’d been living under a story that I’d told myself for too long—that my self-worth was connected with my results. And of course, no one wants this pressure, so I had been self-sabotaging this whole time to protect myself, to keep myself small and safe.

Becoming aware of this meant I could begin to step away from an ego-driven focus and begin to enjoy the journey more. I actively stepped away from the result and learned to simply enjoy life, in the moment.


Like what you’ve read so far? Please, click here for the full article by Matt Richards on TinyBuddha.com.


– Virginia Johnson


Are you struggling with holding yourself accountable, m or would like some guidance with moving your focus, changing your negative self-talk or are you just interested in talking to someone about things going on in your life because you simply feel that you do not as you should? Sometimes having a partner in your journey can help. Give us a call  to set up a free phone consultation at Life Skills Resource Group Orlando at 407-355-7378, and one of our Orlando Individual Counselors, Orlando Life Coaches, Orlando Teen Counselors, and Orlando Child counselors would be more than happy to help you, a family member, or a friend work on changing your life.