“It’s not whether you get knocked down; it’s whether you get up.”
– Vince Lombardi
I’ve lost dozens of sparring matches. The first time I sparred, I got beat so bad. It was embarrassing…. I hated it. But I got back up into the ring again, again and again. And I lost again, again and again. But over time, I won. And then I won again, again and again. Now I love it!
I’ve been thrown what seems like a million times. I’ve been slammed, choked, arm barred and pinned more times I can count. I’ve failed over and over attempting to get my self-defense techniques, throws, falls, kicks, and punches to even being remotely acceptable. But did I let my failures stop me? Hell no. I kept going and going until my techniques were strong, powerful, effective and correct.
One of the biggest lessons I learned as a martial artist, is to get back up every time I fall. In 2018, I am testing for 5th Dan Master. A milestone I’d never achieve had I quit after falling, failing and making thousands of mistakes along the way.
If you are passionate about a goal you want to achieve, you will fall down. Not once, but LOTS. It’s a part of the process required for learning, growing and becoming a greater more powerful you.
Will it hurt if you fall? Yes. Will you feel stupid? Most likely. Will you improve? Definitely. Will you master it? Only if you stick with it.
Toddlers are miniature masters at this. Their hands climb up the couch so they can stand on their wobbly legs and little feet. With a swift brush of bravery and a sense of wonder, they take their first few steps. Bam! Falling right on their butts. But do they give up? NO! They giggle, get up and try again, again and again. I mean seriously… have you ever heard of a toddler quitting to walk because they fell? They get up and do it again. Some cry, some giggle. But either way, they keep going. Next thing you know, they’re running and off to the races (while driving their parents mad!)
Falling is a gift. It shows you what improvements need to be made to achieve your goals. It gives you a window to peek into your strengths and weakness to know more about yourself and how to reach excellence.
Here are 8 things I learned from getting up after falling time and time again. Maybe they will help you.
- The first time you try something, you will fail. Accept it. Understand it. Embrace it. You will fall. But that’s totally ok and completely normal. Learning how to fail develops humility and to respond to failures with grace and dignity.
- If you want to be great, you need to make mistakes. It helps you learn and to discover where your holes are. Mistakes are your greatest teachers.
- Falling and getting back up again develops perseverance. You learn to stick to your goals no matter what obstacles you face or what challenges fall on your path. There will always be something standing in your way. Never giving up builds tenacity and deep inner strength to accomplish anything you put your heart and mind to. If your goal was easy to achieve, it would be meaningless.
- You will cultivate courage. When you fall, it hurts. Mentally, emotionally and sometimes physically. It takes courage to get back up and face your pain again.
- You take 100% responsibility for your own life. By taking ownership of yourself, you never let anything or anyone get in your way. It’s all up to you. It’s your choice to get this thing done no matter what.
- You learn it gets easier with practice. The first time you do something, you will suck. The more you do it, the less you will suck. Over time, it feels a little smoother, a little easier. One day, it will feel effortless. Easy, peasy. You will wonder why it was so hard in the first place! With this consistent effort and practice, you will improve becoming proficient.
- You will move forward. Even if it’s small steps. Whether progress is slow or fast, you will get somewhere. If you quit, you will get nowhere.
- Your confidence will grow. By getting up every time you fall and facing your fear of failure, your self-confidence will build. Seeing improvements in your progress creates momentum giving you the inspiration to keep going.
To become great requires years of perseverance, determination and commitment even in the face of adversity. Getting back up each time you fall creates mental endurance and deeply rooted integrity with unwavering strength.
Failing is a part of the process from beginner to master. If you fail but still trying your best, you have nothing to be ashamed of. Embrace the reality you will make mistakes along the way. Your failures don’t define you but it’s your responses to them that defines you.
What matters most is the journey, not the destination. Enjoy every moment…even when you fall. By getting up each time you fall, you will become a better, powerful, stronger and more empowered you.