We’re all taught from an early age about the importance of getting straight up again once we’ve been knocked down. How else could we possibly hope to succeed in anything? After all, if we didn’t take this advice to heart, wouldn’t we spend our lives down in the dumps?
Not necessarily. In fact, when you break this advice down to size, it’s plain to see that it’s a pretty outdated go-to, created for a world that was founded on a stiff upper lip. Luckily, things have changed, and self-care is now the name of the game. With that in mind, getting straight up after a knock probably isn’t best for you in the long term.
That doesn’t mean that you can wallow in self-pity forever, but it does at least mean that you might want to take a moment when you’re down, or risk facing the following fatal mistakes.
No Time to lick your wounds
Regardless of whether you’ve lost your job, are facing the loss of a major relationship in your life, or are dealing with some other issue, putting pressure on yourself to ‘get back on the horse’ as quickly as possible often means that you fail to patch your wounds. As well as making this process more painful (think a broken bone that hasn’t been set properly), this will almost inevitably lead to resentment, rushed decisions, and an altogether harder recovery process. By comparison, accepting your feelings and allowing yourself to explore them for at least a little while is like tending to a cut – it aids healing, and generally helps you to process what’s happened. Whether you seek counseling during this downtime or simply take a little time for travel or some other self-exploratory pursuit, it’s therefore vital that you let yourself lick those wounds before even thinking about the future.
A lack of self-reflection
Along roughly the same lines, picking yourself up again straight away prevents you from being able to truly reflect on why this thing has happened and what part you played in that. This is ultimately how we learn from our mistakes, meaning that taking time out with self-reflection in mind is the only true way to take something valuable from this experience. Again, processes like counseling are invaluable for this, or you could follow in the footsteps of figures like Hillary Clinton, who famously used book writing as a way to work through the 2016 election. Considering Hillary Clinton’s current net worth, it worked out pretty well for her, and it could for you, too. You simply need to be willing to ask yourself some difficult questions to bring those benefits within reach.
Falling back onto failed plans
Without reflection, you have no way of understanding what went wrong, and without understanding that, you can’t put a new plan in place to avoid those same mistakes again. This is perhaps the worst thing about failing to give yourself time after a blow, and addressing that could entirely change your approach to different situations. For example, if relationships are your issue then the lessons of a codependent relationship could help you move forward with a plan to ensure healthier boundaries. Equally, if your workplace motivation is the problem, you could reassess your morning routine for a better start to every day. Either way, it’s clear that something needs to change, and taking time to put these new plans in place could be the best way to make it happen.
You simply aren’t ready
Aside from self-reflection, healing, and lifestyle improvements, the simple most important problem with getting straight back up again is this – you won’t be ready. And, if you aren’t to try again, or get back on the horse as it were, then you’re way more likely to fall off and worsen your existing injuries. Instead, caring for yourself means reading your own cues, and understanding when your heart is still too sore to date new people, or when your confidence is still too low to seek a new career path. Of course, you will need to work through these issues using the points mentioned but, until you can truly say that these setbacks are behind you, you’re far better off taking it easy and practicing kindness, rather than piling on more pressure.
Falling off the lifestyle horse is difficult regardless of why it happens, but you can make it a lot easier on yourself by accepting that bouncing right back again might not be the miracle cure you’ve always been led to believe.