We have all taken a punch or two from someone else, usually when we are least expecting it.
Whether it’s from a “friend” that is suddenly being manipulative, a coworker that uses backhanded comments, or even a family member that likes to knock you down and notch or two when you are together… we have all received a punch in the gut that knocked our confidence to the curb.
I received one recently, and it took me off my game for a bit. I felt my confidence waiver, wondered if I was the person I usually know myself to be, and even started evaluating some of my recent life choices. NOT my favorite way to spend the day reflecting.
I spent some time really digging into the topic within myself to figure out why we get knocked down, and how to get back up and fight.
Below are 4 quick steps to take the next time you get knocked down by someone (that might not even realize they are doing it!):
1. Feel what you need to feel or it will bite you in the ass later
Let’s pretend someone at work calls you out in a meeting with a backhanded comment about how long a certain project took you. Charming. That night or weekend, take the time to go through the series of emotions that are real and boiling inside of you. Whether it’s anger, sadness, or vengeful thoughts that you realize through screaming, crying, breaking things, or writing in your journal…. FEEL them.
Acknowledging your feelings makes the situation real, and is the first step to getting past it.
2. Realize it’s not about you
It’s not. Although that person meant for it to be about you… it’s not.
It’s about them.
Research reminds us that people usually only come at us with condemning remarks or snide comments when they themselves are self conscious.
It’s the old standard: They push you down to make themselves feel better.
That means that the comments might not stop, but you can distance yourself from what they mean. When you hear “Do you even know how to work that piece of equipment?” – it has nothing to do with you and your ability. It’s about that person’s need to feel better.
3. Hear the comment as a challenge and rise to the occasion
I’ll never forget hearing in middle and high school that I was “too short” (by coaches and doctors) to be an outside hitter in volleyball on varsity or in college. I would never be tall. It was a fact of life, and I should face that fact and choose another position.
I’ll also never forget how freaking determined I became to be the highest jumper, best short hitter, and prove them wrong. Even though I never was an outside hitter in college, I feel like those years of sheer determination and digging deep for something I cared about has fed me in my adult years.
You want to tell me I can’t do something? Why? Aren’t I the one to determine if it’s possible or not? Don’t I have control of my discipline, drive, and continual improvement?
Yes- you do.
If you can take that comment and shift it into a challenge that will only help you develop a part of yourself, DO IT. Add a little “I dare you” to the end of the comment to fuel your fire.
Then get out there and prove them wrong. Over and over.
4. Be intentional with that relationship moving forward
You know the saying: Burn me once, shame one me. Burn me twice, shame on me.
If you have been burned by someone in a certain area with a nasty comment, it’s up to you as to how you will handle it and move forward. The comment most likely came from someone that you will see and interact with again, and possibly someone you see daily.
Whether that means approaching the person and letting them know how his or her comment made you feel, or making sure you don’t let your guard down next time when in a similar situation – you have a choice on how you are going to handle the relationship for your own well being.
Choose how you are going to honor yourself in that relationship moving forward, and stick to it. You owe you and your self-confidence that much.
You are an beautiful individual, but others will throw punches occasionally. You will come back from those punches as a stronger and truer version of you.