Stand Back Up
Remember as a kid playing kickball and the high, home run came down hard in your arms, knocking the wind out of you?
Remember not being able to breathe for what seemed like at least 10 minutes?
I got that same feeling when I was told that, after eight years of employment, my company no longer needed my services.
It was a normal morning
Last Friday morning began the same as it does for most home-office workers. Stumble out of bed, throw on sweats and shirt, brush the teeth, feed the dog, grab coffee and head to the office.
Same-old, same-old until 11 a.m.
Twenty minutes later, I hung up the phone, stunned and barely breathing.
For an instant, I was back on the playground, the ball bouncing off me. I was sucking in air and clutching my belly.
Next, just like my sixth grade year, the racking sobs started. Back then, the pain was physical. It was this time as well.
When you’re the child on the playground, the noises of the game slowly come back into focus. Your buddies help you to your feet, brush off your backside, maybe even walk you to the nurse’s office.
When you’re an adult and you’ve just lost your job–the one that was once a dream come true–the response has been the same.
My buddies have helped me to my feet, dusted me off and are walking with me wherever I need to go.
Stand back up
Child and adult–each stands back up.
Maybe you get to your feet physically or maybe it’s symbolically.
Either way, standing back up is all about attitude.
Kids don’t know any better. They take a ball in the breadbasket and without thinking about whether it will happen again, they stand back up and jog back into the game.
We adults are more hesitant, aren’t we? We have voices in our heads and doubts in our hearts.
We get the wind knocked out of us and lie awake at night asking ourselves if we’re good enough to play the game anymore.
Give yourself a time out
Give yourself a time out. Focus. Give yourself a pumped-up game talk and fist bump your hands together.
Let your teammates–your family, friends and support network–do what they do, which is support you. Don’t try to be a one-person team.
You are good enough, healthy enough, worthy enough, to play the game.
You just have to stand back up and put yourself back in the game. While you’re at it, go all-in.
Don’t let anything keep you down.
Stand back up.
Then share your story with us about how you stand back up.
Please enjoy the Sugarland video that prompted the theme of this post (outside of my layoff!) with thanks to my friend Lois.