What to do when you fall down

I just attended the Wisdom 2.0 conference in San Francisco and it was incredible.  The conference explores how we can connect with technology and others in a way that takes care of our mental, emotional and physical self, while also being effective at work and useful to the world.

I have many takeaways from the workshops and speakers.  Today, I want to debrief with you one of my key takeaways in the hopes that it is of service to you. 

“Nothing in life is a straight shot.  We go forward, we fall down. We pick ourselves up. We let someone pick us up. We begin again…So we are always beginning again, and beginning again, and beginning again, and beginning again.  Nothing is linear. The moment of beginning again is the moment you practice self-compassion.” Sharon Salzberg, Wisdom 2.0 2016

Sharon Salzberg is a meditation teacher who has been a leader in bringing mindfulness to the West.  She stated the above in one of the workshops I attended.  It struck a chord for two reasons:

  • One of my Stanford GSB professors made the same thing clear to me a few years ago, stating: “Judith, if you are planning on playing a big game in life realize that the decision will require you to always begin again in faster, harder environments.”
  • Sharon took it a step further and explained how whatever our aspirations, we are always going to fall down and need to begin again.  The key here is practicing self-compassion.  As she made clear: self-compassion is not weak or losing your edge. It is fierce and powerful and it is the only way you will be able to attain sustainable greatness.

What can YOU do TODAY?

  • Identify where in life you have fallen and need to “begin again”
    • Do you need to begin again in your marriage?
    • Have you fallen in your relationship with a friend, or with your children, and you need to begin again?
    • Are you scared to make a career move and begin again? Even a promotion in your current job will result in “beginning again”
  • Pick yourself up
    • Seek out the tools and resources to pick yourself up.  This is active.  Do your research.  Everybody falls, it’s whether you stay down because you do not have the self-worth to invest the time to find the resources and tools needed. You can find great tools and resources here on www.JudithDuval.com
    • Ask someone to help you stand up 
  • Take a step forward knowing that nothing is linear and you will fall again
    • The difference between creating a great, purposeful life filled with meaning?  Accepting you will fall; the alternative is to stand still, stuck where you are
  • Practice self-compassion
    • Feel the pain of falling and of having to begin again.  Realize it’s unavoidable.  Take a breath and grab your tools and resources to move forward.  Do this fiercely and with power

Let me know how it goes!  I would love to hear from you, so please leave a comment below.  If you enjoyed this post, I would be honored if you share it with your friends, family, and community.

Lots of love,


“If you want anxiety, get a future.  If you want depression, get a past” Byron Katie

“If we can't tolerate our insecurity and fears, then we project them on to others”  Jack Kornfield

“Can you consistently go back to being the person you want to be, no matter what is going on?” Pete Carroll

“Everyone gets the same 24 hours. Someone doesn’t get more or less. It’s how you spend those 24 hours” Jon Kabat-Zinn

“Love without power is sentimental. Power without love is tyranny” John A. Powell

“People with a sense of self-stand out. People want to follow those with a strong sense of self” John Donahoe