One of the hardest moments in a person’s life is the one where they come face-to-face with themselves. This moment is as inevitable as it is surprising.

It’s like training, your entire life, to compete as a heavyweight boxer, with determination and sacrifice – only to find that the title fight you end up in is against a deadly martial arts expert. That confidence that you have built up, that absolute certainty in your ability to face any opponent, is stripped from your core as you realise that despite all that preparation, this is a fight you will lose.

This is not normally something that can be avoided, nor can it really be prepared for. You choose at the very beginning what you train yourself to become. You roll with the punches, and you anticipate the challenges. You don’t realise until the moment of truth that you were so absorbed in becoming what you were, that you didn’t even stop to consider everything that you weren’t. That blinding reality delivers the knock-out. And boy, does it ever knock you the fuck out.

We all face that opponent at some point. And it is true – our most vicious opponent in life, will undoubtedly be ourselves. This match does not kill you. It does not cripple you to the point where you can never raise your dukes again.

It does, however, cause you to ask yourself some extremely honest, personal questions and force you to open your eyes to your own flaws and weaknesses.

As merciless as this experience is, it is not the time to throw in the towel. It’s the time to activate strength you were not sure you had left in you and get back to the basics. Take these realisations, and use them to start your training again.

You can never stop getting back in the ring. No matter how many times you may need to repeat this, evolve  — it is only when you stop fighting that you truly lose.