8 Things You Learn When You Hit Rock Bottom

I’m not going to say I have at anytime, hit rock bottom. Doing that seems to me as dangerous as praying for patience. Having had some low points in my life that felt like rock bottom, here are some things that I learned.
  1. It gives you empathy for those going through similar struggles.
  2. It gives you perspective that the only way to go is up.
  3. It clears your mind of the clutter and the noise that is preventing you from progressing.
  4. It helps you overcome the fear of action. (i.e. “What do I have to lose?”)
  5. It helps produce clarity to see what’s important.
  6. It helps to increase your resolve to change.
  7. It helps you realize things in your life you need to let go of.
  8. It humbles you.

J. K. Rowling said about her rock bottom moment, “I was set free because my greatest fear had been realized, and I still had a daughter who I adored, and I had an old typewriter and a big idea. And so rock bottom became a solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.”

Are there any other lessons you’d like to share?

About Todd Nielsen

Todd Nielsen helps organizations create miracles of success and profitability through the power of execution. Having served as Vice-President, President, Chief Operations Officer, Chief Strategy Officer, and Chief Executive Officer of organizations, he has learned how to create a culture that "Gets Things Done." He is passionate about leadership, and is a dynamic and inspirational speaker.


  1. As I have in my entrepreneurial life “Hit Rock Bottom” and have to borrow to feed my kids and got fired just on the day I had surgical operation …. I can tell you now that it changed my life. What I would add is:
    9. you see life from different perspective and value really important things!

    best jaro.

    • I think when you are really feeling like you are at “rock bottom” it’s actually quite comforting to understand what you are willing to live without. It’s also helpful to understand that the flow between states is a process, not a destination.

  2. Great post Todd. In response to your questions about what lessons I would add:

    9. It gives you far more self-awareness of what you care about and what you are made of.

    10. It can make you less selfish and far more giving.

    I like the simplicity and strength of this post! Kudos.

  3. We’ve all had a rock bottom Todd, or believe we have. The only way is up, and that means learning from it, just as you are demonstrating!