Developing self esteem with martial arts
Success breeds confidence. It’s that simple. That’s how it works in the real world.
So logic then dictates that if you want to feel good about yourself you have to learn to succeed at something. While it might “feel good” to think all I have to do is surround myself with people who will cheer me on for no other reason than to do so, the feeling doesn’t last, it doesn’t stick.
And that’s because a person knows in their heart they didn’t do anything to earn that praise.
And they didn’t do anything to earn the self esteem they’ve tried to award themselves.
Now take a moment to think about when we did do something worthwhile, when we did succeed at something we were intimidated or scared by. When we climbed that hill and made it to the top it felt good, really good.
And most importantly that feeling stayed. That sense of accomplishment remained solid, and indeed it was a solid foundation upon which we decided we could try even harder things, and build ourselves up to even greater feelings of self worth and value.
Success breeds confidence.
We want to reiterate and repeat that like a mantra until we fully grasp and understand it. And we implement it as a practice in our daily lives.
The martial arts is particularly well suited to teaching this lesson and consistently so. You see the entire structure of the martial arts is such that a student begins as a white belt, and at the top there is the black belt of mastery. It’s a daunting task, and a big goal. So it teaches the student to understand goal setting, making plans, implementing them and carrying them through. Because in order to reach the black belt a student must first advance and demonstrate mastery through a succession of belts from the white to the black, each representing a smaller goal in and of itself. They are stepping stones to a greater achievement.
A student starts out learning the basics, demonstrates a mastery of them and begins building upon those. Now the thing is, with each lesson, with each belt they obtain they have achieved success, with a greater success in mind built upon many smaller ones. And each makes the student wiser, stronger, and more well equipped to seek out and earn the next.
So the entirety of their experience in the martial arts is about succeeding, overcoming obstacles, and achieving success after success, growing strong, and becoming better examples of themselves.
At first it can quite naturally feel very intimidating and rightfully so, because obtaining the black belt is something reserved only for the most committed. It isn’t something just anybody can pick up over the weekend, because if they could it wouldn’t be worth that much, nor would it command the rest that it does.
But a student quickly learns to break up that bigger job into many smaller ones. And each one earns them esteem for their accomplishment. And so what is happening here is that self esteem is grown, harvested, and rests upon a solid foundation of success. It isn’t something that disappears when the wind blows.
That self esteem is earned, through effort, hard work, and dedication, and that’s something that no one can take away from you.
So ultimately a student learns that they can take those lessons into their life outside the school of martial arts and they can apply it to any given task or challenge they set for themselves.
Maybe it’s losing weight and getting fit, and living an active lifestyle?
Maybe it’s enhancing their focus and self discipline so they can earn good grades?
Maybe it’s not feeling like a victim of bullying anymore because they can now defend themselves?
There are dozens of reasons a person can take the lessons of self esteem from the martial arts and apply them to their life, in order to enhance their quality of life.
It is proven as fact that virtually every single person who has ever studied the martial arts has found themselves changed, and entered into a more positive and productive state of mind, and state of being, because they have learned a valuable lesson they utilize and apply every day for quality of life.
Success breeds confidence.
And once you learn that you are capable of doing and achieving far more for yourself than you thought possible, you become a force for positive and productive change in life.
You begin to understand you can shape your life the way you want, and not simply be left to the whim of chance or circumstance. You see, one of the secrets of success is that so often people don’t even try to do something because they’ve been told they can’t.
Nobody has ever climbed that mountain so don’t bother trying.
But what if nobody told you couldn’t climb that mountain? What if you just set yourself out to do it?
It’s a profound thought that deserves attention. Our self esteem isn’t based on what people think of us, or anything else, it’s based on what we’ve achieved, and what we know we’re capable of.