How many times do we hear……….. “I can’t do it”… “It’s too difficult / impossible”… “I’ll never”… “why can she / he do it”… “It’s not fair”…………. As adults we all recognise these phrases, often coming from (disgruntled) workplace colleagues unhappy with their lot in life. Usually the culprits are ‘the worker bees’ rather than from those in a managerial position.
Green eyed monsters are everyone. The people who won’t put in enough effort to improve their skills and worth to their employers or those that think society owes them a living and a decent one at that. Martial Arts practitioners are sadly often exactly the same.
Most practitioners of Martial Arts find learning their art challenging, regardless of whether they are learning Karate, Taekwondo, Kung Fu or Kickboxing for example. It’s not meant to be easy to learn the techniques in any depth, yes there are some shortcuts, namely having an experienced teacher and training properly and consistently, but the biggest shortcut of all…. Don’t ever give up trying to be the best you can be.
We probably need to take a step back into our childhood to find the origins of the mentality “I can’t do it.” Usually the adult is telling the child “You can’t do that” this is further reinforced at school with the teachers telling the kids “You can’t do that.” So by the time the poor youngster is a teenager, they have been brainwashed into thinking “I can’t / won’t be able to do that” So by the time we become adults, the vast majority of us will follow the herd and also “Won’t be able to do that.”
There are a small number of people who break this conditioning. They are the people that see opportunities that others do not AND then through self-belief, commitment, determination and sheer hard work deliver the opportunity, in business terms, they have a special title. They are called entrepreneurs. Have you heard of them, people like Bill Gates or Donald Trump or closer to home with Alan Sugar, James Dyson or Richard Branson. Each and every-one an entrepreneur who fought and overcame adversity to become successful and then once successful through their own self-belief, drive and hard work, stay successful.
So we should act in our Martial Arts practice. Rather than focussing on the problem or what we can’t do, focus on the solution to overcome the problem and keep working on it until we achieve the results that we deserve. All the time we need to continue to foster a mental ‘can do’ attitude by visualising ourselves performing that perfect technique, each and everytime we do the move. Imagery of ourselves in a positive light can make a real difference to what we achieve, if we use it as a tool, both frequently and persistently.
Think about the little Pussy cat looking at itself in the manner, it sees a magnificent Lion. Do you?
The only time you fail is when you give up trying.
Written by Bryan Andrews
19th March 2011.