it’s all about believing in yourself

Taking Black Belt and Beyond

Everyone should be nervous, this is not unusual and shows that you care about what you are going to undertake and achieve. Often sleepless nights and negative self talk are experienced by everyone. But when we say we are nervous, are we actually nervous or is it our mental approach towards it?

But what is the underlying cause of this nervous feeling? Anxiety is common in most people, is it the thought of failing yourself, your sensei or being judged negatively by others that may be watching or your training peers?

How do we overcome these feelings? After all they are normal but they can also become disabling to individuals often causing us to make mistakes or become injured.

So to feel anxious before the big event is normal and should be accepted as that. There is no need to beat yourself up over these feelings as they only compel you to think negatively of yourself. So once you’ve accepted it, the next step is to work on ways to reduce or eliminate such feelings. So to change how we manage it will require us to change our approach to it.

1. Are you anxious or excited? Your sensei has decided you are ready to grade, you have completed rigorous progress tests and spotlight check. You’ve had days, weeks, months, years working towards this time. You have to believe you have a right to be here, you’ve earnt a space on that mat. Remember performing any form of martial arts under stress is what it is all about, the anxiousness will be the same feeling you get if you are ever attacked for real. The only difference here is that when starting grading only a small amount of adrenaline is released whereby when you are attacked a large amount is released.
2. More positive talk and humour – If we continuously adopt negative self talk, we will become to believe this. If you actually vocalise them out loud to yourself or a friend you will be dumbfounded to see that they aren’t anywhere as bad or true! Reframing the way you put these thoughts or talking through them and remembering all the fun bits of training you’ve had will make you see that.

When I went into competitions I learnt that that you have to surround yourself with the right people, the ones that will build you up not bring you down. I learnt it is best to eliminate the people who don’t build you up, as the negativity can have a huge effect on you mentally and physically. I believe self talk is important too. However human nature is prone to negative talk but this can be harmful it can disable or paralyze you, but over time I’ve learnt that you have to treat yourself like you’re your own best friend in order to believe in yourself! So start doing that today… start believing in you and be kind to yourself! Oossahh!!