If you can carve a few moments out of your day, then you have the time to make small, positive, and lasting changes that will improve your life in a powerful way. Taking baby steps in something, anything, can lead to big accomplishments and bring you abundant richness in your life. But, how do you get there?
Let’s begin with an analogy of how small monetary change adds up when you save it. One coin after another added to the jar brings additional value and worth to your savings. This concept of “adding to” or “saving up” can happen in your life as well.
How I learned a martial art is a prime example. All my fears in the beginning of my training were eased when I realized that I was not expected to perform every newly taught skill with agility and perfection right from the get-go. I learned that each new skill and technique was like another coin in the jar. One day they would all add up to achievement and advancement in martial arts.
Learning the basics of a kick, or tackling balance issues in katas, was just the beginning. These were the stepping-stones on which I built my entire personal martial art repertoire, and how I earned not just a black belt, but a second degree, during building a family, a career, and an active role as a volunteer. It was a step-by-step approach requiring patience and effort, with great rewards at the end.
The key is that one small achievement can bring you to bigger, better achievements. For me, each step along the way created a pseudo staircase on which I could confidently climb to the next level. You can apply these same concepts to step up the staircase in your life to achieve bigger and better things, too.
In order to be enriched, you need to discard a few issues from your life before all of the positive “coins” can add up. Here are a few to consider:
Insecurity – One of the biggest things that holds people back is insecurity. Insecurities show up in the form of questions that you ask yourself. Do I look okay? Did I spell that right? What if I don’t understand? How will I figure this out? What do they think of me?
There is only one way to combat insecurity and that is to put it to rest once and for all. It does not matter if you make mistakes, have a bad day, or cannot understand every concept presented to you. You will never do everything right, nor will you do everything wrong. You are not unlike anyone else who struggles at different times, but that does not mean that you cannot accomplish or achieve. In order to do so, you need to strip those insecurities away. As mentioned below, do not compare yourself to others, and find a way to eliminate issues that do not allow you to become a more confident person.
Learning a martial art will help you with self-confidence and self-image. Many times, martial arts help people move past their insecurities when they realize that they can learn in small steps, and that they are just as good and worthy as everyone else in class. This translates into life, where they feel better about themselves.
Jealousy – Even when you feel good about yourself, someone comes along and shakes up all your good vibes in a bad way. They suddenly have exactly what you have always wanted. You begin to get angry with them for it, or upset that they are doing well, because it is what you want.
There will always be someone with more, or who seems to be doing better. Stop worrying about what you do not have, and stop worrying about what other people are doing or what they have. Go a step further and love who you are and what you do have. You are special and unique and no one can ever take that from you!
Even when you see 100 martial artists lined up to perform together at an event, each is unique. They may be able to practice completely in unison, but inside, they have different emotions and perspectives on the moment. To be the best they can be, they must focus on their on performance and do the best that they can. Once they look at someone else, they throw the timing off.
They learn that there is no room for jealousy, but all must work together, using their own gifts and talents, in order for the team to succeed. Jealousy hinders team building and it hinders your chance to achieve your hopes and dreams. There is no room for jealousy in a positive and productive life. A good opposite to being jealous of others is to instead have role model whose success you can use for a road map to your own success.
Baggage – If you have some baggage from the past, welcome to the club. I do not think any one of us has lived this far without having a ghost or two still lurking in the closet. A bad past may have been out of your control. It could take many years for you to come to terms with some of your issues. Some may require professional help. You must not allow this baggage from the past to impinge on your life. Turn over a new leaf, or get the help you need, so you can move forward.
Martial arts are a great way to get rid of baggage. They offer a release and a long-term solution for anger, tension, and frustration. They force the mind to move beyond pain, hate, and hurtful damage that has built up for years. Each punch can push those old feelings of embarrassment or insecurity away and brings you a sense of renewal.
My daily journey with martial arts gave me all the mental wealth I needed to finally achieve two black belts even though my life was hectic. Because I accepted and mastered the small steps, I moved upward and onward. I know for a fact that my life changed when I applied the richness of martial arts and positivity to my life.
Your success can be achieved when you apply a step by step approach to your life, too. Remove the obstacles mentioned in this post. In the end, the positive changes that you make in your life will add up, just like new coins continually added to a jar. You will finally recognize that YOU have what many people wish they could have – abundant richness in your life.
This book shares the stories and insights of more than twenty-five women in the martial arts, and how they apply martial arts to their lives.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Andrea F. Harkins is a writer, motivator, life coach, martial artist, and public speaker. She was inducted into the USA Martial Arts Hall of Fame in July, 2017. Her book, The Martial Arts Woman, is now available at themartialartswoman.storenvy.com.