The Black Belt Tests of Life
Written by Aaron Ridenour, Psychotherapist
Confidence. Determination. Honor.
Most people probably wouldn’t ever want to experience a two plus hour black belt test. Why would they? It involves a lot of memorization, sweating, breaking boards, fatigue, and at one point or another, someone is trying to punch or kick you in the face. Oh yeah, and while you’re doing this, everyone is watching you--and only you. You are in the spotlight for over two hours. Not exactly anyone’s definition of a good time. Now at this point, if your anxiety isn’t already heightened, let’s throw in another component:
Sometimes we all permit our weaknesses or disabilities to control the outcome of whether or not we achieve our dreams. Why do we do this to ourselves? Knowing our weaknesses isn’t meant to stop us from reaching our goals--it helps us address the steps to overcome them.
A couple years ago, one particular student successfully completed his journey to black belt. Nothing could describe the hard work he dedicated to achieving this one goal that meant so much to him. Countless hours were spent in practice, which oftentimes involved frustration, minor injuries, and feelings of failure and hopelessness. And yet, through all of this, these obstacles only made his success all the greater. He could have easily said, “I have a disability and I can’t do this,” but he didn’t. He faced his weaknesses so that he could rise above them.
It is only when we stumble that we truly learn how to stand.
The fact of the matter is this: we can ALL do hard things. Are we going to get knocked to the ground sometimes? Yes. Are we going to get back up? That’s for each of us to decide.
We all have different forms of black belt tests to go through during our lifetime. What are you prepared to do about it?
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