Taking the martial arts was one of the best things I could have ever done for myself. It has given me so many rewards that far exceed my ability to articulate.
That said, I will try and articulate one of them.
One of the major gifts it has given me is the strength to stick up for myself in extremely difficult and stressful situations. In fact, I firmly believe I would not have had the inner strength otherwise had I not been in the martial arts. It has been a tremendous source of strength for me.
“Have faith and believe in yourself, have courage, create and always be humble.” — Mr. Paul Mills, 10th Degree Black Belt
I look at my instructors words above and have thought about the many levels this statement can be applied. It’s a rather simple statement, but to me, is one that is very profound.
I look at the first two pieces, having faith and believing in yourself, are essential contributors to help you to develop the third (courage).
In addition to having faith and believing in yourself, here are some additional tips on developing the ability to stick up for yourself:
- Understand you are worth sticking up for.
- Know what is worth sticking up for and what isn’t.
- Start in small, but important, areas.
- Focus on a positive outcome, not what will happen if you fail.
- Know when the time is right. Learn to trust your gut.
- Don’t make excuses for other people’s bad behavior.
- Understand that what you know is not known by many.
- Develop the “don’t worry, I’ll be fine” attitude.
For many, people let others walk all over them be it a boss, coworker, friend, stranger, family member or a spouse. Sometimes we don’t even realize it is happening. However, there are those times where you know all too well it’s happening and you aren’t doing something about it.
Avoid letting yourself get caught in the trap (or what Mr. Mills calls a prison) where you feel helpless you can’t do something about it. The reality is that you can and do have the tools to stick up for yourself.
Remember, the fear in you is always working to stop you from sticking up for yourself. For some, that fear is constantly telling them to just sit there, keep quiet, do nothing, ignore it and it will all go away. However, we all know that this approach isn’t healthy and can, in fact, make things worse later.
Sometimes protecting yourself never involves ever having to lay a hand on anyone. Sometimes the best self defense is to take a stand, stick up for yourself, and stop letting people walk all over you.
How has taking the martial arts helped you stick up for yourself in your everyday life? Share your thoughts in the form of a comment below!