“In martial arts, one of the main goals is to build confidence and self-esteem in students. People are often confused about how self-esteem is created. As parents, we have all been in the position to praise our kids and tell them how great they are doing. It’s natural because we are so proud that they are our children. These positive affirmations and building blocks make kids feel good about themselves. However, real self-esteem comes as a result of confidence with competence.”
I grew up in a martial arts school. My dad, the head instructor, wrote the quote above years ago and I still think about it to this day. I wonder how my self-esteem was shaped. How confident of a person was I when I first started my martial arts lessons?
I don’t think I started with very high self-esteem. I was always worried that I wasn’t good enough or that I wasn’t trying hard enough. Martial arts changed that for me. It’s a different story for every person, but performing in front of people did it for me. I loved showing off to my parents and my friends at belt graduations. The music would be pumping and I would put on a show...kicking as high as possible, screaming at the top of my lungs. That takes work.
The work is what helped build my self-esteem. I was never late to class. I practiced in front of the mirror like my life depended on it. I saw the other kids in class kicking higher than me, but I didn’t let it get me down. I just concentrated on how I could be better. Eventually my confidence levels soared and I couldn’t wait to get on the floor and show off my skills.
You may find that things are difficult sometimes. You may start feeling bad about yourself. We’re going to push through. We’re going to persevere. Repeat after me: I BELIEVE IN MYSELF! I BELIEVE IN MYSELF!