You’re not ready. You’re not good enough. You’re not worthy of your rank. You’ll never achieve anything.
These are just thoughts in your head. Just words passing through your mind. They mean nothing. And yet we get so caught up in these thoughts that they start to become reality.
When we buy into these thoughts, we stop doing the very things that can prove these thoughts wrong. We think, “I’m not worthy of my rank.” So we start training less, or with less intensity and intention. And our training suffers. And our abilities decline. And then sure enough, all the evidence supports this thought that we are indeed not worthy of that rank.
We think, “I’m not ready to start competing.” So we avoid competition. And then our anxiety over competing gets bigger and bigger. And then sure enough, that anxiety seems to be clear evidence that we are not ready to compete.
We experience random thoughts all the time. And most of them come and go without us paying much attention to them. But some of them are particularly charged in some way, either positive or negative. They make us feel good, or they make us feel bad, but they definitely make us feel something. And so we engage with those thoughts. We pay attention to them. We focus on them. We fight them. We deny them. Whatever the content of the thought, and however we engage with that thought (whether we hold onto it or push it away), the very act of paying attention to those thoughts is what gives them fuel and keeps them thriving.
We give those thoughts our time, energy, and attention; those thoughts build up momentum; and those thoughts then become beliefs. And they start to seem very very real.
And then they have power to shape our lives, for better or worse. And they do.
We avoid competition. We slack off in our training. We quit martial arts entirely. We avoid doing the very things that will prove those thoughts wrong.
But we do need to prove those thoughts wrong. We need to stop giving so much power to these thoughts that have no business ruling our lives. We need to stop giving so much energy and attention to thoughts that do not serve us. Because they are, truly, just thoughts. That is all they are.
And yes, right now those thoughts are pretty freaking loud in our heads. But that’s only because we’ve been giving them power for so long. Once we practise not engaging with those thoughts—and this does take practise—they will get quieter and quieter over time. And when they get quieter—as a result of us deliberately not giving them our attention—we will start to see how insignificant those thoughts actually are.
If you think you’re not ready to do something, you need to do it.
If you think you’re not ready to compete, you need to sign up for a competition.
If you think you’re not good enough to pass a belt test, you need to perform that belt test.
If you think you’re not good enough to start martial arts, you need to start training in martial arts.
You need to take action.
You are good enough, you are ready, and you can do this! Take action and prove those thoughts wrong.
Podcast Show Notes
“You’re not ready.” “You’re not good enough.” “You’re not worthy of your rank.” “You’ll never achieve anything.” These are just thoughts in your head. They mean nothing, and yet we get so caught up in these thoughts that they start to seem real. Join me in this latest episode in a discussion of the power of thoughts to shape our reality, and of how we can take back control so that we can stop stagnating and improve our lives for the better.
Thank you for joining me on my martial arts journey, and in the exploration of all the ways we can perform better in life and martial arts.
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