I love physical martial arts exercises. In fact, I think that rigorous exercise over the years allows me to stay active and fit well into my 50s thanks to the muscle memory of the exercise for over 30 years. I’m still flexible and strong and I feel like my aging body isn’t doing … well … all wrong!
Physical practice is not the only thing that exists in my “muscle” memory. My mind learned one or two things along the way. I changed my mind from a woman who based every decision on fear — fear of failure, fear of what other people thought, and fear of not being good enough — to a confident woman. Over the years of martial arts practice, I have found that I have nothing to lose by trying and I can gain everything. Fortunately, I practiced martial arts and tried and learned that I could improve every day and that it just didn’t matter if I failed the first time or if others didn’t support or encourage me. The important thing is that every day of my life I try to be more positive, stronger and more productive.
Never give up
Martial arts also taught me how to overcome. The air in the dojo is full of effort and diligence and learning martial arts creates a situation where you enjoy never have the opportunity to give up. You never think about saying, “I can’t do that,” because when you look around, everyone else is trying without complaining. Your instructor looks at you with confidence. You want to fit in and try still something new becomes the name of the game. You will find that if they can do it, you can do it too. Suddenly you start a new growth in your mind.
I am strong, capable and able to learn. Nothing can stop me now.
You can learn and understand this way of thinking without being a martial artist. Just reading this blog post can be a catalyst for you to take a step back and rethink how you think about yourself. Maybe today is the day when you understand that fear prevents you from being who you really want to be. Taking the first step on a new journey is scary but also exciting! where will it lead How can you build on that every day?
On Friday morning, I am co-moderating the morning talk show The Java Buzz (9:30 EST) on Facebook with two martial arts sisters (https://www.facebook.com/thejavabuzz/). Among other inspiring and fun topics, we talk about coffee, our lives, show Friday flashbacks and play trivial games. We share motivational quotes and observations in my favorite part of the show and explore thoughts about “thinking” and how a positive outlook creates a positive life. We recently talked about how the first step on the stairs begins to climb something higher. You must take steps to make positive changes in your life and achieve your goals, and you must put fear aside and believe in yourself.
The mind of martial arts gives me the courage to go forward. It does not mean that I will be successful in every endeavor, but it allows me to never regret not trying and never to question myself or my ambitions. When I try something new, I can always edit or change it if it doesn’t work out the first time. Or I can choose a new path. There are possibilities for every choice and decision. When I was a white belt, I was on a very low first step. Then I got another belt and moved another step up. Before I could continue, I was at the top of the stairs with a black belt wrapped around my waist for my efforts. No one will ever take that experience from me.
I’m still practicing the physical aspects of martial arts. I love pushing limits with my kicks and tai chi lessons online on Saturday morning. I enjoy teaching martial arts to women who have no martial arts experience. Whether as a student or an instructor, I never forget the importance of positive thinking and why it is so important to take the first step in any endeavor. I never knew I would become a motivator, blogger, podcaster and author. None of this would ever have happened if I had not reduced my fear and taken the first step.
Where are you going?
I’m so excited to see where your journey leads. Never underestimate yourself. You are capable of amazing things!
Links and information:
The book Woman Martial Arts: https://amzn.to/3inNiuQ
Martial arts inspiration for everyone: https://amzn.to/3irRjyy
How to run your own martial arts program: https://amzn.to/3zf0aJB
Podcast The Martial Arts Woman: https://anchor.fm/andrea-harkins
The Martial Arts Woman YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-03avS893n8UJdJNWibeWw
The Java Buzz YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCrLHps-wjzGG2my6diR5L4g