Lessons Under Pressure
It is testing time at our Krav Maga Academy here in Grand Rapids. It is a time that we ramp our training up in preparation for the upcoming test. It is a time of hard work, sweat, perseverance, discipline, commitment to yourself and the task you have chosen to work toward. People will have a chance to test their limits, and face uncertainties & fears, not just physically, but on a much deeper level than most realize. The true test isn't physical, it comes on the mental / emotional level. The physical aspects of the test are just the method of injecting the other lessons. It is a way to put enough pressure on the individual to be able to learn things about themselves that might not be apparent without a certain amount of stress.
I've noticed over the past few weeks that some students who have engaged in sparring with people who have more skill then they do have succumb to a victim's mentality. With every strike that their opponent lands on them and every failed attempt that they deliver, their perspective erodes into frustration, doubt, fear and hesitation. Soon some are thinking things like:
I'll never be good enough!
Everyone is better than I am!
If this was real I would never be able to defend myself!
I'll probably fail my test!
I will let down my fellow students and my instructor!
That bastard, why did he even have me test? Just to be humiliated?
I should just quit!
I'm to busy to do this right now... Too much going on in my life.
This is crap only if I were: Taller, Bigger, Younger, In Better Shape, More Athletic, Had More Experience, etc, etc.
The thoughts creep in like a thief in the night, quietly sneaking in stealing your confidence and shifting your focus; replacing your perspective of empowerment to that of a victim.
Learning to deal with this mental shift is a large part of tests like this. The delivery mechanism is physical, but the lessons are so much more profound if you have the right perspective.
Let's look at a victim's perspective vs. an empowered perspective:
The focus is on:
- The Problem
- Their Emotions
- Their Limitations (What they can't control)
An Empowered (PeaceWalker) Perspective:
The focus is on:
- Solutions / The big picture
- Options (What they CAN control)
- Action (What's the Next Step)
Practice embracing and using the PeaceWalker's Empowered Perspective and see how your world changes. I'll give you a hint: When YOU change, you'll notice your world changes when you put things into perspective. Understand that learning a skill is a Process! Look for small victories as well as areas that you still need to work on. Practice!
When you find yourself facing things that overwhelm and threaten you whether in a class, for a test or in real life, try to take time to breathe, relax, let go for a moment to think of the above steps.
And most of all Keep Going!
All the best,