Whether you are lifelong martial arts practitioner or a novice just starting your journey you probably have or will at one point during your progression encounter stumbling blocks in either inability to perform a technique, remember a kata or even worse through the introduction of an injury. How we respond to these moments of frustration and disappointment depends entirely on our mindset and objectives. I have seen students who have the natural talent and look to one day become great martial artist give up on their path once they encounter the first stumbling stone. I have also seen the development of students who may have initially lacked the physical talent but had the mental fortitude to keep trying and learn from their mistakes, in turn becoming better martial artists as the weeks and months progress.
How you react to your setbacks makes all the difference in the world, one should expect to trip along the way and learn to pick him or herself up while also taking the time to think about why they tripped in the first place. By examining our setback we can learn from our mistakes and or understand our weaknesses while continuing our journey of positive development, this action is what I call turning stumbling stones into stepping stones. Reaching out for help from a more experienced practitioner or your instructor is also a great way to get you out of a rut and insure you continue to progress, you should be prepared to use every tool at your disposal to help you along your journey. Keeping a positive attitude during your journey will be the key to insuring you become the best martial arts practitioner you can be, don’t let don’t let a temporary barricade become your demise.
In the words of Bill Phillips:
“As I see it…the ability to achieve a successful transformation in any and every area of your life relies on your ability to take what others see as barricades and turn them into bridges.”
Your mental attitude will determine if your setback becomes something that takes you off of your martial arts journey forever or simply a temporary setback that can be overcome through mental discipline, courage and shear tenacity.