This time of year is especially busy in our martial arts schools. It’s the only time of year we promote people to black belt or higher. When our students test we have a panel of around 20 people that watch along with our Grandmaster (nerve racking) and never has a year gone by where we all didn’t learn something. This year was no exception. As it gets close to the testing date I focus on the students form, are they taking their time, are the moves clear and I watch to see how confident they are. This is where I notice something every year, the students are much harder on themselves then we are. I watch as they perform a move and shake their heads, roll their eyes, or just plain express their frustration when they demonstrate. I remind them, “please, do not show us your frustration.” Well, this did take place none the less and our Grandmaster was quick to catch it. He stopped the the student in the middle of testing and said, “I don’t want your negativity.” “If you’re going to shake your head for all the wrong moves you make then I want you celebrate the great moves as well.”
Wow, think about that. How many times do we point out our mistakes, talk about how we could do better, or focus on what is wrong with our lives? When was the last time we told anyone how good we were at something? We tend to make ourselves so small, yet we are amazing. We down play our greatness and shine out our weakness, when we should be doing the exact opposite. We are each so unique yet we try to express our sameness, fearful of being different. Can you imagine a world where we are all the same? How boring, how sad. We are created different for a reason, each one of us has gifts and talents to share, but if we continue to focus and voice our mistakes, that is what we give to the world. There is enough of that already.
I figure celebrating our good points is long over due. It’s time to tip the scales in the other direction and take advice from our Grandmaster. No one wants to hear our negativity anymore. So if you’re going to continue with self criticism, or focusing on what is wrong in your life, it’s only fair we hear about the good along with it. It’s time to enjoy your successes no matter how small and get excited about what’s going right. Which brings us to our next small change.
Small Change #4
All week focus only on what is going well in your life. Celebrate you and get excited about your everyday.
Catch yourself this week when you complain about something you feel you did wrong or couldn’t measure up to, find something to balance that complaint with a compliment. Celebrate all the wonderful things you do all day long. Get excited about your talents. Keep track of this in a notebook. I reccomend taking a moment at the end of the night and writing down what you celebrated during the day. Writing in a journal keeps you focused on all the things you do have in your life and as you know, what you focus on increases.
Have fun, it’s a perfect week for a celebration!