“[The dagger defence exercise] doesn’t go well. By the time we stop I feel defeated, frustrated and embarrassed.” It doesn’t take long for that embarrassment to turn into humiliation. By nighttime it’s already self-loathing.
Hang on… Self-loathing? Really? Overreacting much? This is stupid.
The problem? My self-confidence is pretty low. Add to that being tired after training, and suddenly the most insignificant little blunder feels like a total embarrassment.
- It gets me down. I’m bound to fail numerous times during this course. It’s unavoidable. If that makes me walk away from every lesson feeling humiliated, then this is not going to be a fun experience.
- It holds me back. The fear of failure actually guarantees failure, as it makes me start second-guessing myself. This results in weak, hesitating attacks and defences.
CAN I DO ANYTHING ABOUT THIS?
Yes. It’s been all too easy for me to excuse my shyness and nervousness by saying “that’s just who I am” and “I’m an introvert, can’t change that”. Be that as it may, I can affect my thoughts, and through them I’ll eventually be able to change my emotions. Hopefully.
I’ve come up with two rules:
- Stop thinking of failure as embarrassment. Every time I cringe at a memory, I’ll halt and remind myself of this. My goal is to learn sword fighting, right? Failures are just steps towards success.
- Stop thinking about yourself. It sounds funny to me that a self-confidence issue is tied to self-centeredness, but I think it’s true. It’s time to realise that the world doesn’t spin around my blunders. Nobody cares. Instead of worrying about how I’m coming across at all times, I’ll focus on giving other people more attention.
I hope that by actively working to keep to these rules, I’ll be able to uproot some of these ridiculous reactions to failure.
Strangely enough I’m not that unhappy about this issue. Sure, it’s inconvinient now, but if I succeed in fighting it I’ll be much easier off later in life. One simply can’t live without failing at things.