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Mar 192015

“Ugh…I will NEVER get this!”  says most every karate student at some point (usually after hitting the floor a few times).

We are often our own worst critics. When a student starts making faces after just two attempts at a new technique, I’ll frame the situation to them like this, “If you haven’t mastered this technique in 45 seconds, you probably never will. We all know that if at first you don’t succeed, you won’t EVER so why try? It’s probably best you just give up now” (all said with a wry smile and comical tone). They then see the absurdity in getting frustrated with themselves after just a few attempts.

Most of us have probably ran into this with other people. They have an expectation set high (which is good) but are trying to reach it too fast. Does our own self-chastisement keep us from getting back up to try again? It’s heavy and can keep us down…if we let it.

There is a Japanese saying: oshi shinobu osu. Roughly translated, I understand it to mean, “be patient with yourself and with others.” The “patience with others” part seems far easier than the “patience with self ” part. If you are reading this blog, it’s likely you have a competitive bent to your personality thus you can relate. Also, you are likely goal-oriented and set them high.

What would it be like to be as patient with ourselves as we are with others? What would that do to our stress level? How would that change our evaluation of our worth?

p.s. Personally, I’m doing better at being patient with myself but sometimes still grunt, “Ugh…I will NEVER get this!”


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