I have been struggling with my self confidence all my life. As I’ve gotten older I struggle less with what I think other people think of me (trust me, other people don’t think about you as much as you think they do) and more of what I think of myself. This still means I find it difficult to be confident in my abilities and my achievements and my worth.
Tonight in my Taekwondo class, Instructor Mack gave a short talk about loyalty that despite its brevity hit me square in the nose. He talked about how as we get older our goals seem more difficult to achieve and staying loyal to ourselves and keeping our eye on the goal ahead is the only way to get to where we want to be. He reminded us that even though we want and feel as though we should be able to get to our goal right away, sometimes it takes A LOT of work to get there and we have to be willing to be patient, do the work, and – here’s the key: NOT GIVE UP. Whoo! I thought he was following me around today like a ninja spy, because this was exactly what I needed to hear.
After the talk, we all stood up and he walked us through what has been my nemesis so far: a jump roundhouse kick. Like, he wanted us to throw out a round house kick. While jumping. In the air. With both feet off the ground. He prefaced the exercise with “You may feel like this is too much and if you really feel like this is above you, try to do something close to it that works for you.” But I did it. I. DID. IT!!!
I have been working very hard at Taekwondo, trying to do everything that is sometimes hard for me thanks to old injuries…and age. But I give it my all, I work up a sweat, and kihap with all the confidence I can muster. And because of my hard work – and willingness to simply try – I earned both my blue and my red stripes tonight. For anyone who doesn’t know, this means I’ve learned all the skills necessary to graduate to my next level belt. It is such a confidence boost to see all five stripes on my belt tonight. I’m reminding myself that it’s with the help of some amazing instructors, but it’s also because I haven’t given up and I’m willing to do the work, to get both feet off the ground, and do it.
And tonight’s jump round house kick is absolutely a metaphor for all the other seemingly impossible things I want to do that with loyalty to my goal, time, work, and perseverance, I will be able to do.