Have you ever heard any of these lines? Stay true to who you are. Do not bend to those who push you in a direction that is not perfect to you. Do not allow others to influence you and the path you believe is right. Fight for your rights and let the power of you, fuel you! Do not yield! Don’t ever give up!
If you follow these guidelines, you may be limiting yourself and those around you! Sometimes, you win when your opponent wins. What??! Does that create an emotional response within you? I hope so. Many students begin training in martial arts looking to develop their self-confidence which helps improve decision making, seek quality friends, select proper career paths and generally feel empowered. That’s “good” self-confidence. A misconception of confidence is that it is unyielding and should always result in success. The desire to always succeed creates a feeling of entitlement and egotism. We currently see this malignant expectation throughout our society and even within our leaders. That’s overconfidence.
I think it is important to acknowledge you don’t have to win every fight to be a champion. You don’t have to win every argument to be successful. You don’t have to dominate every situation to be the winner. Some of the most successful people in the world were first great listeners, who the rest of the world mistook as weakness, until their brilliance was ultimately realized. “Most of the successful people I’ve known are the one who do more listening than talking” -Bernard Baruch.
Confidence does breed success, but it isn’t required that you win every challenge to be confident. In fact, you may convey confidence in how you lose. Gracefully or graciously conceding conveys your willingness to work with others and that you understand and respect their point of view or intentions. By not demanding that they give in to your way of thinking, you demonstrate a comfort level with yourself and your beliefs. My job is to help our students understand this by preparing them to accept different instruction techniques, different opinions, and diversity within our student population.
I often explain the expectation of how we win and how we lose in Kyuki-do. We grow by keeping a level head; not over-reacting to success or failure and keeping an open mind. We all gain experience and growth by learning to respectfully disagree and work through our differences. In my dojang, we teach how having empathy can make us the winner, even when we don’t prevail in the current situation. With every voluntary willingness to “lose” you grow and learn, while the opposing opinion or position has simply moved on or maybe learned to appreciate you. Whoa…deep. The loser respects you? Maybe not right away, but in time I’ve noticed people of entirely opposing opinions or lifestyles can get along and function respectfully together! Isn’t that the world you want to live in?
“Be willing to lose a battle in order to win the war.” – H. Jackson Brown Jr.
Have you ever thought of a conversation or situation well after it has ended – and wished you had thought of that perfect “comeback” or perfect winning argument? I know I have. One last quality of a real winner is the ability to accept defeat politely and respectfully, while pivoting to prepare for the next challenge with all you have learned. The ability to voluntarily concede a debate can allow you to better understand your own beliefs and get a grasp on the beliefs of your opposition. Learning to be patient and tolerant teaches you how to share your message and make you more convincing.
“The word LISTEN contains the same letters as the word SILENT.” – Alfred Brendel
Experience is powerful and is built on some success and more failure. Find joy in gaining experience, not only in the outcome. Gain confidence with the correct attitude without the perception of success or failure. Take the right approach and accept the long-term plan of your position – while keeping an open mind and an empathetic approach to every obstacle.
“When you talk you are only repeating what you already know. But if you listen, you may learn something new.” -Dalai Lama
Are you ready to win from failure?