Managing Disappointment

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Managing Disappointment

Remember that the study of traditional martial arts is a journey and not a destination. A journey that takes time, patience, and hard work. There are times within one’s journey that there are highs and lows. Sometimes the practitioner feels on top of the world with their successes and then sometimes they feel that progress is slow and frustrating. At that point, frustration can occur.

If one stays for any extended length of time in the martial arts, there will be failures. Yes, failures. There will be times when one’s performance in challenging classes is not up to what the student would like, or what he feels he should be reaping as a result of his efforts and time. When a failure occurs, the student might feel cheated or he might feel that something was taken from him that he deserved. The most counterproductive thing a student can do is blame everyone and everything for his failure. If he fails a rank examination, he actually justifies the no-change by this thinking which is unfortunate for him. This poisonous thinking can effect his continued training and his outlook on his instructor(s) and peers. For some, this is the beginning of the end of their training.

Examinations are not only a time to test one’s skill, but to also test one’s mental resolve. If he fails an exam, is he going to use the experience as a learning tool and go back to dojang training with a better idea of what he needs to work on to improve. Or is he going to choose the easy way which could be acting like a baby, gossiping to other students about how it “wasn’t run right”, or just quitting his training. Which creates a pattern of behavior that could spill over into other areas of his life now and in the future?

If a student competes in a tournament, he must realise that judges have different perspectives and every effort, in 99.9% of cases, is made to make the matches “fair”. If you loose, then stand up straight and bow out with dignity and respect when the match is over. Go back to the dojang with an idea of what you need to work on. When your instructor handed out explicit tournament preparation plans, did you do what was on the plan? Did you practice fervently the methods that were given to you? Did you make the wrong choices such as watching playing on computers, gaming stations?…did you not practice?

Mentally, physically, and emotionally getting through exams and tournaments prepare you for other challenging situations in life. If you were ever attacked in the street, are you training in such a way that you could put the skills that are shown to you to work in a life or death situation?

The martial artist must bear in mind and heart that his training is a process and that he can learn more from losses than successes. Remember that success is built on failure and perseverance is the essence of success.

5 Steps To Dealing With Disappointment 

It’s easy to lose motivation when these kinds of things happens and you could even start to think “what’s the point?”  But often disappointment gives us an opportunity to make some changes for the better, to show us that what we’re doing isn’t working and helps us realise how much something means to us.

Step 1: Accept what has happened

Be upset in the moment and fully experience the emotions that you are feeling, don’t ignore or downplay this as it is very important to deal with what you are feeling.

Step 2: Don’t dwell on the past

Once you’ve dealt with the emotion and let it out then try to move on as soon as possible. Don’t dwell on things in the past for too long because remember you can’t change the past.

Step 3: Use setbacks as opportunities

Setbacks and disappointment are inevitable in anything worthwhile achieving so expect them. Instead we can use them as ways to learn, improve and better yourself as a result.

Often setbacks can give us extra motivation and drive to work harder and come back even stronger.

Step 4: Change your perspective

There are always at least two ways to view things so try to take the positive out of every situation no matter how bad it is. There is always a positive perspective in everything, sometimes you just have to look for it.

Step 5: Set future objectives

Remember that just because you’ve experienced a setback now, it doesn’t mean you won’t be successful in future so don’t ever give up at the first hurdle.

It is those who keep getting up over and over again that succeed. To make this easier you can set yourself new objectives and things to work towards that can drive you forward.