How to gain confidence from failure

word of month character

We must try to remember that failure and the suffering that follows can be a wonderful gift to our children. We have to believe and have faith that they can handle it without falling apart. The bottom line is that we need to have confidence in our children and their capabilities of greatness maybe even in areas that surprise us.
Children are born with self-confidence. They will maintain this confidence as long as we as parents and teachers do not bring up their failures and mistakes. We would never have thought to have said to our one year old, “You failed at walking again!” It is not fair to the child to not allow them the room to have internal dialogue and to explore what really happened and how they can do better next time.
What does this have to do with martial arts? In our martial arts training not everything is going to come easy. We are not going to be perfect the first time we try something. In fact we may fail many times before we get it right. So many times when we are teaching jumping rope, a child will struggle for a very long time and then all of a sudden it comes together for them. I love it when I ask them, “How did you do it?” and they just blurt out “I Practiced”. Practice has a way of building confidence. Not just the repetition over and over, but rather the careful study in practice of what is working and what is not and then making the adjustments.
If we allow our children the opportunity to practice this way the lessons they will learn will be life long ones.

Making choices responsibly

word of month character

Winston Churchill once said;  “The price of greatness is responsibility.”  But have you ever known someone who wants the power and glory and wants to be in charge, but as soon as something goes wrong does not want to take responsibility for anything?  We saw this on a large scale in the past few months with the economic crisis here in the United States.

The same thing happens in our individual homes and families too.  One thing that will always be true is that the choices we make today will affect us not just today but many times for years to come.  That is why I continue to emphasis to our students not to think about not doing something because they might get in trouble – but rather because the choices we make have a long term affect on us and we want to do what is  right because it is right.

The way we deal with choices and responsibility affects our ability to be a leader in our family or in government.  When we blame others, we give up our power to affect change.  Dealing with choice and consequences responsibly impacts our ability to be a leader.