One of my Sensei’s told me, you have to lose to truly appreciate the great feeling of winning. That stuck with me. He was only talking about a camp game, with a bunch of kids, but I walked away from that conversation with a new outlook on everything I had failed.
My recent failure was in June at my Black Belt grading, right then and there, no waiting, no sugar coating, no hand holding. Of course I was disappointed, mainly in myself, for not completing an important goal I had set. The biggest test of all, and I do mean the BIGGEST…was having everyone congratulate me and hug me and say how awesome I did, and then for me to hold myself together and say Thank You and continue on.
The world continues and I still attended my karate classes, and still talked to parents and friends, and slowly the news was spreading that the grading did not turn out so well for some people. I had a few choices, I could get outraged and blame it on something, life, my friends, my family, I could ignore the comments; or I could use this opportunity as a tool for myself and others to learn from. Students afraid of failure can now look at me and say, well she failed her grading and she still trains, she still LOVES coming here.
What kind of message is that sending? If you work hard, you get hard working results…it’s if you work hard and fail, you get up and work even harder. I know that when I do pass my grading, I will appreciate the feeling in a whole different way after having lost it.
Over 17 years at the Dojo and I still learn something every single day.
Angela Gougeon – Second Degree Black Belt – Central Brampton Academy of Martial Arts