Have you ever stopped to wonder why you fear what you do? Some people are scared of leaving their houses (agoraphobia), some are scared of spiders (arachnophobia), and some people are scared of germs (germophobia). But why do people fear these things? What about bigger fears? Like fear of failure, fear of humiliation, fear of rejection, fear of making a mistake? What do you fear? But more importantly, why do you fear it?
When we were children, it’s highly likely that our favorite word was “no.” Maybe we didn’t know what it actually meant (early on) but it’s fun to say, and it made our parents make those funny faces of defeat and desperation. But when we grew up, saying “no” became less fun and more likely to get us in trouble. And those faces of defeat and desperation turned into faces of incredulity and “you’re grounded” looks. We never learned the right way to say it.
Have you ever experienced someone who made you feel like you were doing everything wrong? Like you could never please them, like their expectations changed without warning, or like everything is always your fault? Did it end up making you think you might be insane? Don’t worry—you’re not. That person is probably just a narcissist.
I don’t know if it’ll come as a huge surprise, but I am a procrastinator. It’s also known as being a perfectionist. When I took Ruth Soukup’s Fear Assessment, my top three archetypes were 1) People Pleaser, 2) Procrastinator, and 3) Rule Follower. Out of those three the last two I knew about, but the first one makes sense when I think about it. Nevertheless, procrastination has been a part of my life for what seems like forever.
Kids are mean. Adults can be meaner. We all probably had to deal with bullies while growing up. I did. My bullies wore faces of silent exclusion and judgment on the school playground, in the gym during PE, and in math class when I raised my hand to answer most of the questions. My bullies were family members. They were girls I thought were my friends in elementary and high school. Boys who called me “freak” when lined up for a fire drill on the soccer field.
Ignoring bullies carries a high price, especially among the younger demographic. When I was much younger my parents enrolled my sister and me in karate, but neither of us stayed with it for long.
I wish I had. I wish my parents had put us through jiu-jitsu and encouraged us to keep with it regardless of the rollercoaster of emotion that accompanies childhood.
But martial arts, regardless of how cool they are, are not the only way to protect yourself against bullies.
A lot of it comes down to emotional protection, boundaries, knowing when to walk away, and knowing when to get help.