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Break Through! – The Martial Arts Woman

Do you ever have a day when you wake up and hope that you can just get through the day? Maybe you have something difficult to face, or you don’t want to participate in something, or you know someone is going to be angry or disappointed in you. The thought of it takes your energy away. 

I can relate. I’ve been there over and over again in my life.  I allow every one of those anxious thoughts to consume my brain space on occasion until I realize what is happening. Then, I take the steps – my steps – to remedy it. It is important to remember that we all have different “steps” to disengage from negativity. For me, it takes time. I have to reassess situations, adjust my mindset and encourage myself to continue on. It is human nature to fall into the negativity pit every now and again and none of us is exempt. The important thing is to move forward and let it go, but that is also the most difficult thing. 

Years ago, when I started martial art training, I did not really know what it meant to be a martial artist. I had no idea what being a warrior entails. At that point, I did not really care. I faced each day of my life seeking more, but I had no idea how to  change.

Back then, martial arts intimidated me. I had a fear of failure and a lot of worry about how I was perceived by my instructor and peers. After time, I overcame my fears and persevered, especially at times when I was recognized in class for a well-performed technique.

Still, I didn’t see in myself what others saw in me.

Martial art training helped me overcome the mind games, probably because there is little time to think while training. The physical application of skills and techniques and learning so many things gave me little time to ponder about negative things. That is when I learned one of the biggest lessons of my life: the lack of opportunity I felt was not created by circumstance, but by me. Accepting accountability changed my life. It means that I have control and that is a very freeing idea.

When you recognize that you must build your own success, you suddenly let go of what everyone else thinks. I let go of a few things such as the professor in college who said I wasn’t good enough to be a writer, the manager who whistled at me when I walked past him back in the 1990’s, and the career promises that never came to fruition. I knew that I had to let it all go in order to be the person I am meant to be. Martial arts taught me to be accountable and not place blame and to know that I am responsible for my successes and failures. 

It’s been years since I woke up with any sense of dread about my day. In fact, I made a complete reversal of how I see my life. I wake up with a sense of excitement. I know that if circumstances do not feel right, I can change them. It’s a lot like self-defense. If one defense does not work, try another. Both my heart and my mind now flutter the same truth – I am ready to conquer, achieve, and most importantly, break through to something better.

If you wake up tomorrow or any other day in your life and question who you are, if you arise in the morning wishing the day were already over, or if you feel unsure about your life and your direction, realize that there is nothing wrong with you. You face the same challenges in life as the rest of us. It does not have to stay that way, though.

If you are ready to embrace life differently and more positively, then today is your lucky day.  It is the beginning of your transformation. Change your mindset, dismiss the disgruntled you, and then take the actions that open up well-deserved opportunities. 

That might be all it takes for you to finally…break through.




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