The Importance of Self-Esteem for a Martial Arts Student
Self-esteem means, having a positive impression of and respect for yourself and a positive feeling about yourself. Webster's dictionary defines it as "a confidence and satisfaction in one self... belief in oneself [and] self-respect." As you know through your own experience, it is easier to have a positive impression of yourself when you look good and feel good. Self-esteem affects everything we do in our lives. Students who have strong self-esteem are more likely to succeed in school, or at any goals they set. Healthy self-esteem promotes a positive "Yes, I can!" attitude.
It is a proven fact that people who feel good about themselves, produce positive results. Thus, when you grow strong character and self-esteem, you will doubtless become a successful and happy adult.
Therefore, self-esteem is all-important for success in life. Creating high self-esteem is what good Martial Arts programs and good Martial Arts instructors do for you. They build self-esteem by treating you and other students with the respect you deserve, while requiring proper discipline from you. As Zig Ziglar puts it, you need to become a "good finder." That means, searching for the good things that other people are doing. When we begin to focus on the positive, we begin to become part of the solution, rather than the problem. When we build self-esteem in others, we build our own self-esteem, because it's impossible to sincerely help others without feeling better ourselves.
Therefore, the Martial Arts not only reinforces achievement, but also effort. By focusing on the process, goals come upon us more quickly. It rewards the process, as well as the goal achievement, because learning how to be persistent is important to real success. Overweight kids who lost a few pounds through self-discipline and exercise by practicing Martial Arts, gain terrific amounts of self-esteem and confidence. Smart kids who are not challenged enough at school, learn to set higher goals in the Martial Arts and reach another level of their potential. Wild kids, who are unable to focus, learn to stay on track and channel their energy in a more positive direction. Timid children are brought out of their shell through the persuasive zeal of the Martial Arts.
As it happens, achieving positive self-esteem is a daily job. You need to keep at it diligently, overcoming obstacles thrown in your way now and then. When you learn Martial Arts, it helps you to overcome the daily negative influences that eat at your self-esteem. When you earn your Belts, they give you a great sense of accomplishment that improves the way you feel about yourself.
Thus, self-esteem is largely based on your self-worth. If you, as a Martial Arts student, feel capable, able, and confident, then you enjoy a healthy self-esteem. Martial arts training build self-esteem by providing small challenges that build incremental successes. As you improve in your training, you learn that you can overcome the challenges. To have "mojo" means to feel "potent" with high self-esteem. The "dojo" is the place where Martial Arts is taught. This parallel is fitting, considering the very high value the Martial Arts places upon creating self-esteem in the individual.