I’m like a frickin’ Zen Koan here.
One of my goals for 2011 is to learn to face my Taekwon-do belt tests without fear. *
Usually, right before my test I’m all whacked out, worried that I might mess up, or that I don’t know my stuff or that I might make an ass of myself. I’m trying to let go of that fear, well, to acknowledge it and then let it go because I know that the fear of messing up is far worse than when I actually mess up.
I waste a lot of time on fear. I don’t often let it stop me but I do often let it loop over and over and distract me from more interesting things, and sadly, TKD belt tests are only one of the the things that I fear. The advantage though, is that belt tests are fairly fixed. I know far in advance when they’re going to be and I have a list of things to prepare before I do a test.
It’s ideal, really. A fear-inducing situation where I have a decent measure of control, where preparation will make a definite difference.
So, I’ve been practicing my patterns (Do San is my current one) and reviewing my theory (I know the Training Secrets of Taekwon-do inside out) and I’ve been step-sparring like it’s going out of style (it was never in style, don’t worry, you aren’t behind). I’ve been taking as much control as I reasonably can, and you know what?
I feel good. I’m not afraid for my test on Thursday at all.
Now, come Thursday, I may be scared a bit, but usually I would be getting anxious already. This is huge for me. And even if I get scared on Thursday, that’s a fairly reasonable amount of time to spend thinking about something important to me. I can accept that level of fear as part of the process.
The plan is to translate this into a plan for other fear-inducing situations. I want to bring other worries down to a reasonable size by determining what I can control, planning for that, and then letting the rest go.
How much of a role does fear play in your life? Does it stop you from doing things or have you learned to work around the fear? Or are you out of the fear loop and not get this at all?
Now, on that note, I’m off to do Do San again.
*I just typed feat. Somehow I don’t think that’s going to work.