What is Self-Respect?
Defined: proper esteem or regard for the dignity of one's character.
Do you respect yourself?
Answer a few simple questions and see if you could improve from a little focus on gaining some self-esteem.
1. Do you over eat? Or eat because you are trying to escape feelings or worthlessness?
2. Do you neglect your health or appearance because you feel depressed or that you aren't good enough?
3. Do you often focus on your failures?
4. Are you very angry with yourself or considered suicide?
5. Do you ever wish you were better or someone else?
If you answered yes to any of these, you may be in need for a healthy dose of "treating yourself better". Studies have linked low self-esteem to a range of problems.
These include poor school achievement, criminal and violent behaviour; being the victim of bullying; teenage pregnancy; smoking and the use of alcohol and other drugs; dropping out of school; depression; and thoughts of suicide, suicide attempts, and suicide.
The way an individual sees themselves and how they view their accomplishments and failures is important to them. Many are very self critical and see poor performance as a reflection of who they are as a person. As people begin to see themselves negatively, they can sink into depression, overeating, or worse.
So where does martial arts fit in?
Martial arts have been around for centuries and although their original creation was to provide a means of self-defence, other benefits have been recognized and proven.
One method of re-gaining self respect is through accomplishment and allowing yourself to acknowledge your accomplishments. Martial arts are taught in a systematic fashion. While styles and methods may vary from school to school, one thing is always constant.
Everyone was a beginner at some point.
Sound obvious? Well, you are right, it is obvious. But it is something you need to remind yourself at times. Every martial artist begins their training by learning the most basic of moves. As they become proficient and are able to put these new abilities to use, they are then taught more and more techniques as they travel a road to promotion through the ranks.
You will be amazed.
As you progress and learn more skills, techniques, and abilities you will be astonished at what you are now able to do. It really is an invigorating feeling when you master your new abilities and are able to perform them in live situations.
It's then, at that moment, that you will believe. You will see that your work has paid off, and that you are capable of more and better things. You begin to see yourself differently; you begin to walk a bit taller with more of a strut in your step.
Belief in one's self is important. Having confidence and knowing you can simply changes your perception on life. You approach tasks differently, find success, and suddenly you are no longer afraid of failure.
How else can martial arts help?
Well, one of the biggest contributors to low self-esteem is being overweight, or a lack of physical fitness. Fortunately, martial arts conditioning is one of the best benefits of martial arts there is. You will become more flexible, stronger, faster, and leaner. You will increase your stamina, balance, and focus. All martial arts styles focus heavily on physical conditioning because without the conditioning, performance is hindered. Your instructors will push you, mentor you, critique you, help you, motivate you, and do what is necessary to provide you the tools to become healthier, happier, and successful. That's their job.