Anything you can do once, you can do again better. Learning to invest through failure.
Confidence is experience, and experience is born through repetitive practice.
We live in a fast paced world, information and tasks are completed as quickly as possible.
The speed in which we are expected to complete tasks, (in the modern world), does not always allow for reflection and absorption.
As a result, sometimes we may find that when revisiting the same problem a second time, we are not attacking it with useful information gleaned from the previous occasion in mind – we may not be approaching the problem with the level of confidence we should, as we have not taken the time to process and bank the previous experience intelligently.
Without filtering and prioritising positive knowledge gained from unsolved problems, we run the risk of dwelling on the mishaps.
Negative mind-sets relating to learning new skills can prevent us from considering that we may need to tackle a problem from a different angle with a fresh approach.
Shying away from the potential to fail and change is not useful – it can become a self-imposed block. It is not healthy for individuals to build internal dialogue or a perception of personal capabilities, based on minor failures or the worry of failure itself.
Failure is only the result, if you fail and stop. When you fail and try again, failure becomes part of a growth process.
Self-doubt or an unwillingness to try new things, blocks action and interaction necessary to attain and achieve all things new.
This type of behaviour can inhibit learning, and in a broader sense, place strain on relationships and stunt personal growth.
Failure and deliberation, should be understood as intrinsic to success. A call to action, a challenge still to be met.
Rather than build a culture of avoidance based on experiences that did not meet our preconceived expectations, we should be open to chance, both failure and success – and willing to try consecutively, to create opportunities for modification and growth.
Some of the best things that ever happened to me, happened whilst taking a chance.
I can tell you first hand that the positives greatly outweigh the negatives, especially when being self-reliant, creating change, and when addressing similar themes with friends or students that echo a time that harboured failure on my part before I could manoeuvre into success.
Fear of judgement or failure is presently magnified by a society that shares its self so readily via social media.
With so much self-imposed attention we can create a great deal of stress and apprehension.
Concerning new activities, requirements, and choices, it is easy for people get caught up in thinking about a process, or making assumptions about a result before they experience it for themselves.
It is also very easy (and sometimes lazy) to be guided by ideas held as popular opinion.
Just because an idea or opinion is popular, does not mean its foundations are imbedded in truth or practicalities. Most importantly, if these ideas do not stem from our personal experience, they are but borrowed assumptions.
It is useful to qualify external opinions before they are accepted as truths, because sometimes they have nothing to do with the actuality of an activity or event.
Sometimes external opinions and ideas do not relate to the capacity of an individual to be successful at a ‘thing’. People are complex creatures. We are all very different.
Self-knowledge rather than borrowed knowledge is firmness of mind.
To be truly confident, you must carry your own set of experiences.
Doing things is testing, exploring, refining.
When faced with a problem, without ‘doing’ something, personal growth is on hold. Conclusion is slow. Letting people do things for you, does not make you better at doing them yourself.
Collecting popular opinions belonging to others rather than trying things ourselves can stifle an individual’s potential and their capacity to do and be something new.
Today when most people say ‘I think’, what they actually mean is ‘I read’ or ‘somebody told me’. This is not thinking.
It is always useful to distinguish between retention and reflection.
It takes great honesty to divide the opinions we built from an external source and opinions we built through practice and reflection.
When running this process, we become much more aware of what we truly know, and what we do not. It highlights the importance of doing things for ourselves.
We have to recognise borrowed from built, assumed from earnt, belief from ascertained.
Confidence is self-knowledge through practice, and practice is confidence in self-knowledge.
Society is bombarded with so much information, that it has become very difficult for people to differentiate between information that is useful and information that is not.
Sometimes physical/practical indulgence with the goal of knowledge in mind, can draw a very quick conclusion, eradicate confusion, and provide concise timely answers for the doer.
It is useful to be this way inclined.
Having swathes of information fed to us constantly, leaves us very little time to process the important things concerning the relationships, interactions and skills most pertinent to our day to day.
Information may expand our knowledge base, but our confidence, through lack of focused action, may be left to stagnate.
Thinking is a function used to produce choice, and choose you must.
You have to ‘pick’ – Yes or no. Now or later. Left or right. Without exacting choice little happens in accord with our desires. External influences are usually imposed upon you.
It is always better to ‘pick’ than to never pick at all.
Not exacting choice is like being in a boat and throwing your oars overboard – you end up at the mercy of the river, how things pan out is anybody’s guess. This is not a predicament we should feel confident about.
Thinking is used for direction. It is utilised to create change, but the thinking process is not ‘us’.
It is there to present us with choices.
The German word for character is Persönlichkeitsmuster. The literal translation is ‘people pattern’. A ‘people pattern’ is an excellent way to perceive human character.
When we embark upon ‘chance’ it is fleeting, in that the choice I made yesterday is not necessarily the same choice I will make today.
Unless the decision is repeated many times it is not my habit (pattern), so should not be qualified as an integral part of my character. Understanding and remembering this reduces self-limitation and judgement. It provides you space to grow.
Taking chances, and learning to calculate risk or occurrence, always work to empower future choices regardless of the result, as long as you remember to draw from that experience, and employ self-knowledge to navigate future events.
The more choices we make, the more well-rounded our set of experiences to draw from.
Through this repetition, the more confident we become in our discernment.
There is no problem in failure unless we are incapable of learning from it, or stretching beyond it.
We have to differentiate and utilise two processes: (thinking and doing), and understand how they are inexplicably linked.
Imagination and choice are two extremely powerful tools.
Imagination is the ‘what if’ function. Choice is the aspect of differentiation and direction.
The result of action is discernment and (potentially), the chance of improved future experiences on the condition that we do not attach emotionally to a singular event. We must repeatedly indulge in chance without an expectation of failure or success until we are in a position to either acquire or create a functional habit that is firmly grounded in a high percentage success rate.
The only way to achieve this is to do things many times.
This is the underlying theme of hard work.
This is the underlying theme of Kung Fu.
Wing Chun helps us to identify with, and cultivate, our doing aspect.
It teaches ebb and flow, bend and stretch.
Dealing in violence, you are working a very dangerous problem in minimal timeframe.
The problem of violently controlling someone before they violently neutralise you is not to be underestimated.
There is marginal room for error and misjudgement in the event that this actually occurs.
The more you play with this problem logically and efficiently, the better you should become at creating logical, practical, efficient strategies holistically, for all other problems you may encounter in your life, producing an inherent self-confidence assigned to your personal way of working.
Healthy persistence, regular growth, and the desire to experience and master something new are the keys to self-confidence, accomplishment, and perspective.
The repetitive cycle of ‘doing’ and investing through loss are cornerstones of success and confidence, but we must be prepared to acknowledge the successful and unsuccessful analytically, and as transient, without necessarily attaching a good or bad value to a set of circumstances until a time when through repetition, we can perceive and assign a designated pattern to a theme. Embracing failure teaches us resilience, responsibility and depth.
Confidence is earnt via a thorough, practical exploration of our nature and learning how to drive the chariot that is you.
Positives and negatives are symbiotic, useful, and overall persistent, inseparable from the human condition. Embrace them.
Wing Chun practice operates as a microcosm of broader physical, mental, and sociological themes that pertain to all human relationships and pursuits.
Hopefully from this, Kung Fu practice helps us to administer practical choice and understand how we work and grow in a complex, demanding world as beneficiaries and moreover, as confident individuals with the capacity to elevate wider society with our self-knowledge and ultimately, empower others to go out and do the same.