The Self Defeatist Attitude

A defeatist attitude is a negative mindset in which you believe you’re going to fail before you even start. It isn’t uncommon to fall into this mindset when facing a situation you feel is very difficult to overcome.

In Self Defense it could be for various reasons. From the chaotic encounter that’s about to occur to merely the reality of amount of work that is required in order to get oneself back to their skill level due to not training for a long period of time.

Regardless, staying in this line of thinking will have disastrous results so how can we prevent ourselves from succumbing to this mindset?

  1. Create a schedule – Seems simple but its amazing when you actually set your mind to a schedule, how quickly we adapt to it! Twice a week is the norm for in-person class participation PLUS two days of at home training. Not only will it do WONDERS for your Self Defense skill, but also the confidence boost you’ll gain by the positive results you see!
  2. Stay Self Accountable – Like everyone else, I too want to just lay on the couch eating chips, telling myself there’s always tomorrow or provide myself some other lame excuse for not training. Instead I take that self defeatist attitude and turn it around by instead thinking about the positive. Aside from the self gratification of what being a skilled Self Defense Practitioner brings, being an efficient training partner and instructor provides positive direction to keep me focused on what’s important.
  3. Give Time To The Mental Side Of Your Training – Not all training has to be physical. Simply talking with a fellow classmate or involved family member about certain drills or techniques, provides in-depth discussion, opening the mind to see certain scenarios more clearly. Perhaps by talking about certain “What-If” scenarios will help you work out a possible defense tactic that can be worked on in class.
  4. Be Patient – Becoming a skilled self defense practitioner takes time and that “time” is different for all of us so be patient. Difficult I know! However to continuously get frustrated with yourself only leads to that self defeatist mindset and before you know it, you’re back sliding on your training and effort! Take a different approach. Look at what is creating the difficulty and break it down. Speak with your instructor about said issue and work to find ways to overcome the problem. Remember; where there’s a weakness, there’s a strength.
  5. Be Involved – Becoming a part of a self defense school is like joining a family. The more proactive you are the more you’ll get out of the school!

I wasn’t the best in what I was learning nor was I the most skilled out of my class but I was hungry. Hungry to learn and work to become someone that could protect themselves and others around me. It didn’t take a few short days or months but years to attain such confidence. Funny thing is I still have a ways to go and everyday that “Self Defeatist Attitude” creeps up everyday telling me to quit. The above steps help and I hope it does the same for you!

In closing, when in doubt, no matter what; get up, dress up, show up and no matter what, never give up! Victory! – MM

About Master Mulhollen

Master Mulhollen has studied martial arts for over 20 years. He was a Choi Kwang-Do instructor prior to Dynamic Self Defense. He holds a 5th degree Black Belt and is the Master Instructor at the New Albany Dynamic Self Defense School.

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