Tuesday Thought: The Art of Self-Critique

Making it to black belt involves a unique mixture of the strength and perseverance to overcome your own mistakes and the ability to self-critique and self-correct.


As one of my instructors says, “I am only human. I can’t watch you 100% of the time to make sure you’re doing every move right. You are in your body 100% of the time. You have the power to correct every move you do.”

When you learn how to correct yourself, you learn how to evaluate your own habits and judge their correctness. It allows you gain correct technique faster.

But sometimes I see students who are overly critical of themselves and I struggle with what to say. “Don’t be so hard on yourself,” I think, devalues a students’ desire to become better.

It is better to say, “Relax. Keep trying. Don’t let your frustration win.” When you cross the line into frustration and negative self-talk, the value of self-critique is lost.

So don’t let yourself tear yourself down. Build yourself up by believing that every bit of practice and every mistake is a step on the road to black belt and beyond.

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