MENTAL HEALTH TIP - Exercise Your Newfound Strength with Caution!

ABOUT THIS VIDEO: This piece of advice comes from personal experience.

For a long time, I was a mousy pushover. It didn't take a lot of pressure for people to knock me down and walk all over me. I started learning Wing Chun because I'd always heard martial arts helped with self-esteem, and I figured, "Well, if I talk back to someone who is verbally assaulting me, that might anger them, and it will get physical. If I know a martial art, I will know I can handle myself!"

Sounds logical, right? Well, it didn't work out that way. It wasn't until many years later (after a mental health evaluation, some medication management, and steady counseling/therapy sessions) when my self-esteem finally got stronger.

Oh, but then what happened?

Once I knew I could stand up for myself, and I could WIN, there was a brief period in my life where I actively sought out confrontation. (Just verbal, not physical, although I probably wouldn't have backed down from that either.)

When I was unable to come across anything, guess what? I started reading personal attacks and insults into situations where there weren't any!

Why would I do that? The answer is simple: I did it simply because I was so thrilled to finally be able to stand up for myself that I wanted to flex that muscle again and again. It was as if I thought my "fighting ability" had been a fluke, and I needed to keep proving it was there over and over so I knew it wasn't an illusion.

Once you have finally achieved good self-esteem and can stand up for yourself, you must be careful to not see personal attacks where there are none. Otherwise you will become known as the belligerent asshole who is always looking for a fight because that is EXACTLY what you will be!

~~~Steve Grogan

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