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On the mat, I have come to learn that ‘defence’ is where real confidence comes from. Knowing that you can ‘escape’, prevail in adversity, fend off attack gives you the confidence to ‘try’ things because there is less ‘downside’ if you fail. Defence ability is kind of like having a safety net in a trapeze act; you can ‘have a real go’ because you know you’ll live if you fail.
Off the mat, I want to build and acquire ‘emotional defence’, which is a real key to success and happiness. Others might throw stuff at you, put you down, resent your success, passionately disagree with your philosophy but if you are emotionally robust, you just let it slide right off you; you just don’t let it stick.
In my own case, there was a time when I used to really take things personally; if someone spoke badly about me or was overly rude or bad mannered, I would let it eat away at my happiness and tranquility; nowadays, I just let it slide. I have, over time, become a little more ‘emotionally robust’ or ‘emotionally conditioned’ and as a result I do not allow my world to be ‘rocked’ as easily as I once would. I think this is an important skill to develop.
We develop ‘defence’ - whether emotional or physical - through exposure to attack. This is how all ‘conditioning’ is done. Exposure to stress - adapt - develop. So the next time you find yourself under attack, remember, you are becoming (little by little) stronger and more able to deal with future attack.