How “Taking Your Punches” can Improve Self-Esteem

photo credit Filippo Venturi

Take a punch to improve self-esteem?  Really?

Believe it or not, when it comes to self-defense skills, that one of the smartest, most effective things you can do is to get punched.  Really!  I am NOT advocating violence or punching people in anyway shape or form.  However, I was reminded of this self-defense lesson while watching The Bachelorette this week and couldn’t help but make the correlation between this concept and self-esteem.

Here’s How

In case you missed it, The Bachelorette, Ashely, had the men participate in Muay Thai boxing in this week’s group date.  One contestant, Ames, had never been in a fight before.  What stood out to me is how all of the interviewed suitors described just how hard and shocking the first punch you experience is, and how it gets easier.

This is exactly why self-defense instructors will recommend sparring, or receiving a punch in a safe controlled environment; this way if it happens in “real life” you know what to expect and how to keep going.

If you watched this episode, you saw how the men that had been punched or in a physical fight before reacted very differently about getting into the boxing ring than the ones who hadn’t.  It didn’t mean they were excited about getting in the ring, or wanted to get punched, or were even OK with the chosen date activity, but they were confident that they would survive, that it would end, that they knew how to get through it.

The men who had taken a previous punch, and survived it, were secure in their coping skills and that gave them confidence… it gave them self-esteem!

Self-Esteem Sparring

I believe, and I know, that we all have struggles we face….daily.  It’s part of life.

So, maybe instead of focusing on the hardship they cause, the hurt or embarrassment we feel from them, we can start viewing them as those safe controlled punches recommended for self-defense.  Instead of avoiding them, or ignoring them, or even cursing them, begin to see them as lessons in our endurance, coping skills, fortitude, resolve and steadfastness.

The daily struggles we face, as disorienting and as painful as they are, are also what strengthen and expand our self-esteem.