How Martial Arts Can Help You Succeed in the Working World

meditating-at-desk
It’s either this or punch a hole through the monitor.

I’ve been in the corporate world for roughly 15 years, and much of that time has been spent in healthcare. Taekwondo has been a major influence in how I carry myself, how I handle stress, how I communicate, and how I prioritize.

You don’t need to be in martial arts to reap its benefits and kick ass at work because I’ve done the work for you! I’ve compiled a list of articles that can help you successfully handle the ups, downs, challenges, and changes of the working world. Enjoy!
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Don’t Be So Defensive…Unless Someone Is Trying to Punch You in the Face

I want to step away from my typical blog posts today and share with you a TED Talk video my boss showed during this morning’s team meeting. It starts out as a discussion about collaboration, but the body of it focuses on that pesky human habit of becoming defensive in difficult situations.
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Well…Now What? And I Drop an F-Bomb.

suicide1

“Be true to yourself. You’ve come too far in 2 years,” my dad said. I experienced a really bad set back tonight and planned on my usual soothing ritual of lying motionless on the couch for eight hours watching Netflix, which will start tonight as soon as I post this. I told him I was going to skip going to a young professionals arts event tomorrow because I was too sad and didn’t want to put on a big fake smile. He reminded me that this situation and other parties involved don’t define who I am.
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Things Got Weird and Then Got Better

Confused_Cat
Kitty was about to have a breakdown or a breakthrough…or both.

This morning during a meeting I revealed more of myself than I intended to, and I didn’t even say a word. We were meeting with a person in another department to discuss the sticky logistics of a shared project and were trying (without too much luck) to get some clarity on our roles and responsibilities. I won’t bore you with any more details.
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Ain’t That a Kick in the Head

ninja_kitty_kicks_dog“YES!” I cackled through my mouthguard and high-fived the fifteen-year-old boy who had just kicked me in the head. I was proud of him that he’d gotten one over on me and proud of myself that I was becoming more aggressive and adept at sparring with the guys in class. He flashed a confused braces-lined smile and we slapped our cotton-padded paws in the air. A few minutes and another blow to the head later I had a realization.
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A Visit From an Old Frenemy

find-the-frenemy-devil-in-a-friends-disguise-1 The dojang is usually my happy place.

For a few minutes last night, though, it was the last place I wanted to be. As soon as the first round of sparring began my mood crashed and burned. Suddenly my instructor’s guidance sounded like taunts and my partner’s attacks felt like physical manifestations of all my shortcomings. This of course was all in my head. Neither one did anything wrong. They just happened to be in my line of sight when my old friend Low Self-Esteem decided to play. All my flaws were exposed, and there was nothing I could do about it. I was pissed.
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Detoxifying Douchebags From Your Life

Hazmat-team
“Hey, that’s not fair, I had to play Jesse last time. You always get to be Heisenberg!”

About a year ago I realized that all the toxic people had disappeared from my life. Grumpy or conniving coworkers, bullying friends, disinterested love interests. I never had the “break up” talk that’s often suggested to women who are agonizing over cutting ties with someone. I just removed myself from the situation and severed communication. Passive aggressive, but it worked. Once I realized that they were gone I noticed how much lighter and more free I felt.

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En Garde!

“Hold back, slow down,” Grandmaster said when I threw an axe kick at a young bo dan during a sparring class a few months ago. The command to fight had barely dissipated and I thought I’d try something different–jump in aggressively and take the offense. “He’s high-ranking. You don’t know what he’s going to do. Watch him and then respond.” That bit of coaching changed my entire outlook. The kid still got in some nice hits, but I felt much more relaxed and calm during the match.

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