Character Chats

Positive Attitude

What is a positive attitude?

Here at True Balance Karate, we have a social, emotional learning program called true character. And this month we are talking about having a positive attitude.

I’m Master H, Owner and Chief Instructor here at the studio. I have two master’s degrees in education. I’ve taught special education for 15 years, anywhere from kindergarten to eighth grade, and I’ve taken that knowledge and applied it here at the studio so we can best meet the needs of all of our students. Our youngest is three and our oldest is in their 80s. They’re 83, 84.

Flipping the Script

So we’re talking about having a positive attitude this month.

And to really understand a positive attitude, we also have to understand a negative attitude.

As parents, we hear it from our kids all the time, “I can’t do that. I don’t know how to do that. I’m too little to do that.”

All of those negative ideas we hear from them, and it’s our job as parents to help them flip the script, help them come up with a more positive way of approaching things.

And over the last few years, I personally have been working on changing what I’m saying, being a good finder when it comes to having my attitude in a more positive light.

Saying things like, “I can. I’m no longer trying to do things, I’m doing them. I am working on them. I can do them.”

Finding those positive, good comments and hearing them so that we can build our positive attitude.

And one of the things that we take our lead leadership students through is a book called What to Say When You Talk to Yourself. And every time we listen to ourselves talk, we want to make sure that we’re applying a positive outlook.

We want to make sure that we are applying that good finder kind of an attitude.

A Positive Approach to Challenges

So let’s talk about it from the standpoint of here at the studio.

When we have our little kid class, our dragons class, our under seven year old class, we give them what we call black belt challenge. It may be difficult for them. Absolutely.

Young kids are learning where their bodies are in space. They’re learning how to move bodies in a very specific way.

Young kids are even learning how to cross the midline, taking the right and making it touch the left so that they’re constantly crisscrossing across their bodies.

It’s helping their brains crisscross and develop across the right side and the left side of their brains. And it’s helping them better understand their bodies and space.

But there are times where those black belt challenges have become difficult for them.

And they have gotten upset, or cried, or something like that. At which point, one of our instructors sits down with them and we say, “Hey, what’s going on?”

And invariably, they will use a phrase like, “I can’t do that.” And we will talk about what it means to do a black belt challenge.

A black belt challenge is simply giving you the experience of being a black belt, giving you the opportunity to try something that you will learn at black belt.

We positively frame it for these kids so that they understand that the expectation is for them to not be perfect.

The expectation is for them to give it their best try.

Not Perfect, but Amazing

Just last week, speaking of perfection, I was working with a student who was going to their tournaments and he was working on his form and he was working super hard on it. He’s about a 10 year old kid, eight year old kid, somewhere in there, he was working super hard.

And I asked him, I said, “So I’m going to give you a couple of tips so that you can make your form more perfect.”

And he looked at me and he goes, “Master H, I don’t want to be perfect. I want to be AMAZING.”

And it’s that kind of positive attitude that we want to put out there for our kids.

We’re not looking for perfection. We’re not looking for the right way of doing things. We’re not looking for the wrong way of doing things.

We’re looking for the amazing way of doing things.

We’re looking for the way of problem solving because we will all be faced with a problem.

Ideas for Adults

And the more we can lead by example as adults, the more our kids will see that and they will embrace that positive attitude.

So as we’re grownups, the next time we’re struggling, let’s be honest with those around us and share that we are struggling and share that positive attitude with them, because that’s how we grow the positivity around us when we’re at work.

And we have a project that we’re working on, and we’re frustrated with the program that we’re using or how to put the presentation together or how to form the right words, have a conversation with fellow coworkers, “I’m struggling with this. I know I can find the right words, we can work together. Help me out with that.”

Some type of positive way of viewing it rather than, “This is just making me upset and I’m getting very angry,” and getting into that spiral of negativity and negative emotions.

Connecting Back

Which is why we’ve been doing a three month series.

We started with impulse control, then we turned it into anger management and now we are talking about positive attitude.

The more we can build on that positive attitude, more we can turn whatever other things were going wrong into positive things, into being that good finder.

And later this month we’re going to talk about how that positive attitude affects our feelings and our thoughts and our emotions and our actions and how we can make those choices so that we can continue to grow our positive attitude, because it is a choice.

At the end of the day, it is a choice. So help us continue to learn, growing that positive attitude.

Thanks and we’ll see you on the mat!

True Balance Karate was founded in 2012 by Master Sue and Paul Helsdon.

We offer kids karate lessons for pre-school children ages 3-6 and elementary age kids ages 7 and up. These lessons are designed to develop the critical building blocks kids need — specialized for their age group — for school excellence and later success in life.

Our adult martial arts training is a complete adult fitness and conditioning program for adults who want to lose weight, get (and stay) in shape, or learn self-defense in a supportive environment.

Instructors can answer questions or be contacted 24 hours of the day, 7 days a week at 630-663-2000. You can also contact us here.