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What on Earth Am I Doing Here?

Why we think adversity can stop us in our tracks.

By Simon MorrellPublished 3 years ago 5 min read
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It could be fighting out of your depth, a different range you aren’t used to, a puncher grappling, or vice versa. Dealing with the aftermath of an unpleasant situation or one that is still ongoing. One you wish with all your heart you could walk away from, but you can’t. Circumstances don’t allow for escape. You may have taken on a job you thought you could handle, but now? Well, now that job is a bit much, a little bit too far out of your grasp. Or so you think.

Many years ago, I was having a dreadful time dealing with a business deal that had gone wrong. The guy on the other side of the contract had turned bad and suddenly he thought he was ‘Johnny fucking Big Potatoes’, a man about town with a small army in his camp.

He used every trick in the book to make his trickery work for him, including some veiled threats toward me, some not so veiled. I’d already experienced the pressure of fighting out of my range, both in the controlled arena and in the outside world. Both physically and mentally, so on the outside, in public, I refused to let my anguish show.

However, behind closed doors, it was a different matter. We all let our mask slip when in the company of family and friends and I am no exception.

It was my newborn son’s christening, and all was good, but the shit storm we were in was taking its toll and a good friend could see it.

“It is a gift, Simon,” he told me. “And you will see that later on. This will give you something. You will learn and grow from this.”

I think I must have looked at him like he had two heads, but his wife laughed and told me, “trust him Simon, he knows what he is talking about.”

And he was right. The adversity we (my wife and I) were going through gave birth to my first book, “From Bullied to Black Belt” and from there, we went on to beautiful things. Teaching, podcasts, filming, writing; the list went on. All of it born from adversity.

And this still happens. A session on the bag when I feel like my arms can’t go on anymore and it would be easy, yes so easy to take the gloves off and go back inside, but where is the value in that? I stay on and the value shows itself later, when I’m lucky enough to teach the troops at a Fight Fortress.

So what about your struggle? Where are you in terms of comfort versus adversity, treats versus trickery, and content versus crisis?

Take a look at your position and whatever battles you are facing, know that this too shall pass, and the chances are at the end, when all the dust has settled, you will take comfort in all that you endured.

In Martial Arts, it is a fact that most people quit at Brown Belt as they just can’t quite handle the pressure of the Holy Grail; their Black Belt. If only they knew the confidence of passing a test as big as that would bring. If only they could see into the future and experience the absolute joy you get from staying on a path so long and hard sometimes that it seems like it is going to break you; but it doesn’t. It doesn’t because you took courage from your position; you have seen people fall much earlier than you did, so what is one more test, what is one more sleepless night and what is one more trip down the motorway to something that may change you forever?

I remember the build-up to my second Black Belt and during the six months before, every morning I would wake up and the first thought in my head was the feeling of fear, as the day of my test seemed to rush at me, bringing anxiety, nausea, and a tint of panic.

I stuck at it, despite everything telling me that if I packed it in, I could find a reasonable excuse to do so. I’d already got my First Dan and for most people, that is more than enough, but it troubled me that giving up seemed an attractive option and so I got my head down, got to work, and chased the task at hand. I passed. After a long drive away from home, I fought two of the country’s leading MMA guys and came away with what I went there for.

Now the morning after, a Friday, when I awoke, the same fear filled me with dread and it took me a few seconds to realise what had gone the day before. It was like being filled full of helium. I felt light, relief, ecstatic and was engulfed with endorphins. No more pressure (not for a while anyway, a third Black Belt was years away), just a feeling of an honest job done well.

So I carried that feeling with me and when more tests presented themselves (they do, if you are someone who likes to achieve they always do) I had equipped myself with the tools to take it on, head first.

Writing a book can be daunting and I recently read that the more of the book you write, the heavier it gets until such a time that, for some people, they can’t pick it up again. Lots of potentially lifesaving books end up in the draw of the office desk, never to see the light of day. What an absolute shame, because if the author could just step forward in time and feel the joy you feel when you hold your published book in your hands for the first time. Well then, I am sure they would open that draw, pick up the unfinished manuscript and work like hell to produce the final draft.

But we can’t make that step. It is impossible, so we need to go on faith and faith alone. Have that faith and carry it high when you are next in a position that seems impossible. The job that is too hard, the task so big, the event too far away. Hold that faith high and try to imagine what you will feel like when it has all passed and you are in victory. For then you will know it has all been worth it and you will certainly know what it is you are you doing on this earth.

Learn to smash adversity with Simon and follow him on his journey here

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About the Creator

Simon Morrell

I am the author of the award winning book From Bullied to Black Belt telling ofjourney from an agoraphobic, panic attack sufferer to award winning fighter & writer. My mission? To help people beat fear into submission & win at life!

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