I have test anxiety. I never had test anxiety in school, and never when we had a small karate club and tested within that group. But now I have major test anxiety when it comes to black belt tests. Ugh.
The biggest contributors to my test anxiety are not wanting to embarrass my instructor and not wanting to look like an idiot. If I’m uncomfortable with my knowledge or my fitness, I am really hesitant to test.
I never want anyone to look at me and wonder how on earth someone thought I was ready to test. I feel a responsibility to represent my Sensei with a good showing. I want to show that I’ve earned my rank.
I know perfection isn’t expected at a test. It’d be nice, of course, but in reality we all have bad days. In fact, last year I forgot a few moves in my kata during my test, yet I still passed…with laughs. I was one of the last black belts in the room to know I missed something! Probably a good thing I didn’t know or I would have been flustered, right?
I know if I’m injured or have “dings” that keep me from doing my best, but the watchers don’t know it. As students we know perfection is not required, but the non karateka attending the test may not. I hate the thought of looking bad or feeling stupid in front of a bunch of people I don’t know. Looking dumb in front of people who know me well? Not a problem! 🙂
The bottom line is that it’s on me to be at my best when test time rolls around. To train hard, pay attention in class, work on my fitness, and study, study, study for that test!
Even though I wouldn’t test for 3rd degree for a minimum of 2 years, I need to work hard now. Not 4 months before the test, not after I receive a test notice, and not 3 weeks from today, but now, starting with today’s workout and tomorrow’s classes. I’ve “rested” for the last year, but rest period is over.
So here I go!
Better fitness? I’m trying to workout every day and I’m really enjoying it!
Smart eating? Working on it but always a struggle for a sugar freak.
Getting to class consistently? Tough due to my work schedule, but I’ll make a renewed effort at it.
Working on my material at home in between classes? I started today!
It’s my job to learn my material. Repetition, repetition, repetition will be my friend. “Again” will become my favorite word. Excuses are just a waste of time and not to be tolerated.
Two years and counting to my next test. It’s time to get to work!