Tag Archives: meaning

Investing in Loss—Hopscotch, Risk, and Success

Investing in Loss—Hopscotch, Risk, and Success

In Shao-Lin Kung Fu, we call taking risks “investing in loss,” meaning we are willing to possibly experience a loss, a failure, in order to try something new or step out of our comfort zone in order to improve and gain success.

Right or Wrong, I am OK

As I’ve grown and overcome many diverse challenges, I’ve come to trust my own thoughts and opinions more, as well as better handle being wrong or receiving criticism.

Last year, my self-awareness rose to a level where I started noticing how gripped with fear I was in many situations throughout the day. When the phone rang, no matter who was calling, I would immediately be afraid I had done something wrong. When my former roommate had people over, I was stuck, frozen in my room. (It reminded me of my old social anxiety days from my early twenties! Where did that resurface from?!)

As I was looking forward to the next stage of my life, I realized this self-doubting, stifling, “must-hide” energy was going to be a massive hindrance, so I decided to do something about it. I decided it was time to really be okay with me, whether I was right or wrong, gorgeous or having a bad hair day, happy or sad.

Once I made this decision, opportunities started popping up for me to give myself a new experience of empowerment.

The Hopscotch Challenge

I went to a movie alone (I LOVE going to movies in the middle of the day when everyone else is working!), and when it was over, there was this giant hopscotch poster/sticker right there on the ground in front of me. When I saw it, my heart gripped with fear because I knew I had to do it, but I really, really, REALLY didn’t want to.

How could I make a decision to be okay being me, then shy away from the blatant opportunity to hop out of my comfort zone and prove it?

I understood the terror barrier principle that when you give in to fear, it makes you weaker, but if you just breakthrough it, you come out stronger and the next goal you want to achieve will be that much easier, because you haven’t trained yourself to give in to challenges!

My heart was pounding out of my chest at the thought of looking stupid, doing something out of the ordinary right there in the upscale movie theater entrance.

I didn’t do it.

I walked past it with tears in my eyes and a sick knot in the pit of my stomach, knowing I had just done myself a huge disservice.

If I can’t do something so trivial, how the hell am I going to do anything truly substantial?

I quickly made my way through the courtyard and across the street past a grassy area, and to my horror, and simultaneous relief, there was another hopscotch diagram!

There was no way I was going to let fear control me a second time!

Although it still took me ten minutes to work up the courage, I knew I was not going to walk away this time. I slowly removed my 3-inch sandals, rolled up my jeans, and stood at the edge of the rest of my life.

Those nine squares started a tidal wave. It was still a few months before the next phase of loving myself and presenting my best, yet as-is, self became an even more integral part of me.

Success on the Waves of Fear

In a bout of depression a couple of months ago, I chronicled via video my progression from a low place back to my normal self over the course of a few hours and shared it with you. I had several people tell me how meaningful that post was to them, which was I hoped—to be able to make a difference for someone else.

I arrived at a New Year’s Eve dance a little early when everyone was still off to the side chatting, but I was there to dance, so I broke in the dance floor. Alone. For FIVE songs. No grand meaning there, but it was another significant tick in the “I love me” file.

I have now opened up about the domestic violence and sexual abuse and manipulation I went through in a former marriage, and within a week and a half of doing so, I began heading a local fundraiser to benefit TESSA, our DVSA shelter. A week after that I was interviewed on our local news, ABC affiliate, as well as the Catholic news agency out of Denver.

A few weeks ago (actually four days after I published the most private blog post I have ever shared, mentioned above), the son I gave up for adoption 22 years ago when I was just fifteen came into my life.  Long story short, through a series of feelings and events, I reached out to him around the holidays last year. Was I terrified he’d want nothing to do with me? Absolutely, and I had to be completely okay with that possibility, but I also knew it was time to at least let him know I was here and the option to know me was available to him if he wanted it.

About a month after I sent him a letter, he responded! We’ve been having a wonderful time getting to know each other! One of the funny highlights was when he told me he was obsessed with all things ninja, and his friends had seen my kung fu photos on Facebook and he said, “My friends are now joking about us… ‘The ninja gene, it does exist!'”

My son, the only child I’ve ever been pregnant with and birthed, whom I gave to a family more capable than me at the time, is now in my life. You can’t put a price on that, and it may never have been if I hadn’t been willing to “invest in loss.”

The Cure for the Despair of Failure!

It feels so good to go out of my comfort zone, do new and unique things, and have such joyful successes cure any and all despair over past and present failures!

Any failures and pain we experience by taking risks that don’t work out the way we hoped pale in comparison to the joys of success!

The only caveat is we don’t get to the successes if we aren’t willing to take the failures.

All of my life experiences have led me here, but the hopscotch grid turned the corner and started the breakthrough. Had I not made a conscious commitment to make choices that give me the experience of being happy with who I am, even if I make a mistake, I would not be able to rise as a resource and voice for victims, and I wouldn’t be enjoying getting to know my one and only child.

What are you working on that is scary and exhilarating? Please share in the comments, then head over to my Inner Circle group coaching program to see how you can have a major breakthrough with your goal in less than two months!

Inner Circle 2015 Spring Session

Learn more and register at TanishaMartin.com/innercircle.


Get Your Time and Energy Back by Zapping Negativity from 3 Directions

Get Your Time and Energy Back by Zapping Negativity from 3 Directions

It goes without saying, negativity from our own thoughts and negativity from the words and behaviors of others are no picnic and can have lasting effects. But these three approaches encompass all you need in order to be done with it faster, and even for good!

1—Cut it Out of Your Own Mind and Mouth

We are the only source of negativity we have 100% control over, but it’s not always easy to get ourselves to stop and be positive when we are stressed, depressed, or feeling a myriad of other emotions.

Here’s what I’ve found to be the most effective way to be positive in your own thoughts and words:

  1. Create an overall environment (surroundings, habits, people, health, etc.) of positive support. When your foundation is solid, you are best supported to be able to make unclouded efforts in removing and replacing negativity.
  2. Be self-aware enough to recognize when you start spewing negativity. This isn’t about saying everything is great when it isn’t. It’s about noticing and stopping the complaining, self-judgment and berating, and turning it around to higher truth as soon as you recognize the negativity.
  3. Love ALL of you. The positive, the negative, and everything in between. In fact stop seeing flaws, challenges, and failures as negatives all-together.

2—Stand Firm in Your Confidence

When negativity comes from other sources, it’s our self-doubt that actually makes us give in to their attacks. If you say to me, “You really should have gotten a 2nd opinion on that hair today,” I will likely feel insecure about the comment because I do not have 100% flawless confidence in my hair every day. It would fester until I call my sister and vent how rude you were, and you clearly don’t have a clue about me and why would you treat me like that?!

Conversely, if you come up to me and snidely tell me I am the ugliest leprechaun you’ve ever seen, I might wonder what is wrong with you, but I’m not going to be upset about it the rest of the day. Your statement doesn’t faze me at all because I know without a shadow of a doubt that it’s completely untrue, thus I know with complete certainly that the problem is with you. No matter what you say, I will never be convinced I am an ugly leprechaun. It’s so absurd it’s a complete non-issue.

The principle works the same for any situation where it may not be as absurd as the leprechaun example, but you know the truth just as surely.

Standing firm in your confidence means either you are absolutely certain about your position, thus don’t need to take offense, or it could also mean you are okay if you discover you are “wrong,” as described next.

3—Don’t Make Everything Mean Something

When someone draws to your attention a bright green piece of broccoli between your front teeth, you might get that twang of embarrassment in the pit of your stomach, and not want to look your friend in the eye for a while, especially if it’s not a friend, but, say, an interviewer for a job. You might feel embarrassed, but you can practice being okay with mishaps like that, and again, learn not to see them as mishaps or flaws. So what if there is a green food remnant in your teeth? All it means is there is a green food remnant in your teeth. It might mean you didn’t look in the mirror. So what?

What if you state an opinion on a heated topic and someone attempts to discredit it, especially if they are rude in doing so? First of all, I’d be very choosy which of those you respond to and which you just ignore, especially on social media. Some people are such antagonists, it’s not worth your breath. But, in any other case, you might want to lash back because you now feel attacked and unheard. Or you might feel stupid because they actually made a really good point you can’t deny.

If you practiced positivity and understanding in your approach to the conversation in the first place, in other words you were civil, it’s a lot easier to handle, because you’re not already coming from an emotionally heightened state.

Either way, though, you don’t have to make their disagreement about you being attacked, instead, you can more clearly see their need to attack is an issue with them. Or if their point is valid, you don’t have to make it about you being stupid, rather make it about the fact they made a good point and you can respect that, even if it doesn’t change your view.

When you take the extraneous meaning out of events, and stay focused on the actual conversation, you can deal with them without emotion and with a level head.

Take these to heart and enjoy a more positive and guilt-free dialogue! For more support, the tools in the Joyful JuJu Kit are developed to help you negate the negativity within yourself and enjoy a much more enjoyable experience in life!

Robin Williams Pushes Up Daisies—An Impetus For Living Happily Now

No matter what people tell you,
words and ideas can change the world.
~ John Keating,
Dead Poets Society

Robin Williams (Biography.com)I had a surprisingly emotional reaction when I heard tonight of Robin Williams’ passing, likely a suicide. I actually cried. Sobbed. And said a few words directly to him as if he were closer to me now, than he had ever actually been in life.

He has touched so many people’s lives—I’m certain any of his adoring fans would have loved to attempt to lift his spirits, as he has done so beautifully for us time and time again.

I remember a time before I loved myself, when I was depressed and self-hating. All the times I felt I couldn’t go on and face my demons, and I contemplated suicide. I remember when a fellow kung fu student, a teenager, tragically killed herself and while I was sad, especially for her family left behind, my first thought was about how lucky she was to have been brave enough to go through with it, unlike me, who was too scared…

Then I remember when I was 28 and finally had something worth fighting for in my life and I experienced my first taste of what it was like to not be depressed.

I traveled a long way, came out the other side, and my life is completely different now. But there is always a subtle reminder… when it hits, it hits hard and for a little while I can go back to the place of ultimate despair. I always have to stay on my toes and keep moving forward in my purpose so I can live in growth, harmony, and love.

Hang onto your turban, kid—
we’re gonna make you a star!
~ Genie, Alladin

Life is a wild ride. Oscillating between the extremes of pain and joy can seem unbearable, but the alternative is living a mediocre life of mediocre activities, mediocre emotions, and mediocre fulfillment, which isn’t fulfillment at all.

When I started breaking through, I had no idea what I was in for. I left the comfortable blanket of the miserable familiar and ventured out into the unknown where my real dreams lived.

This path is harder in some ways because that damn comfort zone calls every time I try something new, make a decision to change a behavior that doesn’t serve me, and reach out to bless and help more people. It calls in the form of temptation, unexpected hardships, criticisms, failures, and attacks on the most vulnerable parts of me. And it’s VERY convincing. If I just went back there, I wouldn’t have to face so many fears. I also wouldn’t experience so much dang joy and awesomeness.

Once you really experience life in your dreams, out of the comfort zone, you can’t go back.

Our job is improving the quality of life, not just delaying death.
~ Hunter Patch Adams,
Patch Adams

As my life changed and I learned that I really was the determining factor in what I experienced in life and the actual results I had, I couldn’t help but think, “I know there are people like me out there who don’t know they matter. I know there are people who don’t know they have power in their own lives. And I’m not going to be the one who stands in the way of their hearing the message!”

And so I began empowering others to stand up and leave their false safety nets, and live their dreams, align with their purpose and passion, and bless others who are waiting to hear their messages.

You treat a disease, you win, you lose.You treat a person, I guarantee you, you’ll win, no matter what the outcome.
~ Hunter Patch Adams,
Patch Adams

Mr. Williams’ death reminded me of that part of my journey, and there are so many who are still suffering. Some could benefit from quality therapy. Some just need to know they matter and get a boost forward in their life. Others fall somewhere in between.

We are not here to merely survive. Mr. Williams had a history of personal struggles, as we all do. We can live our passion AND move forward from or in spite of those challenges and truly love our lives.

Mr. Robin Williams, you will be truly missed. Be happy and thank you for everything you gave us. I know you will find the peace you are looking for, now that… well, I think you said it best…

Hunter Patch Adams: Death. To die. To expire. To pass on. To perish. To peg out. To push up daisies. To push up posies. To become extinct. Curtains, deceased, demised, departed, and defunct. Dead as a doornail. Dead as a herring. Dead as a mutton. Dead as nits. The last breath. Paying a debt to nature. The big sleep. God’s way of saying, “Slow down.”

Bill Davis: To check out.

HPA: To shuffle off this mortal coil.

BD: To head for the happy hunting ground.

HPA: To blink for an exceptionally long period of time.

BD: To find oneself without breath.

HPA: To be the incredible decaying man.

BD: Worm buffet.

HPA: Kick the bucket.

BD: Buy the farm.

HPA: Take the cab.

BD: Cash in your chips.

HPA: And if we bury you ass up, I have got a place to park my bike.


Worthless & Ugly OR Cute & Quirky?

Attach the Meaning that Serves You MOST!

One of my best friends in high school once told me he couldn’t wait to see me at school each day because I always wore something cute and quirky. I was shocked he would think that!

My mom and I didn’t have any money. I couldn’t go buy actual outfits at the mall like my wealthy cousins I grew up in the same town with did every year for school. I got a lot of hand-me-downs, items from second-hand store clothes, and sometimes cute but mostly weird clothes my dad brought home from his trade group. I was embarrassed by my lack of choice and lack of style. It fed directly into my already low self-esteem and high self-loathing.

It never occurred to me that I might actually be cute and quirky, until someone told me that’s what they thought!

Every experience we have has a fact and a meaning. The facts are the realities around the circumstance. What my clothes looked like and where I got them from. The meaning I PUT on those facts was that I was worthless and ugly. The meaning my friend put on those facts, whether he knew the facts or not, was that I was cute and quirky. Same circumstances, same facts, different meaning. Is either meaning TRUE? Not really, they’re both opinions. They’re both made up. So, if they’re made up anyway, why not make up the meaning that SERVES YOU?!!!

It does a whole lot of harm to go around with the meaning that I’m worthless and ugly. My self-esteem, social skills, bank account, and happiness suffered because of meaning like this I attached to experiences like that. I can’t change the choices I made back then, but I can take a different meaning now to that same situation and any current situations that empower me and feed into my dreams and happiness!

Tenacious Task

Take a look at an experience you are in and see it in a new light. The meaning you’re attaching to your situation is made up anyway, so why not make it mean something that empowers you to have a great day, achieve a dream, and live the life you love?!