For my third degree test, I decided to stick with my current affirmation: Courage is not the absence of fear. I was preparing my binder for phase 2 testing today and thought I would take a moment to share what my affirmation means to me. I would also challenge all of my fellow testers looking for another journal, to share their reasoning behind their affirmation as well.
To me, my affirmation means that true acts of bravery are not above fear, but in spite of it. It means that to be courageous doesn't mean to be fearless but to be strong enough to overcome fear. This relates to me in my everyday life because I am a person who likes to try new things, but is wary and sometimes resistant to change. You have to learn to deal with change because (as my grandpa always says) change is the only constant and not accepting this fact achieves nothing. One of the hardest decisions yet in my life came this past fall when I decided to try playing volleyball for the first time. The choice seemed like a simple one, but I struggled with it a lot. I decided to follow through with joining the team because I had not participated in any activity outside of martial arts since I was seven years old and I wanted to try something new entering high school. My choice was plagued by the feeling, however untrue, that I was letting go of something I have loved for so long. I was only at Aim High for a total of about 2 hours a week for 3 months; I took a break from my volunteer teaching, drastically decreased my work with BKJN Dan, and stopped joining the Generations team for trainings. It was a difficult transition to make and I was, quite honestly, terrified that I would mess it all up somehow. That's where my affirmation comes into play, I was afraid of trying something that was completely different from what I knew but I pursued it anyway with all the support from both my related family and my Aim High one. Playing on the volleyball team was a great experience, and I don't regret it, however it made me realize how lucky I am to have a "special place" with supportive, positive, and wonderful friends and family.
When I think about my affirmation, it reminds me that nothing is impossible, that I can accomplish anything I chose if I am brave enough to try and to not give up. It reminds me that the outcomes of action, that is to say success, are far more important than any fear or obstacle. My affirmation reminds me that I am strong and that determination and ambition will always triumph over fear and doubt.