Over the last two weeks we have been actively promoting various level students...
From our newest white belt getting her half yellow belt all the way to our Junior Brown belts, testing has been on everyone’s brain. While we actively study it also makes you think of your past tests in terms of whether they were good or bad.
I’m a student that suffers from a sense of inadequacy after every test. I find myself questioning if I really did study hard enough, if I did perform my very best and if I deserve my new rank. To some reflective students this thought process can either make or break you after a test. For those who don’t understand why some would feel unworthy after going through such rigorous testing, there is an explanation.
The Peter’s Principle.
The Peter’s Principle is usually applied in business management, not martial arts promotions but they follow the same line of thinking. The Peter’s Principle is defined as the observation that in an organizational hierarchy, every employee will rise or get promoted to his or her level of incompetence.
Incompetence is a harsh word but the definition simply means that you are promoted based on your past experience. The only down fall to the Peter’s Principle is that at some point the individual will in theory fail and not promote past a certain job because it’s now too challenging for them.
The solution to the principle is continued education. When we are training and practicing for a promotion, our instructors are looking at our new material but even more so our old material that we have more experience with. It’s after the promotion, when we begin new training that we discover a new level of incompetence. It’s in this moment that some students begin feel inadequate of their new rank.
I remember distinctly thinking during my last test, “If my Sifu passes me he’s probably blind.”
Definitely an odd thought to be having when under stress. It’s a sign of a student with introspection which if channeled correctly will continuously push the student to better themselves. A vague definition of introspection in psychology terms is the informal examination of our own internal thoughts and feelings, especially after an event. Without proper guidance an introspective student can become self-doubting and eventually quit martial arts all together.
There are a few things that can help an introspective student regain their confidence after a test.
Ok maybe not that confident.
During my last test my instructor had the other higher ranking students, who were helping with the testing, teach me a new technique for my new belt. It minimized that “incompetent feeling” by transitioning me from the repetitive studying student to the novel student. It was a small shot of confidence knowing I had just promoted to green belt and already had a brown belt technique.
Yes that's me at the end of my test getting my new technique,
Jesalyn Mae Harper
Hello my name is Jesalyn. I'm a divorced single mom and a karate addict...