Boxing has long been a sport in which, viewers find their entertainment from the physicality and even the brutality that is displayed between two opponents. The sport of boxing can be traced as far back to the B.C. era, which at that time boxing was held as an Olympic event. Throughout each century, boxing has changed as it relates to its rules, fighting techniques, and its influence within world culture. However, one aspect of the sport has remained consistent, and that is the objective of the contest.
In a boxing match, two individuals actively pursue the task of knocking their opponent down, with the purpose to be the last person standing. Modern day rules, specify that an individual that does not stand to his/her feet before the “10 count”, will be disqualified while the person standing is declared the winner. Rules also state, that points are tallied throughout each round based on the severity and accuracy of each punch that is delivered to the opponent. The more knockdowns, accurate punches, and variation of blows that are inflicted, the higher the overall score will be. If both fighters make it to the final round, a panel of judges tally their points. It is at this point, that the winner is chosen by unanimous decision, or by the fighter that has the most points in their favor. The essential goal of those fighting is to win their match with decisiveness and endurance.
Our lives can be seen within the same mindset of a boxer, and that is, we are in a daily fight. However, we are not just involved in any fight – the fight that many of us are involved in is with ourselves. Have you ever felt as though, you were capable of accomplishing a goal and yet that goal is never realized because of your own inhibitions? Much of the obstacles we face are not necessarily external, but they are internal. The words, “self destruction” and “shooting yourself in the foot” can and often apply to the struggles and difficulties that we face. It is quite possible to be your own worst enemy by succumbing and surrendering to the opponent which is yourself.
However, we must recognize that there are principles we can take from the sport of boxing that will assist us in winning the match against ourselves. Here are a few considerations:
1. You must know your opponent – In a boxing match, it is beneficial to know the individual that you are facing. Before each match, a professional boxer may want to watch available film of their opponent from previous fights, so that they understand their opponent’s ability and fighting stance. By watching and examining, you will have a better idea of how to approach your opponent. The same can be true as it relates to yourself. We must know who we are, by conducting self examination. This means understanding what makes you tick, or discovering when you feel the most vulnerable. It is when you know yourself, that you can approach various situations with prudence and wisdom. Failing to know yourself, will result giving your opponent (in this case yourself) the advantage in adverse situations. This also calls for you to know your weaknesses. Each person that is in a contest, should recognize their opponent’s weakness. They can then exploit it, so that the result is more so in their favor for victory. Knowing your own weaknesses can assist you in avoiding constant mistakes, or even buckling under the pressures of life.
2. Fight with patience – Every fighter that achieves some sort of success, understands the ability to be patient when they are face to face with their opponent. Patience simply means, that you are pacing yourself so that you don’t lose the energy it takes to fight effectively. We must do the same thing when it comes to winning the battle against ourselves. Sometimes when we face who we are, it will mean understanding that we are all a work in progress. For example, you may suffer from low self esteem. It may take a considerable amount of time for you to tunnel through your past or present experiences – which means that you must be patient with yourself in the process. Defeating your opponent will not occur as quickly as we would like. Every fight that a boxer finds him/herself in, will require a steady stream of attack and endurance throughout the match.
3. Victory is the end goal – To fight in a boxing match is to embrace the idea that you will be victorious. Every boxer enters the ring with the intent to win. Whether or not they win, is dependent upon their focus, their drive, and where they compare with their opponent. However, even with all of the factors, winning is the motivation for entering into a public bout. When we are fighting with ourselves, we should assume that we will gain victory in the end. Sometimes, we can find ourselves giving into the notion that we do not stack up to our opponent (ourselves) meaning we have become intimidated by what we see, rather than knowing that victory is possible. However, you must visualize your end goal which means to see the prize and fight towards your dream or vision.
At the end of the day, we are all fighting against ourselves. Becoming one’s own stumbling block to progress, is more common than we may think. Much of the impediment that we see in our lives can be attributed to the influence and blockade that we institute on our own behalf. For someone, it may be the fear of failure which means that dreams or goals that have been set forth may not be readily accomplished. For another, it may be the issue of procrastination in fulfilling a promise that was once declared. Regardless of what the issue may be, we must understand that we are all facing an opponent – that opponent is ourselves. If we fail to accomplish goals that are within reason and our capability, then we have no one else to attribute the loss to. However, be courageous in your fight and remember that victory is not only probable, but if you endure until the end it can and will be a reality.