Monday, February 9, 2015

Question Everything: Getting over ourselves

The series of posts on here under the tag "Question Everything"  tackle subjects that a lot of people take for granted or often don't give a lot of thought about.  But what about the act of asking questions itself?

The other night, after karate, one of the intermediates was asking clarification about a technique that focused on footwork.  He was having trouble wrapping his head around how we teach a fundamental one way but this drill seemed to be countering the idea.

After it was explained to him to his satisfaction, he apologized for "being slow" to get it.  While I wasn't the one who explained it, I wasn't the only one who told him he was just fine - and good for him to ask for clarification!

How often do you not ask a question because you're afraid other people will think less of you, or you'll feel stupid?  Come on, we've all held back because of it.  But then how often have you lost out because you never got that answer that would have made things easier for you - or had to wait until much later?

I'm not talking about asking questions that were already just answered (I still do that, sorry), questions in a passive-aggressive style (didn't you want the shime people to not play like wounded ducks?), or questions that you could answer yourself (will it bother anyone if I put my worn tabi on the snack table?) but the questions that you really wanted to ask yet stopped yourself out of fear.

The reward of understanding something confusing is SO worth the chance of feeling stupid.  It's fear that talks you out of it, so tell fear to suck it while you ask how to do something better and get better for doing it.

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