This morning I read an article on the Seven Enemies of Success with Women from owner of Call of The Wild Adventures, Emilie Cortes.  I reached out to her and asked if I could use some of her notes to apply them to this Kenpo Women article.  She happily agreed.

Emilie writes  that “she is a firm believer that success in the outdoors translates directly to the success back home, at the office – confidence, skills, communication, learn how to ask for help, contribute to a team, and find power in your own mind and body.”

This holds true to all measures of success, including Karate.

Here’s Emilie’s take on the Seven Enemies of Success in Women

Ungratefulness – Gratitude brings a mindset of success – it’s the antithesis of negativity and cynicism.  When I guide Call of the Wild trips or go on my own adventures, I’m immensely grateful for the perspective it brings me.  Seeing how others live and often struggle in the rest of the world makes me grateful for my comfortable life.  I feel grateful for the privilege to be able to walk, interact with others from around the world, and to open my mind to endless possibilities.  What are you grateful for?

Apathy – A lack of enthusiastic is the path to mediocrity.  I rarely see signs of apathy in Call of t
he Wilders though – it would be tough to be apathetic AND have the initiative to register and prepare for an adventure.  But be mindful of other areas of your life where apathy might encroach.
Victimhood – The belief that the world is acting upon you and you are powerless is a great enemy of success.  It’s also one of the biggest lessons we learn and reinforce on our trips.  With all female participants and all female guides, we instantly become a team and a community.  We learn that we cannot control the weather, injury, even government intervention and we figure out how to make a trip a success regardless of the obstacles that the natural (or civilized) world may present.  Sometimes the biggest obstacles can become the most cherished stories!
Learned Helplessness – Belief that you can’t do something or learn to do it will “repel success away from you” in Gregg’s words.  Indeed!  I have a friend that climbed Everest a couple of years ago despite missing most of his arm and I met a gal in Bend who completed the Iditarod despite being legally blind.  The experience does not have to be extreme, however.  For many women, camping for the first time in their adult life is extremely empowering.  I remember getting stranded in my car during a snowstorm and not being scared because I had learned to how to snowcamp.  Our supportive guides are always willing to instruct and answer questions to improve your self-sufficiency.
No Vision – You need vision, drive, motivation to be successful.  I have always been inspired by big goals.  I could never get my booty out of bed to workout in order to look good for a bikini, but with a challenging goal like backpacking Mt Whitney, I was motivated.  I love the phrase “ambitious realism” – set some goals that are ambitious but realistic for where you are now in terms of your experience, fitness, and comfort.  What is your vision???
Fear of Being Judged – I think this is one of the biggest ways we women hold ourselves back.  We are so afraid of failure and judgment, and often will not even try something new as a result.  What is so great about Call of the Wild, and why I chose to focus my life on women only, is that much of this fear is reduced when you are in the company of women.  Funny enough, most participants are worried about holding the group back, but if you are all worried about the same thing, eventually you just have to let go of your own fear.
Lack of Discipline – “To have what you want tomorrow, you have to forgo what it is you want today.”  All of our trips are active and range in difficulty, but all require that you be a regular hiker as a minimum and some require that you train for 4-6 months to be properly prepared.  It’s no good to sign up for a dream trip and then fail to do the preparation needed to be successful.  Discipline will help ensure that your hard work maximizes your chances of being successful.


How can we apply these “enemies” of success to Kenpo and learn from them?


Ungratefulness – Why is it that we get into a mode of not appreciating what we have?  I know that in karate I’m grateful for my instructors, my peers and the fact that I’m healthy and able to participate in doing something I love.  There’s nothing better than getting out on the mat and learning from others.  Our peers offer their time and share their knowledge for no other reason than to make you better.  Gratefulness is the key to success, it’s the key to respect.
Apathy –the definition of Apathy is the absence or suppression of passion, emotion, or excitement.  Arnold J Toynonbee writes: Apathy can be overcome by enthusiasm, and enthusiasm can only be aroused by two things: first, an ideal, with takes the imagination by storm, and second, a definite intelligible plan for carrying that ideal into practice.  I don’t think there’s a lot of apathy in Kenpo, we Kenpoists are full of passion, emotion and we all share a true excitement for our art.
Victimhood – Awww victimhood…  We all do it.  Poor me, this is keeping me from doing this or that.  There’s always road blocks in anything we do, but how we go about barreling through sets us above being a victim and triumphing over the negative thoughts.  In Kenpo we strive to not be the victim, we train to fight back.
Learned Helplessness –  Even as a black belt I have a tendency to let myself fall into this category with the injuries that I’ve had.  I tend to lead a little more on the cautious side verses diving right in.  This is good and bad, though I feel that I don’t push myself to my fullest potential and use it a a crutch.  Emilie notes Self Sufficiency, this is key to all success, she’s absolutely correct.
No Vision – Emilie writes that “you need Vision, Drive and Motivation to succeed”.  Why did we begin our journey in Karate? What was your vision? Mine at first was to build a better relationship with my father, but it evolved from there. I didn’t start training with him directly until I had my purple belt, I wanted to prove to myself that I was serious about learning Kenpo, my vision was to be a serious martial artist.  Goals are an amazing tool and with out them we can not succeed.  There has to be motivation and drive, otherwise we will be wandering around aimlessly, fleeting from one thing to another.  Realistic, minimized goals are the ones that can be achieved.
Fear of Being Judged – During my growth in Kenpo I truly struggled with this, being the daughter of Bob White & Barbara Lee White, I had quite the reputation to uphold.  This was a big burden for me, I felt as though anyone who looked at me would be comparing me to my parents and Step parent, Barb as well my sister, Alia, who are all amazing martial artists. This fear of being judged really set me back in my training and confidence.  After several years I came into my own person, my own,  I’m not my parents or my sister, I’m me and I have my own style.  Once I realized this, my confidence level rose and I excelled to the best of my ability and I was judged based on my merit, not who I was.  Vince Lombardi wrote: “Some of us will do our jobs well, and some will not, but we will be judged by only one thing – The Result”  This holds true, work hard and you’ll have good results, all of us are beginners at one point, release the stress of what everyone’s thinking and focus on what you’re there to do; study, train and progress.
Lack of Discipline – Suit up and show up.  If you don’t come to class, you are truly cheating yourself out of your own education.  A black belt must be earned and can’t be earned by sitting on the side lines without participation.


There’s a another article that was published in Forbes Magazine called Why Success can be Uncomfortable (and what to do about it)

I thought it was pivotal to not only in life in general but to our journeys in Kenpo, by taking ownership of our own accomplishments, being proud of our success and also failures because, we can’t be great at anything without failing and trying again and again.

Thanks to Emilie for giving such a thought provoking topic to write about today.