The Black Belt Mindset: Unlocking your Potential for Excellence


1- Practice doesn’t make me perfect, perfect practice makes me perfect.
• Sloppy is not excellent. Regardless of the task do it right. Take the time to check and make sure
your clear on the objectives.
Excellence Habit: Pay attention to details and write everything down accurately.
2- Speed and power come with time.
• Be methodical in your learning. Don’t be too anxious to look like the person ahead of you. Work at a
productive pace and in time, speed and power will come in your position.
• When you go too fast too soon someone gets hurt
Excellence Habit: Take as much time as needed to do something correctly.
3- I have a plan of attack.
• If you’re proactive, you focus on preparing.
• If you’re reactive, you end up focusing on repairing.
• Think through a plan then attack. Ready, Aim, Fire.
Excellence Habit: Set Goals.
4- I will learn from the masters.
• Always look for people who can teach you. Know when you have learned all you can and graciously
look for other places to grow.
• You can not learn unless you listen
• This requires a growth Mindset
Excellence Habit: Learn something new everyday.
5- Failing doesn’t make me a failure.
• Growth means stretching yourself and at times failing. This is a good thing, as long as you respond
appropriately to failure.
Excellence Habit: Take calculated risks.
6- I am responsible for earning my Black belt.
• Avoiding responsibility, cheating, and blaming others are signs of laziness
• You aren’t a failure until you start to blame
Excellence Habit: Be self-disciplined.
7- My Determination will determine my rank.
• A black belt is a white belt who never quit.
• Why do we quit, we believe certain myths:
• If I were good at this it wouldn’t be so hard.
• If I were meant to be it would have happened by now.
Excellence Habit: Once you start never quit.
8- The fundamentals are my foundation.
• When you think you have mastered the basics, revisit them.
Excellence Habit: Take time to review.
9- I don’t know it until I can show it.
• Mastery is not simply knowledge but action. You must be able to show your technique and teach
your technique to others.
Excellence Habit: Teach what you want to be excellent at to someone else.
10- I will punch through my target.
• You can not have effective impact if you don’t finish the punch. You must follow through. If you stop
short you won’t break the board or injure your opponent.
• Follow through makes you trustworthy.
Excellence Habit: Always follow through on your commitments.
11- Look for great opponents
• You can never become a better fighter or grow in your skills if you only compete against people you
are better than. You have to step into the ring and practice with someone that presents a challenge.
Excellence Habit: Be humble.
12- Honor your heritage
• Never forget where you came from and how you got there. Everything is connected.
Excellence Habit: Say thank-you.
Ryan Howell

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