I spent a large part of my life in martial arts training, which included traveling across the world and living in Japan for 12 years.

What it was that I searched for all those years – the elusive Zone that athletes talk about – and what I had to overcome to reach it is the subject of my next series of articles about how to get the most out of releasing.

I want to break this subject down and really do it justice because it’s a subject I’m very passionate about.

So here goes…

Throughout my life of martial arts, working with professional athletes, building businesses (and even with releasing), I’ve always encountered the phenomenon of stuckness.

What I’m talking about is the feeling of hitting a wall.

Lester characterized this feeling as stuckness or resistance. What’s happening is that internal or external blocks are coming up, but you feel that you’re unable to let it go or move past them.

It doesn’t matter who you are or what the goal is, these plateaus inevitably come up.

Not only can I speak from my own experience as a world karate champion, but I also can relate through recent conversations with world champion swimmer, Allen Stark, and Mexican national karate champion, Guillermo Espinosa. Every athlete I know has reached this stuck point.

Progress in anything, like going through the rankings of karate – from beginner to master levels – it’s not a straight-up, linear road to success. There are a lot of ups and downs along the way.

When we hit these plateaus, many of us begin to mentally beat ourselves up. Then we begin seeing ourselves getting beaten up in the outer world.

So, we see ourselves going from being good to leveling off to getting our butts whipped. When we take a fall from what was once a successful place, it’s a shock to our system.

In the case of a professional athlete, they make a decision, “Oh no, I’m not stopping.” They bring up an inner reserve to push through.

Or… they quit.

That’s the decisive moment where they need to get bigger.

In the next article, I will talk more about this defining moment where you can rise above your obstacles and show you how you can use releasing to do it effortlessly.