There are days when I just want to get away and not worry about anything else in the world–even if it is for a couple hours. Some people go for a run, others lay on the couch and binge watch a couple episodes of their favorite show. Me? I grab my rifle & pistol, head out to the range…and shoot.
Guns have taught me so much about myself and helped me grow in ways that I never could have envisioned. They’ve taught me self-awareness, focus, patience, confidence, discipline, and so much more. Also, guns have an alluring balance between art and craft.
Going to the range is a complete getaway. When I’m at the range, all I can think about is the gun, the bullet, and how to get that bullet to my exact target. When you’re focused on the task at hand, nothing else is relevant. Nothing else matters. It’s my getaway from reality. The more I focus, the more I’m in tune with myself. “When am I breathing? Where are my hands? Is my body in line and balanced? What did I do after the gun went bang?” These are the questions that go through my head. I’m incredibly one with myself and mindful of every move that I make. The longer I self-evaluate my mistakes, the more I learn about myself as a person. “Did I get impatient and rush my trigger pull? Did I anticipate the shot coming and overcompensate for that?” Shake it off, learn from your mistake, Steff, and fix what you can control. The rest will take care of itself. You can’t tell me that’s not a part of the principles of life.
Not only are guns a tool to build self-awareness, they build confidence and fill your heart with joy and “bad ass-ery”. To be able to control something so powerful. To be able to responsibly take matters into your own hands…Does that not give you a sense of empowerment?? Women these days are strong, daring, bold, independent. How can you say that being able to protect yourself doesn’t fall into this movement? I-a 5’2″, 112 lbs. woman-am able to live, travel, explore by myself with a feeling of security because of guns. I am able to protect myself and those around me because of guns. Building this sense of empowerment and seeing myself get better the more I practice has built my confidence to where it is today.
Guns may not be your outlet, and that’s okay. But I’ve learned so much about life from my passion for shooting. I’ve learned that self-critique is such an essential skill in order to grow in all aspects of your life. When you make a mistake, evaluate why you made it, fix it, and you will grow. Learn from your mistakes and the next round will be better.
The craft of shooting teaches you that discipline is crucial in order to be successful. If you want something, you need to sacrifice in order to get there. There have been times, when I had to turn down opportunities and leisure, in order for me to attain a specific goal. There will be opportunities that sound great, but do not tie into your core and what you stand for. You have to be disciplined enough to say no to things that will harm or disrupt your journey. Self-discipline is a sign of inner strength that builds the efficiency and self-control it takes to attain your goals.
Be intentional and aware with each move that you make. With such powerful tools in your toolbox, be mindful of which you are using and when/where you’re using them. Just like how I wouldn’t bring a knife to a gunfight, I wouldn’t I use my ability to teach in a situation that requires me to learn. Every situation requires specific tools in your tool shed. Be aware of your actions; move through life with purpose and mindful intent of your actions. Use the right tools for the project at hand and you won’t feel purposeless or lost.
Speaking of feeling lost, I’ve learned that you need to get ride of any baggage that will affect your performance–and I mean ANY. “Keep your heart free from hate, your mind from worry” (Norman Vincent Peale, The Power of Positive Thinking). Hating and worrying are toxic, useless, and take up unnecessary space in your mind. When I’m worrying about something else at the range, I can’t focus on the task at hand. If I’m worried about my past performance, I’m not paying attention to what I’m doing right then and there. Let it go and do what you do, boo.
Your passions are your passions for a reason. You learn how to approach and deal with life through what you love doing in a happy and–most of the time–stress-free way. Apply what you learn from your passions to all aspects of your life, and your happiness and success level will skyrocket. They say “do what you love”. Live out your passions. Love your life.