As much as I’d told people that I was learning it for the self-discipline and the focus it taught me, just between you, me and the everyone else reading this: I wanted to be Billy Bad-Ass.
It was easier to be a Nice Guy and follow my crush around like a lost puppy instead of sucking it up and asking her out.
But in sparring as in dating one thing was true: unless I was willing to take the hit, I was never going to get any strikes in. Everyone remembers the first time that they got rejected by somebody they liked.
We also fear, perhaps more than anything else, losing approval from others. In tribal times, being ejected from the safety of a group could have meant death. Fear should keep us alert and safe - like the beam from a lighthouse warning ships of submerged dangers.
But too much fear, like a super-beam of light blinding the ship's captain, can cause the loss of the very thing we feared losing.
One of the hardest things about getting better at dating is that you have to learn how to take the hit.