Some of you guys may know that I recently received a belt promotion in Jiu Jitsu. Honestly, it was cool for about three days, then I got very depressed about it. I was a very good purple belt, but I am not yet a very good brown belt. I feel the distance between me and people with less experience should be greater. Like I should be some unimpeachable cloud of talent. Its silly, but real.
On my trip to New Mexico, I had the chance to reflect a lot, and I finally found a way that I can be a brown belt and be happy. Basically, my plan is to suck for a while.
In Jiu Jitsu, as you grow, it becomes very easy to steer the conversation of the match towards your strong points. You have a bad guard so you try to keep it on the feet. You are good off your back so you don't even try a takedown. This is strategic and not wrong at all. There are times for it. Its ok to want to be in your strong positions.
But if you're trying to grow, you can't only do that. As much as you can, as much as you can tolerate it, you should try to spend your time in your opponents strong positions.
This is hard hard hard on the ego. If I keep the match in my good spots, I look good. If I let my opponent get the things they want, they will drag me into a section of the sport in which I don't look good. In which my ignorance or inadequacies shine.
But that is the land of magic. That is where everything opens up again. That is where the joy of being kind of shitty at something comes back. The only way to access that level of growth though is through the gate of suck. You have to be willing to look like you suck to one day look like a badass.
Its hard, but it is possible to stay in dark til your eyes adjust, and learn the room, and then eventually find all the light switches. Its a quiet humble type of patience.
My coach preaches this type of training mentality all the time, I'm just now incorporating it more fully.
I'm sure you can tell that this is a life skill too. And I'm reminded of it. The weaknesses that have sabotaged my strengths don't have to be my enemies forever. Not working on your weaknesses is like choosing to fight with your next door neighbors. You protect your turf at all times, and you deathly afraid of something crossing that line. But what if that next door neighbor was your best friend? What if you could walk over there for dinner, stand in their yard, and see your own house and get a whole new understanding of your flaws and also your beauty?
Thats how I'm choosing to think of this, and I feel great. I'm trying to examine other areas in which I've let the fear of being bad at something make me worse. My whole life I've been afraid of being influenced by inadequacies that went unchallenged. My only hope is to weed them out one by one.
I've done some of that this year with competition and the renovation project, but lots more to go.