Shihan says if something isn’t fun, don’t do it, and Jiu-Jitsu hasn’t been very much fun for me lately. I still love it as much as I ever did, but I don’t love going to class right now. I’m starting to think it’s possible that I’m too much of an introvert, and I don’t have enough of an ego to train Jiu-Jitsu. I believe you need a great deal of self-confidence to survive in the long term, and I do not have much at all.
Even when I am confident in what I’m doing, I don’t come across that way. Since I am so uncomfortable talking to and interacting with people, I get nervous, and I have a hard time remembering and explaining things, especially to people I don’t know very well. This leads to some new students thinking that I don’t know what the hell I’m talking about, and therefore not respecting me. Then I have to waste half of my drilling time trying to convince them I am correct, and even when our teacher tells them that I’m right, it doesn’t seem to help.
Most of the students do respect my knowledge, but the few who don’t are really killing it for me. It’s bad enough that I already think I’m the weakest link in our Jiu-Jitsu chain, and now I’m starting to feel like more of a liability than an asset. It’s crushing my spirit. I just want to feel like I belong there, that I deserve to be there, and I don’t want to be judged against a standard I have no hope of ever attaining. I will probably never be a good teacher, but that doesn’t mean I have nothing to offer.
When I say that training Jiu-Jitsu is outside of my comfort zone, I don’t think most people truly understand how much. For several years before I started at the dojo, I was borderline agoraphobic, and I only left my house and interacted with people when it was absolutely necessary. Some days I still have panic attacks before I go to class. Even writing this blog is a huge deal for me. It’s hard enough for me to put myself out there, and to interact so closely with other human beings, without feeling as though some of them don’t want me around.