There have been so many times during my Jiu-Jitsu training when my confidence was shaken to the core. Times when I felt like I didn’t know anything at all, or that everything I thought I knew was wrong. In the early days of my training, I would cry on a regular basis. At first it would happen during class, then later on I learned how to hold the waterworks until I got home. Sometimes I’m not even sure why I stayed during the rough times, during the times when I thought I would never be able to figure Jiu-Jitsu out, and I was convinced that I sucked more than anyone on the planet. I guess even when I hated it, I still loved it, and I just couldn’t walk away and say “You’ve defeated me!”
My own lack of confidence, my inability to believe in myself, was actually a big part of why I struggled. When I was trying to learn a new technique, a little voice in the back of my head would be saying “I’m never going to understand this!”. My mind was so preoccupied by fear and worry, that I wasn’t truly present in the moment, which slowed down my learning. People used to tell me that I “think too much”, but I believe Ray nailed it on the head when he said “You think about the wrong things!”. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been told that I would be better at Jiu-Jitsu if I just believed I was.
Since I started training at Lincoln BJJ Center, I’ve been able to relax and let go of a lot of my insecurities, which has made a remarkable difference in my training. I’m learning more, because my mind is focused on the task at hand, instead of being distracted by self-judgement. I don’t feel like crying after class anymore, I’m too busy trying to remember all the things I learned! Not worrying about how much I suck has actually made me suck less.
In BJJ class on Wednesday, Greg gave us our testing requirements for our upcoming blue belt test. It’s two pages long, and there are forty-eight different techniques listed. When I first saw the sheets, my immediate reaction was “There’s no way I know all of this, I shouldn’t even test!” Then when I actually started reading it, I realized that I do know almost everything on there! A couple of the things which I wasn’t sure if I knew turned out to be things I do know, I just know them by different names.
I am ready for my blue belt test, and I deserve to pass. All I have to do is relax, and believe in myself.