You are supposed to feel inadequate.
Martial Arts, Muay Thai Kickboxing and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in particular (as these are what I specialize in) are supposed to make a person feel inadequate.
If you have felt inadequate - it is a good thing.
And in a world where feeling inadequate is frowned upon, how does that make any sense?
Because on those mats, it is not about being good right away, about doing everything right immediately, about doing it perfectly every time.
So why do we always want to be good right away? Why do we want to learn everything immediately, and as soon as it’s learnt we need to do everything perfectly?
Because we don’t like the feeling of being inadequate. But what drives us to continually come back to those mats to train? Because we know that we are capable of so much more and need to tap into that, continually discover that on different levels and layers. It’s a love hate relationship (the best type really), hate feeling inadequate but love the puzzle of getting better.
The truth is, everyone is capable of greatness, but few find it because they can’t make it through the challenges the mats provide.
When you have that yucky feeling of being ‘inadequate’, it doesn’t necessarily mean you are inadequate. It simply means that you are challenging yourself (and sometimes in a big way). And if you are part of a good Academy, this will never change. There will always be instructors and training partners to continually challenge you and bring you to the next level.
Because as diamonds are made by heat and pressure, so are great students, athletes and competitors. Not only are they creating the physical skills but also the mental strength as they are torn down and built back up stronger.
And for whatever reason, not everyone can handle that. It might be too hard, hurt their ego too much - whatever it is.
But, the secret is to just show up (shocking secret I know).
As simple as that.
It’s a game of numbers, the more you show up, the more you’ll learn and the better you’ll get.
And remember that quite often we have more to learn from the bad training days than the good ones. Instead of being judgmental and or upset - think to yourself in a curious way - why was todays training session like this?
Then, find the small victories.
Not every training session has to be your best.
Not every training session has to be your strongest.
Not every training session has to be perfect.
You don’t have to remember everything from every training session.
Because if you wait for all the above to happen, you are waiting for a perfect world.
And while your waiting, the world will pass you by. Show up, and enjoy whatever experience the mats have for you this day.
Because even the ‘bad’ training days are still good ones.
Thanks to Katrin for these great quotes. Too good not to share.