I absolutely love Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. It’s my fun, my gym, my family…
but I’m really bad at it.
I’m not looking for pity here or being self-deprecating for comedic effect. I’m genuinely bad at it.
It look my two to three times as long as my friends to get by blue belt. My confused facial expressions, odd drilling method and ‘unique’ technique has been a running joke since day 1. I haven’t won a single fight in competition (and in one of them, I broke my leg – though it wasn’t my fault at least).
The thing is – I’m okay with this.
I’m okay with it, partly because I do enjoy a good battle against adversity, so doing something that doesn’t come naturally is much more of a challenge. I’m okay with it because as I said, I love it; it’s my fun, my gym, my family…
But I’m also okay with it, because outside of BJJ, I spend time a good chunk of time doing things that I am naturally better at; teaching and writing.
I think this balance is really key for your self-esteem.
Thinking back to different times in my life, I can see that I took on too many challenges; that everything in my life was about getting better at something that I wasn’t good at. I wasn’t lying when I said last week that I had a knack of making fun feel like hard work.
When I think of these times, I remember feeling challenged; determined even. But I sure as heck didn’t feel good about myself. How could I? I was entirely focused on improving weaknesses.
By all means, go for goals – challenge yourself. There’s a whole lot of learning and self-esteem to be gained in turning ‘can’t yets’ into ‘cans.’
Just be sure to balance this out with your ‘already cans’ and ‘nailed its.’
Because if you’re always working on weaknesses rather than playing to your strengths, it won’t be long before you don’t feel like playing much at all.