Wrap your Self-Esteem in Resilience

On my way back from a particularly hot and sweaty Brazilian Jiu Jitsu session the other evening – in the UK, we’re currently experiencing what I think they call summer  – I found myself musing about something.

I’ve been doing Jiu Jitsu for years, and whilst I’ve progressed to Blue Belt, my progress has been much slower than that of the people around me. It’s not natural to me.

Essentially, one might argue, that I’m just not very good at it.

And yet, in absolutely honestly, this doesn’t bother me at all.

Me – a person who is constantly wondering what others think of her; a person who has made a lifestyle out of striving towards perfection and impossible-to-achieve ideals.

So why doesn’t it bother me? I wondered.

Ahhhh… it’s because my self-esteem isn’t wrapped up in being good at Jiu Jitsu. It’s wrapped up in being resilient.

If my measure of success was based on being a badass who won every fight, via a mix of technique, skill, speed and strength, then I probably wouldn’t have stuck with it for as long as I have. And I definitely wouldn’t have survived the broken leg that frustrated the hell out of me for two years onwards.

But as it is, my measure of success is based on showing up, trying my best and not quitting. Progress is a side-effect of doing this, of course, but it’s not the focus.

Consider an area of your life where you’re working towards goals.

Are you striving for perfection? Or are you working on your resilience? 

Because honestly, showing up is hard. Not quitting is hard. But unlike perfection, it’s actually achievable. Unlike perfection, it isn’t a rod that you can use to beat yourself every time things don’t go exactly as you planned.

So work on your resilience and just keep trying.

You never know, you might just come to think of yourself of someone who is strong, powerful, relentless and even unstoppable.


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