I was talking about this with a teammate last night: we talk all the time about following your own path, not comparing yourself to others, and marching to the beat of your own drum, so to speak.
It’s harder than it sounds, really. Even here in the US- a nation that prides itself for nurturing an “individualistic” culture, so much of our lives are spent comparing ourselves to others. The minute we are born, we’re measured to make sure we’re right in line with everyone else, our intelligence is tested to make sure we are at the very least developing at the same pace as others. As we grow older we are measured and tested in every single way, compared to others to ensure we are all on the same page, that we are at the very least average. There is a fear instilled in us of being left behind, of being at the tail end of the pack.
And then jiu jitsu comes along.
Jiu jitsu tells you to stop comparing yourself to others, to stop nitpicking about just how well you are doing vs how well your teammate is doing. It’s no longer a race to stay with the pack, but rather a journey that you are sharing with friends: some may be ahead of you, some may be behind, and occasionally you are forced to stray off the well beaten path and struggle through the weeds a bit before you are able to get back to solid footing.
And you are told this is normal- this thing that is totally opposite from everything that you are used to: all the testing, comparing and sizing up.
It can be a hard pill to swallow, and there are times that we will compare ourselves to others even when we know better, that such a comparison will only frustrate us further. It’s ok, we’re only human.
Just remember it happens, accept it and move on: don’t be afraid to find your own path- it may feel rocky, or swampy, or a flat plateau that stretches on for miles, but it is your journey and no one else’s.
Just some thoughts for today: have a great day everyone!