There’s a term that’s tossed around my work sometimes- limiting beliefs. We think a certain thing won’t work, or a behavior won’t change. The definition of a limiting belief, according to the internet is “a thought or belief that a person acquires as a result of making an incorrect conclusion about something in life.”
This can plague our everyday lives, and can also effect our jiu jitsu. After one bad session of trying spider guard, we suddenly proclaim that we are terrible half spider guard players and we refuse to work in that position. We mess up a takedown, and suddenly we’re not the kind of jiu jitsu player that does “that” kind of takedown. We’ve all done it at some point, myself certainly included. We have one bad experience and then BAM- we think that we can’t do something, full stop.
While sometimes there are things we really can’t do due to some physical impediment, we shouldn’t let our limiting beliefs keep us from progressing into more fully rounded jiu jitsu players. Obviously, waaaay more easily said than done: humans are remarkably efficient machines, and it takes conscious effort sometimes to do things that we think are inefficient uses of our time: we like doing things we are good at, or have promise of being good at, because it feels like a more productive use of our time- to hone our skills at something we’re already doing well.
My ask really is to still try things that you have a belief that you are not good at- whether it’s a takedown, a sweep, or something else you think you can’t do (without hurting yourself, of course). When you are taking class and that particular technique comes around in the rotation, try to make an effort to clear your mind of the previous bad or less than stellar experiences, and try to start fresh. You never know, there may be something that you didn’t pick up on last time you tried and makes everything substantially easier.
I don’t know about you, but the next logical question for me would be “so how do you know when something is a limiting belief, versus an actual limitation”? Honestly, I’m not sure. I think there is always some validity in trying something, even something you know you aren’t good at- either you will improve, even just a little bit, or worst case scenario you are reminded that we can’t be good at everything, and that there will always be things to work on when it comes to jiu jitsu. But regardless, you should always make an effort to try things, even when you think you are not good at them.
Have a great day everyone!