You might feel like an imposter when you start questioning your ability to achieve success – in anything. Questions like, “Do you know what you’re doing?” or “Do you even belong here?” creep into your mind and create doubt.
These imposter-like symptoms tend to appear in the context of your career or in the workplace. But they can show up anywhere, including your Jiu-Jitsu training. And it can be one of the main reasons you’re intimidated even to try martial arts.
Here are some of the ways that you might be feeling like an imposter on the mats.
1. You feel like you don’t belong.
Starting something new, like Jiu-Jitsu, can be intimidating. You might feel like people will judge you on your skills, fitness, or even your appearance.
2. You gauge future success by past experience.
With any long-term practice, you’ll experience ups and downs. Perhaps you’ve been inconsistent with your training or haven’t followed through with your goals. And now your inner voice is using your past to dictate what will happen in the future.
3. You feel guilty or selfish about prioritizing your training.
If it feels strange to prioritize your training over other things, it might be coming from some imposter-like feelings. These thoughts might sound something like, “Only ‘real’ athletes get up at 5 am to train or skip happy hour to go the gym.”
4. You downplay your accomplishments and successes.
It’s not always easy to own our successes and accomplishments. Rather than celebrating when you master a skill or reach a new belt rank, you downplay it. “Oh, that’s nothing. Did you see what Jon can do?”
So, what can you do when these thoughts creep into your mind?
Focus on individual improvement.
It’s so hard not to compare yourself to others. But remember that everyone is on their own journey. Set some SMART martial arts goals and focus on making a plan to get results.
Acknowledge past challenges.
If you’ve had some bumps in the road, acknowledge these challenges. For example, maybe it’s been a while since you’ve had a consistent training schedule, or you’ve let your goals (or New Year’s resolutions) slide. You’re not alone! Identify what causes you to struggle. Then, tackle your biggest challenges by overcoming them in the future.
Listen to what you say to yourself.
Pay attention to the mental dialogue you have going on in your mind around your training and martial arts practice. Are you reluctant to prioritize training because you don’t see yourself as a “real athlete”? Don’t let labels and definitions like this hold you back from making progress and staying committed to your training.
Own your accomplishments.
Instead of always downplaying your successes, own your accomplishments. It might feel a little strange but acknowledging even small achievements can be a significant source of motivation, as well as a self-confidence booster.
Rolles Gracie Academy in Old Bridge offers Jiu-Jitsu programs for kids and adults. To learn more about the classes we’re currently offering and how to get started, contact us today.