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How To Handle Getting Promoted… When You Don’t Feel Like You Deserve It

How To Handle Getting Promoted… When You Don’t Feel Like You Deserve It


I recently received my purple belt and I struggled with accepting that I was “purple belt level”.  

That is until I watched Professor Bernardo Faria’s video “When you feel you don’t deserve to be promoted to a new belt”.  Professor Faria makes a lot of excellent points in this video. A belt is unique to your journey. It shows progression. Just because you’re a purple belt, for example, doesn’t mean you will never get beat by a blue belt, or even a white belt.  

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To quote Professor Faria “Trust your instructor.  If you got it, it’s because you deserve it.”. Professor Faria talks about the belt being a sign of progression.  No one is going to promote the super tough guy that only shows up a few times a year, but the person who continues to show up regardless of life getting in the way will continue to progress.  “Jiu jitsu is about more than just being a tough guy.”. “Keep enjoying the jiu jitsu”.

For me I struggled with accepting the next belt because I know that I’m not able to get on the mats as much as I want to.  In my ideal world I would train for a few hours each day. Unfortunately, that isn’t the world I live in, yet. Like everyone else, I have a demanding career that takes me out of town for days at a time, roughly half the year I’m States away from my home academy.  

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In addition, I run my own business on the weekends. Like many of us, I have kids who are involved in their own activities, so when I am home, that complicates getting to the mats on occasion. Like others I have the typical home maintenance activities of mowing and fixing up the house.  

We all get twenty four hours… how we use them is what matters.  I used to struggle with trying to find balance. The reality is that is an unwinnable battle.  Inevitably, something will always through the balance off. Once you get the perfect mix of everything, your kids soccer season starts, or work gets busier, or, insert any number of things here.  We have all been there. Life throws surprises at us all the time.

What I finally came to grips with is that I prioritize the things in my life, and I give the priority 100% of my attention at that time.  Balance doesn’t work well for me. If I’m home, I go to jiu jitsu whenever I can, regardless of what my “normal schedule” used to be. When my job takes me out of town, I dedicate my attention to that, and if possible, find a local academy that accepts drop ins.  

A great friend of mine who has been training for years always says “There is no secret. Just don’t stop showing up.”. There’s a lot of truth in that. While I initially was apprehensive about leveling up in my rank, when I look back at when I started training and how much I have changed personally, professionally, and mentally, it all makes sense.  I haven’t stopped showing up, and I never will. I’m not the toughest purple belt out there, likely far from it. But that’s ok. This is my journey, and purple belt me is way tougher than white belt me.

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 Systematically Attacking The Guard By Gordon Ryan


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