Yes. The topic says it all. But before you go on emailing my editor, listen to what I have to say. I will talk about mediocrity, and how rewarding ourselves will and can ruin our BJJ. It’s a radical idea, but it will make sense, trust me.
I was reading through www.99u.com, which is my daily dose of ideas on self-improvement, and read about how moral licensing can ruin your long term goals. In this case, our love for our sport has made us better, at first, up until the time we start feeling good about it.
Case in point
Yesterday, you attended your BJJ class. It was raining hard, but you still managed to go to training. You feel great! You greeted your fellow students. Most of them are not there since they felt that they need not to train since it’s more awesome to stay indoors. However, you still managed to get in. Proud as you are, you decided to take everything to the next level. You grinded, submitted, rolled, drilled, passed out then regained consciousness, had a few bruises, high-fived, and had Jamba Juice with your professor. You felt so good, that you wanted to reward yourself. You told yourself, “I think I am not going to attend for the next two days. After all, I did bust it all. It was like 2 weeks’ worth of training.”
So what happened there was a case of moral licensing. When you perceive doing something good in the past it will affect the way you treat the future. Sounds vague?
Let me clarify. As humans, it is addictive to feel good about ourselves. So when we do so much work towards a specific life-changing goal, we tend to slide back and take a break from the work that needs to be done to become better at what we do. In this case, it’s BJJ. We take a break! It’s the same as taking on a diet or losing weight. When we busted our behinds attending the gym, we tend to pig out. This is because we feel the need to be rewarded.
In our case above, the budding BJJ disciple fails to perceive attending BJJ classes as a separate requirement to his ultimate goal of becoming one of the BJJ greats. What he planned on doing was skip class because he felt the hard work had earned him and his body the reward of taking a break.
Failing to realize that every good thing requires so much work can render anyone backsliding to square #1 all the time.
Steps to Improve
The Requisite to Succeed
Perceive training as a requisite and a separate source of the phenomena of self-improvement. YOU need to train. If you don’t train, you don’t become good. If you did well today, you must do better tomorrow. It’s that simple.
Avoid the I-Did-Well Trap
To avoid this, you have to do some self-assessment. And the best way to do that is to look at your belt. It’s not being mean and hard on you. Believe me. It’s more of a personal checkup. If it’s been months since you won a tournament, then set the goal high and stop putting off training.
Permission to Push
Give your sparring partners the permission to push you and make you accountable for your actions. While you have yet to develop the habit of consistency, you need all the help you can get.
Putting on that gi requires a lot of work. Come on, you’re already training with the best in the world of BJJ, grab the opportunity to make most of it. Rewards are good, but for starters, you need be more consistent.
Jiu-Jitsu for Everyone!