Most of us have heard the saying, “sometimes your the hammer and sometimes your the nail.” I want to expand a bit… First, you will not stay the nail forever. Enjoy your time as both, but mostly enjoy your time as the nail
I understand it may sound crazy to hear enjoy your time being frustrated, getting smashed, feeling out of shape, forgetting everything, feeling demoralized, and getting “beaten.” But, believe it or not this is the easiest time of your journey because all you need to do is show up over and over with a positive attitude and open mind. Simple, but not easy. Please realize that this struggle is the absolute perfect breeding ground for your future success on the mats. How?
Listen to your instructors and teammates. When you go to them and express how frustrated you are, how you can’t seem to remember anything, how you feel as if you’re not getting any better, get out of your own way and believe them when they tell you, “everyone was once where you are.” Take pride in that statement. Appreciate that the process of becoming proficient at Jiu-Jitsu doesn’t care about anything except mat time. This is powerfully refreshing in a world of ego maniacs and bullshitters. Be proud that you are a part of an art that is so honest and can absolutely guarantee effectiveness if you’re willing to show up over and over. Finally, admire and be inspired by those “hammers” instead of putting unrealistic expectations on yourself to fast-track a process that can’t be fast-tracked. Enjoy the grind and embrace the fulfillment that occurs when you go “all in.”
Don’t worry, you will experience moments of hammering, before going right back to being the nail. Fight the discouragement, remember what everyone has told you, and rely on what you’ve learned up to this point. These moments and experiences become more and more as the belts get higher until you will inevitably spend the majority of your time as a hammer. But, don’t think your time being a nail ends. Although it may be few and far between, for an upperbelt/hammer, the experiences provide just what they need to test their resilience, make sure their actions and emotions are congruent with their advice to others. And, of course, is a powerful reminder why they love and respect this journey.