This is an "irk-me" post. And perhaps I am no better than anyone else because, even though this is going into my personal blog, I will still cross post it to Facebook. Am I passing judgement? Yes. No buts. Just yes.
I get bothered when people perform "good deeds" and then discuss it like it is a giant revelation. I'm not condemning someone for doing something kind and helpful for someone else, or for a group of people. But why the "look at me" posts? Why the need to call attention to yourself for simply being kind? What gaps are being filled by social (media) validation? Isn't the deed simply good enough?
Now, this post isn't about people who fundraise for causes dear to their hearts. Those who fundraise aren't calling attention to "look what I did". They are calling attention to "look what WE did". Because it was kindness as a community, therefore, they give thanks to those who made it possible for them.
Impostor Syndrome is that feeling in your gut that you just aren't good enough, qualified enough, smart enough, or *insert any feeling* enough. Basically, you're not enough. That is what the voice in your head is telling you. A dose of "you aren't ready", a dash of "how dare you", stirred together to make impostor soup.
I'm opening a jiu jitsu academy on January 1st, complete with judo and wrestling. Why does impostor syndrome sneak in? Because in my city I am surrounded by intelligent and accomplished black belts. I worry that someone will ask, "Why should I train with you, and not so and so?" I worry that people will think I am done with my own jiu jitsu journey. I worry that colleagues of mine at my own belt rank, or higher, will look at me and think, "How dare she."
I had a coach tell me that if I want to be better than just a "regional champion", then I had to step on the big stage. That year I competed in Masters Worlds and swept my division, taking first. In the absolute I got outworked by my good friend, Krystal McKenzie, and took third. My second Masters Worlds I took second place, and then 3rd place again in the absolute. That same year I did adult Worlds and took third overall in my division. I was unable to compete in the absolute because I took a red-eye out that same day to get back in time to watch Chris compete in a strongman competition. In 2018 I took a full year off of the IBJJF scene to do smaller tournaments and make myself known again in the Milwaukee, WIsconsin, Indiana, Minnesota, Illinois areas. I'll be back on the big stage soon.
A couple years back I had a long talk with another coach, Dave Rosenmarkle, and he told me something that stuck with me. I don't remember the exact quote but it went something like this:
"I may never be a black belt world champion, but that is a decision I had to make. I could devote all my time to myself with training, diet, and competition preparedness, or I could dedicate my time and knowledge and create champions. I chose to coach."
Let me be clear, he is a damn good coach. He was there at all my major tournaments and he knew exactly what to say, when to say it, so that I reacted automatically. While I want to be on that World stage again, I am even more excited to create champions. Every day I tell myself, "You're going to be a damn good coach." And then I go to work.
I used to be such a good liar. I was so good at lying that I fooled myself. Not big lies. The little ones. The lies you tell yourself to twist an event to make you look better. The lies that shine the spotlight of blame away from you, so you comfortably sit in the dark without facing your demons. I would lie to get out of hanging out with people. When someone would tell me I screwed up, I would make up stories to prove that I was not at fault. They weren't even great stories, but the words easily flowed out of my mouth, as if I'd been doing it for years.
That was the truth of it. I had been telling so many tiny lies for so many years that it became part of my narrative. Part of who I was. Then came a day when someone finally held up a mirror and it was an ugly sight. So I changed my story.
I practiced becoming better by telling small truths. It was as if I had to yank out those words with barbed wire. I couldn't believe how difficult it was to simply tell someone, "No, I do not want to hang out." Because I was a people pleaser. I would mold myself to a situation, and be what that situation or person called for.
When I paid attention to my fears and worries they all wrapped around not disappointing others. In the process, I was disappointing myself without even knowing. Not until those mirrors were held up. Not until I started holding myself accountable and owning all of my petty behaviours.
The next time someone holds up a mirror to your actions don't fight it. The next time you feel you have to change instantly because it will please that other person, realize that is not the person you are working to become. Growing up is not a bad thing. It doesn't change who you are; it simply aids in the evolution of who you are meant to be. Growing takes time and practice. Practice. Practice.
Small truths add up to incredible self reward.
The Daily Roast is a thought, question, list, or any other mini that doesn't need an entire blog. Thought Flights are here to get you pondering and wondering.