I have been a fan of Tony Robbins for some time. I have read only one of his books and have listened to plenty of podcasts that he has been on but I have never read any of his more well-known stuff. Recently, after hearing for the millionth time that Awaken the Giant Within had to one more person’s success, I decided to buy it. I have not finished it yet but have stumbled upon a great piece that deserves some mention, especially as it pertains to jiu-jitsu practice.
Often times, people get discouraged about their training sessions. Jiu=jitsu is not an easy venture and most people struggle to move forward in a positive light. I myself am not immune to the trials and tribulations of the jiu-jitsu journey and I have struggled my fair share. When we struggle, we tend to ask ourselves disempowering questions such as “Why do I suck?” “Why is everyone getting better and not me?” “Why do I have to work all the time and can’t train?”.
Personally, my question is usually something like “Why am I not making the progress I want” or “Why does everything hurt all the time”?
One potential problem with these questions is that they influence what we are focusing on. In his book, Tony Robbins suggests that questions determine our thoughts. For example, if you ask yourself “Why is everyone getting better and not me?” you are essentially focusing on everyone else’s progress but your own. Furthermore, in my case, asking myself why I am not making the progress I would like to make forces me to focus on my own limitations rather than my potential.
“Remember, ask and you shall receive. If you ask a terrible question, you will get a terrible answer. Your mental computer is ever ready to serve you and whatever question you give it, it will surely come up with an answer.” -Tony Robbins
In life, when we face obstacles, asking “why me?” is never as empowering as “what can I do to get myself out of this situation”. Most obstacles require any degree of problem solving abilities so much like in life, in jiu-jitsu, we must always ask ourselves questions that get us closer to the solutions we require in order to keep moving forward. Your questions will dictate your focus and if your questions are poor, your focus will be too.
Asking Better Jiu-jitsu Questions
Next time you are feeling discouraged about training, try asking yourself the following questions:
What went well today?
(Compare to: “What went wrong today?”)
What did I learn?
(Compare to: What did I have problems with?)
What can I do to get me to the next level?
(Compare to: Why am I not making any progress?)
What is an area for me to work on?
(Compare to “Why do I suck?)