Hey everyone, just recently I was reading a copy of Inc. Magazine and happened upon a pretty interesting one-page snippet on the four toxic beliefs of unsuccessful entrepreneurs. It had a lot to do with how we experience doubt. Jiu-Jitsu is such an intense learning experience that we often doubt ourselves. It is very likely that we experience some kind of toxic thoughts or maladaptive behaviors that lead to our demise on the mats. I wanted to write this piece to get your feedback on some of the toxic thoughts you or your training partners or your students seem to have that you think are the most detrimental to your/their success.

The four toxic beliefs, as posted by columnist Jeff Haden, are as follows:
1. “Someone else is holding me back”
2. “I’m too busy”
3. “There’s no guarantee that this will pay off”
4. “There’s nothing special about me”


I thought these were pretty interesting, particularly 2 and 3. I feel these two are incredibly relevant to Jiu-Jitsu and I feel like I, myself, have seen a great prevalence of these two. I, myself, suffer from number 4 from time to time.

1) “Someone else is holding me back”

This is an interesting one insofar as Jiu-jitsu is not necessarily a “team” sport in the most strict sense of the words. We fight as a team in spirit, but a Jiu-jitsu match is not a 5 on 5 type of affair. It is true, however that sometimes we may have a toxic teammate that keeps us from achieving our goals by spreading negativity and facilitating maladaptive thoughts when we are trying to stay positive and keep moving forward.

2) “I’m too busy”

Well, I’ve heard this one more than any other, I believe. I feel like I can devote a whole post to this and may just give a quick snippet here and do so at a later date (remind me if I forget).

We are all “too busy” but we make time for the things that are important. I often tell my students that if you want to be world champion, you have to train like one. This means making Jiu-jitsu a TOP priority and getting on the mats 20+ hours a week. If you are unwilling (note: I said “unwilling” not “unable”) to do so, then you must put your priorities in perspective. If you have a family that deserves top priority, then maybe your Jiu-Jitsu goals should be more realistic.

Remember, we ALL have 24 hours in a day. We ALL have other priorities. We ALL are busy. How are you managing your time and are there areas in your life (eg. happy hour, television time, waking up two hours earlier, etc) where you could be sacrificing more for training? If so, then do it.

3. “There’s no guarantee that this will pay off”

This one is great! Jiu-jitsu is hard, hard work! We ebb and flow and we have our good days and bad. A lot of us who have been training for a half-decent amount of time know this. We also know that we must stick with it to reap the rewards of our training. A huge problem with a lot of beginners is that they don’t see their results immediately and they tend to think that immediate failures are the be-all, end-all.

11354721_10153298600513057_411092312_nPhoto by Lance Austin

Those of us that have been around long enough to know this isn’t the case understand the bigger picture. Our immediate failures are not the bigger picture. The work we put in NOW is not the reward but just the part of the process for a greater achievement in the long run. In other words, the work you put in is not your compensation; it is your investment. This is sweat equity.

4. “There’s nothing special about me”

This one actually hits me a little closer to home. It is interesting to think that we don’t have any special talents or accomplishments especially when we compare ourselves to the Lovato’s, Barral’s, and Galvao’s of the world. I actually remember I used to think “Why should I quit my job to teach Jiu-jitsu? Nobody would ever take private lessons from little old me” not realizing that I already had a student that was paying to see me twice a week… Wow!

We all have something special about us. We all have an idea as to what our talents are and where we need improvement. The truth is, we must cultivate our strengths and fortify our areas of opportunity.

Some of us have immense talent that we either ignore or are oblivious to. Just stay the course and keep searching for your own personal diamonds in the rough. You are going to find the areas you excel at sooner rather than later, if you have not already.

Hopefully you all enjoyed reading this and I will be posting a follow-up on one or a couple of these beliefs soon as I think they’re incredibly important. If you have any personal experiences with any of these, I would leave to hear about it. Send me an email with the contact form below or leave a comment!

Also, I updated the design for Jiujitology patches. The order has been placed and they should be here soon! It will only be a run of 50 in the interim, so PLEASE SIGN UP HERE for a chance to win a FREE PATCH!

I will be selecting a group of about 20 from my mailing list to receive free patches.


Screenshot 2015-05-18 16.07.29

[contact-form-7 id=”3981″]

Leave a Reply