One issue many people have with their progress is this idea that there is a place to be or go. My therapist used to always tell me, “You know what your biggest obstacle is? You always think you need to be here in order to get there. Or, you always think you need this to do that.”

You are exactly where you should be

For those who practice yoga, you might be familiar with the sentiment that no matter where you are in life, you are exactly where you should be physically, mentally and spiritually. Presence is a big part of this idea and being present is about understanding that everything is right where it should be.

Presence is powerful and should be practiced in your Jiu-Jitsu journey.

I recently spoke to a student who was obsessing over the million things that could go wrong in the world and I asked him? Where are you right now?

“I’m worried about…”

“No, I mean where are you, right now? Literally, not metaphorically.”

“I’m at a coffee shop, sitting right across from you drinking coffee.”

“Exactly. You are not worried about anything, you are sitting down, having a conversation, drinking coffee.”

Again, you are exactly where you need to be, always

In Jiu-Jitsu, we have plateaus and we have ups and we have downs. There are days when nothing is working and we feel like we’ve gotten worse. There are other days where we feel superhuman and powerful. Then there are just days. This is all normal and part of the process. Just like life, your path wasn’t meant to be easy and smooth.

With every obstacle and feat you accomplish in your journey, understand that everything is as it should be. Take the good like you take the bad and do not make excuses or disempower yourself. You can devalue a lot of your accomplishments by using complaints like these:

“I need to be in shape before I get any better.”

“If I only had the money for private lessons, I would take them.”

“I can’t invest in more time at Jiu-Jitsu because I have to be doing _____”.

With all of these excuses, there is a tone of helplessness. Do not be helpless and rather than disempower yourself, find a reason to give yourself power and move forward. My philosophy is that either

a) You can find a million excuses for why you aren’t where “you need to be”


b) understand that you are where you need to be and find one good reason to keep going and moving forward.


Your journey to being a black belt won’t be easy. It will likely be very difficult and only when you train yourself mentally to accept the changes you will experience, will you be equipped to handle adversity. The psychological pressure we put on ourselves by believing we don’t have the tools to succeed is incredibly unfounded and foolish.

You have all you need to be successful and it starts with your attitude. Your attitude will determine your experience and greatly dictate how far you will go. You need to believe in yourself and believe that you are capable of achieving your goals.


For further reading, please see this post on empowering yourself

…and this one for understanding some types of psychological barriers in your Jiu Jitsu journey. 

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