Today I received my purple belt. It was a surprise. In fact, while they were talking about who they were giving the purple belt, I was sure it was one of the other students. It wasn’t until they mentioned Judo that I realized it was me (of the 4 of us who were 4 stripe blue belts, I’m the only one that trains Judo.)
While my coach was tying the belt around me, he shared some wisdom with me (that I will keep to myself.) But after listening to him, I realized that they don’t just give purple belts out, especially not at Vaghi schools. I might not be a world champion, and I don’t have to be to get a new belt, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t earned it.
That’s hard for me to grasp at times. Even after class, people were telling me congratulations. I had to filter the thoughts that were coming in to my head. Someone would say “congrats” and what I heard in my head was “yeah, I don’t know why I got it” or something similar. But that’s not humility, it’s self deprecation. I’m fairly good at self-deprecation.
As CS Lewis says, thinking less of myself isn’t humility.
So what does that look like in BJJ? I have earned a purple belt. But that doesn’t mean I did it on my own. I have an entire team that got me to this point.
There’s two aspects there:
- I have a team
- I’ve achieved this level
The first point is easy for me to embrace. The second point, is where I struggle. But it’s something that I’m focusing on.