If you’ve ever read my blogs before, you know I’m a huge advocate for doing new things. Trying new things is the best way to expand our mind, widen our perspective, and challenge ourselves to become a better person. However, starting new things isn’t always easy. Doing so takes courage and can be difficult to muster up the strength to take that first step. But once you take that step and commit in your mind, you are off and running.
Trying something new is like becoming a baby all over again. You have to make mistakes, set your ego aside, and be comfortable with judgement. You need to become vulnerable. Depending on how new this hobby or activity is to you, you could be starting with some prior knowledge or you could be starting from zero. I’m more familiar with the latter. Especially when I picked up Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. I had no previous combat sport experience before taking a class. And coming from a fairly good athlete all throughout high school and college, it took a lot of courage for me to become a baby again in front of my BJJ classmates. I would fail at the warm ups, fail at the stretches, and get confused on the drills we did. Luckily I was athletic and stronger than most of my fellow white belts at the time. So I could get away with winning some battles on quickness and strength alone. But when it came to a higher level belt, I had no chance. I have to give myself up. I had to set my ego aside and look silly all over again in order to learn something new to me.
I later came to realize that this feeling of embarrassment was all in my head. The BJJ community is super friendly and nonjudgmental as a whole. No one understands better than a BJJ trainer how difficult of a pursuit BJJ is especially when starting out. Once I understood this, I stopped caring what others thought about me. I was also a quick learner with anything that involved athleticms. This mix of not caring and being a fast learner really helped me excel in those beginning months. I was tapping out most of my fellow white belts fairly easy, while holding my own with other top white belts and even low level blue belts. For those who know BJJ, they know it takes years and years of consistent practice to become fluent with BJJ. A year is not a lot of training for BJJ. And if you are starting from scratch, the highest belt you’d receive after a year would be blue. BJJ takes time. And I was able to hold my own with those with a year or so of training just after a couple months of training myself.
If I hadn’t submitted to becoming a baby all over again I would not have gotten as far as I did as quickly as I had gotten there. Becoming a baby means putting aside your ego, not caring what people think of you, and being comfortable with openly failing in front of others. Submitting to the fact that you are a beginner is extremely difficult for some people. These people will never be able to try new things because their ego stops them from becoming a baby. As a matter of fact, babies learn faster than any other age. They say we learn the most during our first three years of life. And that’s the same as if you are trying something new. Becoming a baby will help you learn faster. As opposed to faking who you are and being afraid of putting yourself out there. Become and baby and try new things. Have the courage to take the first steps, then you’re off and running.