This Is Why You Don’t Get Better

It has very little to do with how hard you work.

Chris Wojcik


Photo via Sammy P Photography

Whether you’re trying to get better at Jiu-Jitsu, playing the flute, or flipping burgers, the biggest obstacle that you have to get past to make progress in different skills is yourself.

Yes — there are other obstacles in the way of your progress, but obstacles aren’t usually as important as the internal ones. They’re not important because you can’t control them.

Sometimes, in Jiu-Jitsu, you have an opponent who’s on steroids. Sometimes the referee is bad. Sometimes you get a bad restart. Sometimes this, sometimes that. There are sometimes variables that you can’t control. This is part of the game.

But are those things really worth stressing out about?

I tend to think it’s better to focus on yourself and your own development.

But still, sometimes people get in their own way.

Here are a few of the main reasons why most people struggle to make progress toward their goals.

You don’t trust anyone.

If your goal is to improve a skill, you probably need a coach.

In my experience, you need to reach an extremely high level to improve without a coach or a guide, and even then you will still look to others for inspiration or advice. You need to buy into someone else’s perception of how things work and apply it to what you already know to be true.

You need to allow someone else to influence you.

Even someone like Gordon Ryan, probably one of the most arrogant athletes in the world today, is influenced by others. In the technical world of Jiu-Jitsu, Gordon is a bit of a trailblazer, but he still studies other grapplers and champions in other grappling arts.

If you want to improve your skills in a given field, you need to allow yourself to be influenced. You need to trust others so that you can learn from them.

You don’t believe in yourself.

I wish I could give the feeling of joy that I’ve had in Jiu-Jitsu training over the last year and give it out to people who doubt themselves and put themselves down over a lack…