Students often get frustrated when training at the dojo. After making their arms and legs do what they want to for years, they suddenly have no coordination. I say to them “No, your other right foot, your other right foot!” over and over. Some even quit training because “I’m not progressing like I thought I would”, or “I can’t do this”. What did they expect? Although I believe there are many reasons, bruising of the student’s Ego is a significant factor in a student’s frustration.
As my instructor would remind me at this time, there is really only 1 of 3 people that you can be: 1) the person you project to others, 2) the person that you project to yourself, and 3) the person you truly are.
We all want to “look good” in front of others. This is where 1) comes in. We often change the way we act and what we say to accommodate others. While this is socially acceptable, it becomes dangerous as we start to believe the illusion of ourselves. Thus 1) can start to become 2) – the person we project to ourselves. 2) is the dangerous person. We start to believe in our own lies, and thus start the path of arrogance, and self-destruction.
With introspection and hard work, we can become 3) – the person we truly are. However, the Ego must be put in check in order for this to happen. You must take yourself down a couple of notches, and accept yourself as the flawed-but-trying person that you are. Don’t beat yourself up – that is your Ego trying to talk you into becoming person No.2.
Become person No. 3 instead.