One of my friends saw my blog posts and mentioned how he liked my honesty on dealing with Impostor Syndrome. I asked "Dealing with the what now, whondrome?"
Doing a bit of research, it is a subject that comes up quite a bit in BJJ. Largely due to the length of time it takes to progress, and the not so subtle fact that you get absolutely SMASHED for a good long length of time. It puts you in the mind set of "I will never be as good as INSERT GUY HERE." When you achieve the rank of said guy, you feel like you are a poor substitute for him/her. You feel like you don't really deserve the rank/praise, and that any moment, you will be revealed for the pretender you are.
When I started BJJ, I rolled with our black belt, Rodrigo Vaghi. He crushed me. Stole my will to live. Then he did it to the next guy. Then the next guy. Then the NEXT guy. That was my understanding of what a Black Belt was. What I didn't know was that Rodrigo is an elite black belt. One of the very best. What I didn't know was, had I gone to his academy in Rio, I would have seen that he would crush their black belts the same way.
Others have written about the same thing:
Nick Chewy Albin
I have taken some time to really think about it. To pull out my soul and take a good look. I realized that I'm just starting my journey. I have passed the minimum qualifications to become a black belt. I have a good idea of base, and a basic understanding of leverage. My fitness is good. It's time to play.
For the last few months, I have started to "play" with my jiujitsu. I've begun to open myself up and try different positions, different movements. I am also taking time to drill the basics consistently. I've completely given up on always having to be the guy who wins. I can lose, as long as I learn. By concentrating on the basics, and drilling them I have strengthened and deepened my knowledge of them. So, when I get in to trouble after trying a new position, I can fall back on what I know works.
It is something that I should have done a long time ago.
I feel that now I am trying new things, I have expanded my game. Best of all, I'm having more fun.
I know that I won't be what my mind's eye expects of a black belt. But I also know that I am not undeserving of the rank.