… how would that change your beliefs?

This is a question I ask myself a lot. I remember when I was a blue belt right after winning nogi Pans I was talking to a friend about how I felt that I could really be something in jiu jitsu if I kept up the effort. That individual’s response was immediately telling me that I was unrealistic. Listing off all the reasons why I could never achieve greatness. I am too old. I have a full-time job. I went home feeling deflated with this ugly voice in my head that I could never be enough, and it stuck with me for a while.

Later, I had started reading a book called Mindset by Carol Dweck. This book, which emphasizes a growth mentality, totally changed the way I was thinking in so many ways. In my work, in my jiu jitsu, in my life, and most important in myself. If I can learn to be better in all things and am an ever-evolving growing entity then why couldn’t I reach for the stars? Why can’t I be a successful career woman, family woman, and a high level jiu jitsu practitioner all at the same time?

It really hit me. The only person that was keeping a ceiling on what I was capable of was myself. I was stopping myself because of my own limiting beliefs from achieving my own dreams. The truth is, if you have a dream, you have to fight for it. No one is going to fight for you.

My dream is to do it all. Having a successful career, my family, and being a practitioner are all parts of me. They ALL have value in my life. It is of course not easy. It is rare that you find someone that is doing it all because doing it all is really hard. Maybe the hardest thing you will ever do. As the old quote goes, “The best things in life don’t come easy, but those things are the ones worth the sacrifice.”

One thing that I realized quickly was that in order to do this I had to guard my time really well. Time is finite and once it’s gone it’s gone. I sat down and worked out exactly where I was spending my time every day. We all take breaks during the workday. We all have a lunch break. I determined that if I kept to the 80/20 rule 80% of my 9 hour day was 7.2 hours. I had almost 2 hours in breaks throughout the day that I could utilize to better my efforts.

I did the math. I figured out the schedule that leads to high productivity across the board and I stick to that schedule. We all have little pockets of time that we can take advantage of. Going to the gym for 2 hours during the day? Unrealistic. Going for a 30 minute run and then later working out for 30 minutes? Much more plausible.

Nicole Matthew – Contributing Writer