There is tremendous value in not quitting when things get tough. But “tough” for one person is not necessarily equivalent to “tough” for another. For some, pushing through might mean overcoming low motivation or inertia. For others, not quitting might be impossible given their environment and life circumstances.

We really cannot know the struggles and obstacles any particular individual faces. And yet we continue to give out blanket advice such as “Don’t quit,” “If I can do it you can do it too,” or “If you want it badly enough you will make it happen.”

All of this is meant to be encouraging and motivating. We really do mean well. But throwing this advice around without truly knowing someone’s circumstances can actually be quite insensitive and demotivating. Because if that person to whom we are giving advice actually has an incredible amount of obstacles to overcome—much more than we do—and they fail at the task at hand, what does that say about them? That they themselves are a failure. That they didn’t want it badly enough. Or that they didn’t work hard enough.

We can do better. We can work on being more compassionate towards others and respectful of their circumstances. We can stop comparing ourselves to others and stop encouraging such comparisons among others. And we can start valuing EVERYONE’S martial arts journey, no matter how much it differs from our own.

We are not the same. But everyone’s journey—no matter how many starts and stops it has—is valid and worthwhile. Let’s honour that.

I talk about all of this in my third podcast episode. You can listen to it here, as well as wherever you prefer to listen to your favourite podcasts. You can find links to all the major directories on this page here.

Episode 3

Show Notes for Episode 3

Do you ever compare yourself to other martial artists and feel like you don’t measure up? In this episode we discuss the dangers of comparison. We explore the fallacy of well-meaning phrases such as “If I can do it, you can do it too,” and “If you want it badly enough, you can make it happen.” We look at the role of our environment in shaping our paths in martial arts. And finally, we explore the idea of “quitting” and “failing” in martial arts and other areas of our lives, and the reality that sometimes this is the best choice we can make.

Thank you for joining me on my martial arts journey, and in the exploration of all the ways we can perform better in life and martial arts.

You can also find me on YouTube:

Check out my online courses here:

If you’re interested in starting your own podcast, I highly recommend Buzzsprout. The platform is incredibly easy to use. If you sign up for a paid plan through my link you’ll get a $20 credit, and you’ll help support my show! Here’s that sign-up link:

Thank you for listening! Together let’s build a community of strong, healthy, awesome martial artists.

If you prefer the video version of the third episode on comparison, you can watch it here:

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Have you ever struggled with feeling like you don’t measure up? Feel free to share your experiences in the Comments section below.

Recommended Resources

You’re reading Do You Compare Yourself to Other Martial Artists? by Sabrina Bliem, originally posted on The Karate Shrimp. If you’ve enjoyed this post, be sure to follow The Karate Shrimp on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!