I'm reposting Nev's post on the Aikido Journal. I think all this equally applies to BJJ. Enjoy!
NON TOXIC DOJO - STOP BEATING YOURSELF UP!
When you train ENJOY.
Enjoy movement for its own sake.
Do not obsess with “getting it right” the first time, then stand around beating yourself up mentally because you think you are wrong.
You are not on display.
It is not an exam.
You are not wrong.
Simply try to come close.
And continue repeating.
As the mind-body-ki connection is healed through practice THE TECHNIQUE WILL REFINE ITSELF.
Not because of stress or volition or undue striving.
Nor because of intellectual understanding, which will come with time, but because you are MOVING.
Movement is life.
Breathe and move.
Do the best you can do for that moment and let it go.
You are not here to be judged or to judge yourself harshly.
You are in the dojo to unlock and release all that junk that is getting in the way of you being YOURSELF.
The dojo is a place where with respect, you have permission to be YOU.
So drop the social acting, role plays and expectations.
Stalling in this way is useless.
Trying to intellectually understand a technique before doing it is futile. MOVE!
Do something. Anything is a good start.
There is no “wrong” movement, just less or more harmonious movement but you can only make a start from where you are at right now!
The more you move, the better it gets and improvement is guaranteed!
Provided you do move.
Standing around thinking is a waste of time.
Just do what is best for you for that moment. AND LET IT GO. Forget it.
Tomorrow is another day.
Remember, however, that it is a martial art and one thing which will get you hurt or killed in a real situation is freezing.
This freezing is a reflection of old trauma, parental abuse and bad schooling where you were told you were wrong, embarrassed, humiliated, violated, or abused.
None of these are teaching techniques.
They are abusive.
The error lies with the abusers.
Reclaim yourself… MOVE.
You are not expected to do a technique perfectly for the first 500 years.
And after 5000 years you have to begin refining again.
It never ends but now is now.
Start with a single step.
Even the best sensei and the greatest master is still learning and will continue to do so.
So when you train do so for enjoyment.
Yes it is a dojo, show respect.
Yes it is a combat art, be aware, awake and vigilant.
Yes it is physical, mindful and intense so be present.
But above all leave your ego, your worries, the world and the past OUTSIDE.
When you bow onto the mat you enter a ‘spiritual’ domain where you and your dojo compatriots are dancing with The Great Cosmic Universe.
Nothing else matters.
There is nothing wrong with you.
We all get a tad “rusty” from the rigours of life on earth and lack of regular fine tuning and proper use
And though many will not admit it, we all started with some degree of clumsiness, two left feet, all thumbs and possibly even bad suicide habits from other arts.
That’s life. Accept it. Accept yourself. And accept that all new endeavours carry some measure of discomfort because CHANGE is disturbing the inertia of old entrenched habits.
This too will change, but only with regular, manageable installments of regular training input and movement.
Transformation is guaranteed but it takes time and due season and cycle to bear fruit.
There is great healing in this, for you, for those close to you, for society and ultimately the world.
So enjoy training, MOVE and be kind to yourself.