I punched a girl right in the mouth once.
Long story short, she was convinced she was the greatest martial-arts trained badass that any of us poor scrubs had ever seen, and she quite insisted on starting a sparring match with me. Wouldn't take no for an answer. Okay, whatever.
First gentle lob I threw, easy, relaxed, telegraphed to hell... pow, canvas.
I was surprised as hell. Expected her to parry it easily.
And there she sat holding her face in her hands, looking for all the world as if she was waiting for everyone to flutter around her and fan her fevered brow. When none of this was forthcoming (after a very awkwardly long time indeed), she rose to her feet and mumbled something about ...
( and I shit you not, she said this)
... how she had been down trying to control her temper after being hit because she'd didn't want to lose control and hurt anyone.
She so desperately wanted to be like the cool ninja chicks she saw in movies and comic books that she was unwilling and unable to acknowledge the gap between what she was and what she wanted to be. So instead of training hard for years and years and years, she half-assed it for a little while, then started working at convincing everyone, herself included, that she was already there.
Okay, now finish up your little laugh about how silly and childish women are, because now we have to talk about how some of you assholes do the same damn thing.
You think your game is good enough. It isn't.
You think you're fit enough from calisthenics. Your "general fitness" is an excuse for being weak.
You think you don't have to train MMA or Thai boxing or karate, because you "don't wanna end up like Muhammed Ali", as if anyone would let your slow ass get into the ring with Joe Frazier. You just don't wanna get hit, because you are a pussy.
Anytime you are afraid of doing something, your treacherous ego will always find a way to tell you are either already good at it, or that you don't need to be good at it.
You will never become the person you want to be until you admit you are not him, and are more afraid of staying that way than you are of the work you're going to have to do.
People keep asking "When will I become confident, and not have to fake it?" Answer is, never. Not if you know what's good for you.
When you can deadlift 300 lbs, compare yourself to the people who deadlift 400, and focus on them until you feel like shit. When you can do 400, compare yourself to the people who lift 500, until you feel like shit again. When you hit 850, compare yourself to Eddie fucking Hall.
Greatness is driven by the fear of mediocrity. The moment you think you are good enough, you will never be any better.
There is no light at the end of the tunnel. There is no magical nirvana that you will break through into, where nothing will ever be hard again. There are only standards, and effort, and improvement, or complacency, weakness, and self-delusion.
Your choice. But don't make excuses for how you are too afraid of being hit in the face.