Continued from part 1

And now we’re blue! We’ve busted through the soil surface, our freshly sprouted growth now exposed to direct light and wind, animals and temperature fluctuations. The blue belt (or any new color) sticks out, draws attention from “predators”.


Unconsciously or intentionally, many white belts now see us as a target to crush, in a falsely assumed thought that to kill one creates one.


Those of us further along aren’t exempt. No need to take it so easy on the new color anymore.


Well intentioned, many eyes turn to the new color, either noticed for the first time, or with a new fervor. In some circles, we may have just now earned the honor of remembering our name. Until a color is around our waste, the chances of making it past the soil surface is small, no threat to us and no need to attach to us. Misplaced as it is, the thought is to wait until our teammates sprout to acknowledge them, water and sun them. They get what’s left after the colors are tended to. Obviously this isn’t the way, especially at NG. Our entire garden gets cared for, watered and sunned, sprouted or not, all of us circled up with no rows.


The new attention and energy is our new challenge for the freshly minted blue belt. How will we deal with the new target around our waist? It might seem we’ve gotten worse immediately after the new color, often compounded by the thought that we weren’t ready for it in the first place. Imposter syndrome is real, as is the feeling of post-ranked technical regression. We should remind ourselves that it’s super common and a natural part of the journey. The feelings are real, but we are not imposters and we don’t get worse.


With our new rank, we won’t’ let ego weeds grow alongside our technical progress, increasing our chance for injury to ourselves and teammates. We keep our head straight, accept our new milestone, remain watchful of ego creep, open minded and helpful. Blue and through isn’t for us.