Most black belts will not cross train in other martial arts because of their ego. I never had an ego and have trained in most martial arts out there. However, my ego was substituted for my pride. Although it is true that you can't learn without being submitted, I find that my pride won't allow me to embrace this notion. Regardless of the sport, I have never wanted to see my limit. I've never benched press my maximum weight or even ran as far as I could. I even would quit teams if I knew I might be cut. This is all because of the fear that I would learn of maximum potential. I do not want to believe i can not do something and I want to believe there is no ceiling. Being tapped out by other blue belts, or even white belts, completely goes against this irrational thinking process.
Being a purple belt is going to uncover my insecurities even more. In most environments I like to roll against purple, brown or black belts, because if I lose I can tell myself that I was supposed to. If I win, then I can walk away feeling good about myself. Am I alone in this? It is hard to admit, but damnit I have pride and I'm sensitive. There I said it, wheeew. I believe I am the middle of the pack blue belt. Not great, but I usually do ok with most. At blue belt there is only two levels of insecurity. As a purple belt, I will again be at the bottom and now have to fear the purple belts, blue belts and white belts! Because of my travel schedule I've had the fortune being able to train with many schools and have made many friends. This is also a double edge sword because when you walk into another school you are always the "new guy". I've never experienced any malicious training partners, but you are certainly tested in every new environment.
I do hope that I'm awarded my purple belt, but I know that it is a long road ahead named Damaged Pride Avenue. I have to get over the fear of seeing my ceiling and instead viewing it as something I need to break through. I used to tell my employees, "shoot for the moon because if you miss you'll be amongst the stars".
I think I need to listen to my own advice.