Re: The way others see you
Train for the sake of the training. Some days are better than others. How could you possibly know when you're ready for promotion? You've never been there before. If there's a routine time for promotion that's predictable in the group then, to my understanding, it's not based on real growth of skill and knowledge. Every single promotion I've had in my budo history has surprised the hell out of me, and it's taken a few months before I realized that I was "comfortable" with the new rank. The only thing, to my mind, that's important about rank is that it's a level that you should hold yourself responsible for, even on a "bad day" and that you know your teacher holds you responsible for.