What is the goal for your Martial Arts career?
Is it to earn the right to wear a black belt?
If so, when you get it, is that the end of your training?
I have seen many students work very hard for a long time to get the highly coveted black belt and I am sad to say that a majority of them stopped training after getting it. This seems very counter-intuitive to me. It seems a little like prepping everything for an amazing meal, gathering the supplies, marinating the meat, turning on the cooking surface, and never cooking anything. While you are a black belt you learn how to combine all those spices (punches) and veggies (kicks) and bacon (stances), it’s not an amazing meal without bacon, to create the masterpiece and only after that, do you get to reap the rewards and eat.
The plateaus will come, in no small part, because the black belt is similar to an independent study. Your teacher is there for guidance, but if you are going to progress, it is on you to think about what you already know and apply it to life outside the dojo. The ability to stand in a balanced position, ready to react to anything has more than one application and it is up to you to find them. The better you understand these other applications of basic concepts the more efficiently you can use them both in and out of the dojo. Being a black belt is about being a lifelong learner.