Have these questions ever consumed you? Have they kept you from performing your best, or trying new things? Probably.
Fear is a funny thing. By definition, it is an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat. It may be a real threat or it can fully imagined. Fear can keep you from being faster, stronger,
and fitter. It can keep you from being the best competitor that you can be. It can limit you, hold you back and it can completely consume you.
When it comes to training and sport, you may have doubts about your abilities. You may be afraid of failing, or getting uncomfortable. You might be fearful of the unknown or of a particular environment. You likely make up all sorts of consequences in your head that you think might happen, that probably never will. We have all been there.
Maybe you don’t want to look stupid, or be wrong. Maybe you don’t want to show people your imperfections or vulnerabilities. You might hate giving up control and don’t like feeling like you’re not the one in charge. You could be afraid of how people
will judge you or if the situation doesn’t work out perfectly. The ‘what-ifs’ take over your thoughts and completely hold you back from action.
The point is that almost every fear in our life is self-imposed. We create anxiety, panic, fear and stress. We are afraid to change, we run from situations that will make us uncomfortable and we often hide from challenge. Guess what?
Those fearful thoughts will continue to chase the hell out of us until we decide to attack them.
If you are sick of having the same thoughts and do not want to be limited anymore, and then decide that you are ready. If you want to be better than ever, then start thinking differently and taking action. Remember that you can always go right back to where you were if it doesn’t work out. Here are 5 steps to take to overcome your fears.
1. Admit – You have to be honest about your thoughts and emotions. Accept and own your fears. Actually admit to yourself that you are having fear. Recognize that you are feeling fearful and having doubt. Be able to realize that you having fears (whether they are real or made up) and think about why you are fearful and how realistic your fears are. Stop for a second, think about something that you are afraid of, write it down, and admit it to yourself.
2. Share – Your fears are real to you, yet you are living in fear of your fears until you share them with someone in your support circle. You are not weird for having fear and believe me it will feel great to talk about it. Voice them to people who care about you and don’t worry about their reaction. This will help you further understand your fears and you will get some feedback on them. Get the crap off of your chest, seriously. The sooner you do this, the sooner it will be gone.
3. Prepare – This step is the process of getting mentally prepared. I am going to highlight the key aspect of mentally preparing to overcome your fears.
A) Know Your Motivation – You should write down why it is important to you to face this fear and overcome it. There has to be some type of benefit to getting uncomfortable. The most important part of being mentally prepared, is understanding exactly how you can be better by facing your fear. Know why you want to do this.
B) Be Optimistic – You need to start saying positive mantras to yourself and speaking positively about the situation. You should practice visualizing a positive experience and outcome.
C) Break It Down – You should also break your fear down into smaller parts. You don’t necessarily need to take it all on at once. You can write down your fear, and then write down small and simple action steps that you can start taking. Remember, no step is too small. It is more important that you try and start somewhere.
4. Try – Accept that there is no such thing as a ‘perfect’ situation and give it an attempt. Know that you are ready and that the best way to learn is to try. Remember why you want to do it and surround yourself with positive support. If it doesn’t work out this time, you can always step back and try again another time. “Try, try, and try again.”
5. Reflect – Take a moment to be proud of yourself for going for it. Share your thoughts with your support team and reflect on how good it felt to face your fears.Take some notes about the experience if you want. Reward yourself and know that you made the right choice by taking the necessary steps. It wasn’t as bad as you thought it would be and you can easily repeat this process for other fears in your life.
It’s time to let go of looking stupid, feeling embarrassed, being ignored. It is time to get rid of your doubts and overcome your fears. Accept that you might mess up and that things might not look pretty. Know that it might be tough but that it will be okay, and that the worst-case scenario is not that bad. You will get over it, through it, and you will be so glad you faced it.
If you don’t take these steps, you will wonder forever. You will continue to replay the fear and worry in your mind, and you will build it up even more. You can either choose to conquer it, or you can continue to let it limit you. Whichever option you
choose (action or inaction), will create a pattern. Each time you choose to deal with it, or not deal with it, it will make it more likely that you will pick that path again. Your choices become habits and literally define how you approach training and life.
Choose to attack your damn fears.