How to Take a Wall of Fear and Turn it Into a Stepping Stone
We are born with a natural fear of loud noises and falling, but every other fear we actually acquire over time. The boogeyman, heights, snakes, spiders… WE LEARN TO BE SCARED OF THESE THINGS.
They are not natural to us and because they are not natural to us it means that we can conquer our fears. Learning to conquer our fears means we can always progress and move forward towards any dream or goal. Imagine you can use something that would hold you back, and turn it into something that propels you forward?
Bottom line is that fear is a natural mechanism in all of us designed as a warning system to something we don’t want to happen. If someone puts a gun to your face, you are scared because a bullet in your head will not be a good thing for your life.
For some that fear might be failing. Whenever we approach something we could fail at, warning signs go off in our brains warning us to STOP! That is not even the problem though, the problem only comes if you actually listen to the warning signs telling you to stop.
Custom Made Fear
Fear is a strong feeling and we tend to build it up to be so much more than what it is, and it all resides in our head. We are scared of so many things that we can’t even name them. When you’re an athlete this is a problem because you need to be fearless in your actions.
- Fearless of any competitor
- Fearless of coming back from injury
- Fearless of failure and success
- Fearless of your next workout
No person should ever be feared because we all put out pants on one leg at a time. Fearing your competition means that you have already lost without giving yourself a chance. You have built something that is not real, but it is very real for your mind. Everybody is human, everybody can get hurt and everybody can lose so what is this fear you speak of?
Turning Our Negative Fears Into Positive Outcomes
To conquer a fear you have to first accept that you are scared of something. It does not require no longer being scared of it to conquer it though from here it requires you to be courageous.
The best example this that I can think of is when it came to racing my older brother. We both ran the 100m dash and though he was faster, I would crumble whenever I had to race him and run way below my potential.
In 2012 when the outdoor season was starting, I knew I had a race against him coming up and I had to just admit that I was scared and the truth really did set me free. I felt a weight lift off of my shoulders because I finally admitted out loud and told other people. I came up with excellent strategies to cope with it and the three times I raced him that year I almost beat him each time and I ran personal record times.
“Courage is not the absence of fear, it is when there is a presence of fear, yet the will to go on.”
Courage is the true answer to our fears. When everything inside of us is telling us that we need to stop going forward, courage shows up and gets us through it all. As an athlete, and a human begin we will never get far in life if we can’t bring out your inner courage when we are scared.
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