Today’s Topic: How to Get Over Fear
Hi everybody, welcome to Q&A with Coach Rebecca. It’s Monday night here in California, and I’m excited to talk to you guys about fear. Fear is the best, right? That’s why most of us are here listening to whether you are hearing this on the Perform Happy podcast, or you are live on the Facebook page, or if you’re reading this on the blog. You can find it in all these different ways, because I know different people like to learn different ways.
Some people like visual, some like audio, some like to read, so you can find us in all the different ways. But today we’re talking about fear. The main thing we’re talking about is not giving up hope, not giving up the faith in the process that you will be able to get through it. I’ll share a little bit of my personal experience so that you guys can know kind of where I’m coming from. Stick with me on this journey toward overcoming fear, building confidence and becoming the athlete that you know you were meant to be.
I am a high performance coach specializing in athletes age 8 to 18 who are in those scary sports where things get scary, confidence gets affected and sometimes skills come and go. You know, a lot of the athletes I work with are gymnasts and it’s like you have one beautiful skill one day, and then the next day you just can’t do it and you don’t know why. I’ve got a whole course on it, the overcoming fear course, and this is what I work with most of my clients one on one on, is this particular phenomenon.
I had a mom, a member of the Perform Happy community, reach out right before the holiday and say you know, oh my gosh, we hit another bump, we’ve had weeks of success, this is awesome, but now we’ve got a bad day.
Q: Are we always going to have these bad days?
You know, I’ll answer that in like around about way, the way I kind of like to. So I’ll give advice like I typically do for coaches, for parents and for athletes on this particular topic of let’s say you’ve been working and working, you’ve taken the fear course, you’re in the community, you are working, you’re making progress, you are getting ready to compete, and then you just have a bad day, you know? That’s normal, right? But then what if it’s a bad week or a bad month and then it’s easy to go, “I will never be free of this”.
And it reminds me of a girl I worked with who followed my methods, she got her skills back in two weeks. I mean, then this is not normal. I’m talking the way that I work is I slowly help your brain to desensitize toward the thing it’s freaking out about, and it takes some time. This girl got it in two weeks, and I was like, “Oh my gosh. Okay, whoa.” But then mom was like, “but we know it won’t last.” That was her immediate reaction, we know this won’t last, because this has happened before. She’s just going to lose it again.
Don’t Doubt Your Athlete
And I was like, mom, come on! Okay, that might be true that she’s had ups and downs, but if you’re coming at it with that attitude, yeah, you’re probably trying to protect her and you’re like, yeah, we’re not going to get too excited, but that’s keeping her stuck in way, because that, you know, it makes it okay for her to think that, too.
A lot of what parents think and what coaches think and believe is reflected to the kids. They’re like, I got it, I got it! And then the coach is like “yeah, okay, okay.” Or the mom is like, “we’ll see if it lasts, all right.” Versus “yes, I believe in you, you got it, that’s so awesome, I’m so proud of you, let’s keep doing it, you’re doing great.” Instead of that initial reaction of well, we’re not going to hold our breath, we hope it sticks around.
Learn From what Worked
The way that you keep it sticking around is you learn from what worked. You know, you look at what worked. Okay, what worked? You know, the progressions worked, the compassion, the putting it out in bite size pieces on a goal sheet. I love that. I like to have people do calendars where they’ll write out, okay, this is what I gotta get done, this is the time I have, and they write out the baby steps.
Sometimes it’s a little fast for their brains, sometimes it’s a place to start. And then you start making progress. Then I see this all the time, you know, people, they finally get some goals out and then they’re accountable to me, to the community, to their coaches and they’re like okay, I’m doing this, this is the amount of time I have.
They’re motivated because they’re like all right, it’s a new thing, let’s try it, let’s try it, because motivation is really key because working through fear is terrifying, it’s uncomfortable, you don’t want to do it, your brain doesn’t want you to do it. You want to avoid it, work around it, but you have to walk through it. And you can’t go over it, you can’t go under it. You know the children’s story, you’ve got to walk through it. You have to go through it.
Stay Motivated and Supported
If your coaches are like, “let’s do this, I believe in you. You take your time, I’ll spot you, I’ll give you whatever help you need.: Then you’re going to be like “okay, okay,” and then you get scared and they’re like, “girl, you got this. I believe in you. You know you can do this. I know you can do this. We all know you can do this, it’s just a matter of time. If it doesn’t happen today we still believe in you. Then mom is picking you up and going it doesn’t matter if you did it today or not, it’s just a matter of time.
Carol Dueck writes about growth mindset, and it’s that the difference between I can’t and I can’t yet, you know, just add that yet onto the end of your language, parents. “You’re just not there yet. I believe in you. You’re just not there yet, I believe in you. Look how far you’ve come. I’m so proud of your effort, you’re really working hard. We’re not there yet, but you’re getting there. You got this. You know, and you just put that on loop, that I believe in you, I believe in you.” Even if maybe, parents, you’re like I don’t know if she’s going to get it, do not let her know. But you need to fake it till you make it.
Fake it ‘Till you Make It
Just like my athletes I say fake it till you make it with confidence. If you’re terrified, you pull your shoulders back, you walk in like you’ve got this, you own that meet, because then the other kids are going to be like, uh oh, that person’s really good. Even if you’re so terrified, you’re like, you know what? I believe in myself, I got this, I can do this, this is possible. You are much more likely to have success if you have that as your driving force. Like I believe I can have what I want. I believe I can get through this.
Okay, so there’s the first phase, and that I see kids all the time, like, yes, we got our skills back, this is amazing. Oh my gosh, it worked. And then here’s what happens, they forget what worked. And then they start doing the old stuff that got them in that pickle to begin with, which is rushing through progressions, not doing a full warm up, not asking for help, trying stuff even if it feels terrifying when what you need is a warm up, basically.
Take Time to Reflect
If you’re having a bad day, it’s okay. We have bad days, and sometimes people have a bad day and then go, oh my gosh, it’s all lost. It’s all over. This will never get solved. It’s like we’re so finite in that, you know, you have a great six weeks and then you’re like, I had a bad day, this will never get better. No, you just had a bad day. And then you learn form it.
Reflect. Okay, what did you learn? When your coach has you jump up to the high bar without being able to try anything on the pit bar, this is what happens. When your coach expects you to do this because you’ve been doing it for weeks, but today you need that warm up again, get the warm up. Don’t be embarrassed. It’s like you revert back to that whole I don’t want to need a spot, I don’t want to need to slow it down. I don’t want to need it to be, you know, easier today. Maybe today it needs to be easier and that’s okay.
I talk a lot about the domino effect, that fear is not just like this beast in a bush that will jump up and get you, but it’s this series of things that set it off, and usually it starts with a feeling like this is not safe, which you don’t listen to. And then you try to push through it and then your brain reacts by becoming overly sensitive and stopping you.
Do Your Check-In’s
What you have to catch is that first initial feeling of this does not feel right. Check in with yourself. Ask for help and then let it be a bad day if it needs to be a bad day, but don’t make it a bad month. Don’t make it a bad year. Don’t make it a this is happening again. Just go hey, it didn’t happen today, tomorrow it’ll be better. You know, even if tomorrow isn’t, it’s about big picture thinking and knowing what works.
For those of you guys who have taken the course, you know it works. You know what gets you those skills back. Don’t do it differently because you’re starting to feel more confident. That’s the major thing, is that people start to, they’re like, I got this. I don’t need to. Yes, you do. Do the thing that works, you know? And especially if you’re having a funky day, it doesn’t mean it’s the end of the world.
That’s my answer for that, you guys. If you haven’t taken the fear course and you’re in the community, take it, you have access to all of the courses. Take it again. There’s also a five day fear fighter challenge in the community for you members who have all access. You can take it, it’s five days. It’s a five day challenge where you kind of like get yourself moving through fear. It’s a big confidence boost, and then I have another one that’s coming together very soon that I’m really excited about that’s the superhero confidence challenge.
Look for that if you’re a member. If you want to become a member you can go to performhappy.com and check it out. We would love to have you. I think that there’s a wait list right now, but you can at least get in there and be the first to know when we open the doors up again.
Recap: Getting Over Fear
Here’s what you need to get over fear. Growth mindset, you need to know it’s just a matter of time. You need to know that you’re going to get there, that it’s not like this finite thing that you’re just broken and you’ll never get it. You have to let go of that and go, no, I can get through this.
The second thing is you need motivation. You need a timeline, you need a deadline, you need somebody holding you accountable. Or need a game. You need something because otherwise you’re not going to want to push through fear.
If you’ve taken the pressure off too much you might actually want to put more pressure on. You have to be willing to get uncomfortable. You have to. That is absolutely critical. If you’re not willing, then you’ve got to find something to motivate you that is going to get you willing. You must have support, from your parents, from your coaches, from your team mates, and most of all from yourself. You have to believe in yourself and you’ve got to be surrounded by people who believe in you. That makes a huge difference.
See the Result you Want
Okay, and so what can you do, my final little list of what can athletes, coaches and parents do. Number one, stay positive. Number two, pay attention to progress. Look at, you know, this woman sent me this in the Facebook group, she said we had a great bunch of weeks and we had a bad day. Like let’s super celebrate those great weeks and know that they’ll be back. You know, focus on the progress.
Also see the result you want. For you parents, I want you to visualize your kid sticking that skill and smiling and competing at it confidently and having a great season. Coaches, same thing. It shouldn’t be just on the athletes to visualize this great result, you guys can also help put that out there for yourself so you can be like, well I’ve already seen you do it. I know you got this. It’s just a matter of time.
Believe, don’t lose faith and again, stay positive. If you have questions you can email me firstname.lastname@example.org, you can join us in the community performhappy.com or you can check out that fear course that I talked about. It’s a six module course that is basically my six session process for getting through fear and getting it stay gone. You can get info on that at completeperformancecoaching.com/fear-course-info. All right, guys, I’ll see you again next week. Thanks for joining me!