Today’s Topic: Change Your Perspective on Fear
Changing your perspective on fear starts with talking about it. Fear can be used as a helpful tool that can actually affect your life as an athlete, and in general, in a positive way. Here’s how:
Start using fear as feedback. This means you discuss what fear means to you, what you’re scared of, what it feels like, and what it looks like when it happens.
Go through all the details of fear and the experience you’re having with it – the emotions, maybe shortness of breath, butterflies in your stomach. Go through fear and talk through it. Make sure you get all the details of it so you can learn what your fear is, and then talk about using it as feedback.
Change the perspective. Being fearful and feeling scared, worried, shutting down and maybe balking and not going for something as a gymnast, are all things that could be hindering your performance. When you address fear as feedback, you can start taking a different perspective.
When you change your perspective, you are able to adjust and realize that fear can facilitate you using skills and techniques that you’re working on, whether it’s visualization, circle breathing, relaxation techniques, refocusing, or reframing your thoughts.
Learn to be empowered and not disempowered by your fears. When you learn your strengths, you learn how you can be empowered with fear and work around it.
As much as you want fear to go away completely, it actually helps you. A lot of gymnasts realize this in competition. They realize that fear actually helps them – helps them perform and helps them do their best. When you go through that conversation, it can be helpful.
When you’re working through your fears, adjusting is also knowing that not every technique and every tool is going to work. It might take a combination of things, and it might take time to figure out what those things are, whether it’s visualization, circle breathing, and when the timing of that works perfectly for you.
R: Reset, Refocus
When you have fears, when they show up, it’s a reminder to reset and refocus on what you need to. Whether it’s a technique or tool, whether it’s reframing thoughts or all of these things, fear is a reminder to do the things that are going to help you reset.
Fear is Helpful
If you see fear in a different way, it is not as scary, and it can show you that fear can be helpful while you’re working through challenges. For a lot of athletes, fear is really scary and can really affect their lives and performances negatively.
Some athletes can’t sleep at night and want to quit due to fear. But when you see fear in a different light, it can actually help your performance.
Getting Rid of Fear
For a lot of athletes, it’s easy to want to push fear away, to make it stop, but when you can reset and address fear in a positive way as a helper, as a tool that’s actually reminding you how to respond in a way that works for you and empowers you, you can feel in control of your responses, and how you react to those fears.
Having Fear is Okay
It’s okay to sit with your fear, to have it and work through it. When you start seeing fear as a friend, as a positive thing, it can really change the way you are feeling when facing fears and challenges.
Chutes and Ladders Case Study
There are times where you may try to adjust your perspective on fear and it’s not changing at the pace that you want it. You get impatient and your perfectionist side comes out, and then you maybe have a setback, kind of like chutes and ladders.
Sometimes you hit the climb and you get up quickly to the top, and then sometimes you hit the side and you go back down and you have to start over again. It takes time and you have to ride the ups with the downs. It’s not just something that’s going to be perfect, it’s something that you’re going to have to be adjustable with and patient with, especially when you’re going through it.
Change up Your Thoughts
It’s going to take time, but eventually, you will find the perfect formula that will give you control over your fear.
Fear is Common
Remember, fear is something that everyone deals with in some sort of way, so learning to address it can be helpful in all areas of life, not just as an athlete. It’s such a good, general life skill.