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  • Writer's pictureVera Jo Bustos

3 Strategies to Overcome Your Fear

Over the past 10 years, I've worked with over 2,000 athletes on their mental game.

At some point in their career, 90% of those athletes all struggled with the same issues when facing their fear.

You've probably come face to face with some of these fears too:

• Fear of making a mistake

• Fear of letting your team/parents/coach down

• Fear of what others think of you

• Fear of failure (the most common)

While there's no singular recipe to overcome your fear, here is a 3 step framework you can apply:

1. Tame Your Gremlins (negative self-talk)

If you've ever tried to identify those nasty thoughts you tell yourself after you've made a mistake or failed, it's not easy.

Gremlins are sneaky little 💩 's.

You begin to take away their power and become the master of your mind once you identify your Gremlins.

Reminder: You'll never be able to get rid of them, but you CAN tame them.

Here's a common tip I share with my clients:

If you wouldn't say it to:

• Your favorite athlete

• Your teammate

• Your role model

. . . you have NO BUSINESS saying it to yourself.

It's easy to show compassion and be encouraging to someone else.

It's a lot harder to stay optimistic and encourage yourself when you're the one screwing up.

Fire your inner-critic.

Hire your inner-coach.

2. Find Your Confidence

When you become fearful in a situation, one of the first things to go is your confidence.

You begin to doubt yourself.

You begin to question your skills.

You then revert back to old habits.

When this happens, you hesitate.

Your skill set then become conscious instead of unconscious.

The more you think about your mechanics, the worse those mechanics become during competition.

Lean in and trust your stuff!

3. Recreate Fearful Situations

Practice the same situations that cause your fear.

Fear of:

• Taking the game winning shot

• Sinking the putt to seal your win on the 18th hole

• Going to the plate with bases loaded in the bottom of the 9th

How can you recreate those fearful physiological responses in practice?

Avoiding these situations will cause anxiety. And the more you avoid, the deeper your fear becomes rooted.

Soon enough, you'll be living in a prison of avoidance called The Dead Zone (aka your comfort zone).

What most people fear are the sensations of fear itself.

Avoiding your fear—and the sensations of that fear—will only maintain and magnify it.

Instead of avoiding, try exposing.

The more you become exposed to a situation, the more familiar it becomes.

The more familiar it becomes, the less frightening it is.

Familiarity becomes boring.

And boring isn't scary.

When it comes to facing your fear, the only way out is through.

And every time you confront your fear, you gain power while your anxiety loses strength.

Facing your fears isn't easy.

But neither is living in the cage of your Dead Zone.

The short-term discomfort of facing your fear will grant you a life-long ticket to something far greater...

The courage to believe in yourself!

If you feel like aspects of your current mindset are holding you back from unlocking optimal performance, consider taking a few minutes to explore our 1-on-1 mental performance training or our team mental performance training.

If you are ready to get started with 1-on-1 training, you can apply right here.

Transformation Begins Here!


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