Many of our fears are tissue-paper-thin, and a single courageous step would carry us clear through them.
My friend, Dr. Rob Gilbert is a sport psychologist who once asked the great boxing trainer, Teddy Atlas how he taught boxers how to overcome fear. Atlas said that boxing is like war. There are two types of soldiers: heros and the cowards. The difference between them is not fear itself, but how each deal with the fear.
The hero feels the fear and moves towards it.
The coward feels the fear and moves away from it.
The key is doing what you need to do, when you need to do it, whether you feel like it or not.
The more you move towards your fear, the more comfortable you will be with it.
Fear has no control over you, unless you let it.
I have a feeling someone reading this has been nervous before a competition, test, lecture or asking someone out on a date.
Most people feel that being nervous is bad.
Being nervous is good. It means you are about to do something important.
Winners and losers feel the same feelings.
The greatest athletes in the world get nervous, so it’s okay if you do.
The difference is, you don’t have to ACT nervous.
I have spent time with many professional athletes and I always ask them if they get nervous.
They all say yes.
So what do they do?
They take a deep breath, tell themselves that they’ve been in this situation before and then go and kick butt.
I work one-on-one with athletes, musicians, business professionals and students and I have them do the same thing.
Because it works.
Have you ever had a fear of something?
Perhaps playing in front of a big crowd? Speaking in front of a group? A piano recital?
Fear is normal. But you don’t have to act like you are fearful. Focus on the process, not the outcome.
As a matter of fact, fear is nature’s way of testing you to see if you are serious about your goals.
Never let your fears stand in the way of your dreams.
Today’s message is especially dedicated to my niece, the great Lauren Perrine. In this video blog, I report from Barnes & Noble in Hamilton, NJ.
Today’s message is especially dedicated to Justin Cohen and Kristen Carlin. Happy Birthday to two peak performers.
FEAR – False Experiences Appearing Real
Have you ever feared an opponent before you even started playing?
Why would you do that?
Once we perceive our opponent as a “threat” they own our power and our energy.
Let me put it this way…
Think back to a time when you were totally “on” your game. Did you notice that everything was “just” flowing? Did you notice that you were playing with loose focus and had very little self-talk?
We play best when we “just do it” and focus on our strategy, effort and energy (controllables).
Fear to some people is excitement to others. (Think of a roller coaster).
Supposedly, when Pete Sampras was at 5-5 in a set, a time when most people tighten up, he thought to himself, “Oh yea, this is what it’s all about.” He loved the pressure.
It may take ten years (or the rest of time) to get even close to Sampras, physically, but you can be just as good as him almost instantly by having the same mindset as him.
Playing it safe in any form is a recipe for disappointment, frustration, and stagnation.
The quote above is from my friend, Jeff Greenwald, noted sports psychology consultant and author of The Best Tennis of Your Life. Greenwald believes that most people play it safe because they “fear missing and giving up a free point.”
Most people have this mindset. They want to stay in their comfort zone. The problem is that when you are scared of losing the point, you are training yourself to hold back. That is not peak performance. It doesn’t matter whether your weapon of choice is a racquet, pen, paintbrush or frying pan – you have to GO ALL OUT.
I recently had a mental coaching session with a young baseball, basketball and tennis player. He’s only in the 4th grade, but he gets it. Since working with me, he focuses on going all out every time he steps on the court or field. He’s even using my techniques and applying them to school. Not only is he getting better results, he’s also having more fun!
It’s better to go all out and lose than it is to hold back and win.
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