Perform Fearlessly

A healthy, comfortable mental state, trust in our skills, and the work we have put in will help us athletes perform fearlessly.

Yet, why this fear?

Why do we automatically build up these expectations and thoughts in our head when we know people will attend or show up to where we are about to perform? How come we end up almost choking or not playing to our fullest potential just because we know some people in the stands?

I believe we all have felt that feeling of someone being around us, watching us perform, we all have a reputation that we want to keep up or better, and for some reason, there is something in our head that keeps us from doing that as soon as we know someone is watching.

But how come

How come we play our sport daringly when we do not know anyone in the stands and have no expectations set? Why is it more acceptable to fail and get outside our comfort zone when we don’t know anyone? All these questions, yet my answer is so simple.

My conclusion is that we are afraid. So terrified of what we will do and what will happen “if we don’t” accomplish what we have in mind. So frightened of what our future will hold afterward, not so scared of what we will think about ourselves because we know if we can’t do it now or don’t complete it now, do it again and do it right. Though what happens when we only have one game, one single opportunity to show what our reputation stands on?

We must believe

Like one of my friends once said, we must believe that our years of performing our craft (professional sport) have let us come to where we are. Can it get worse, and can we fail? Of course, but it can also open up other doors and opportunities for us along the way. As long as we work towards something, there will always be a chance to get better and improve our physical or mental game.

We should not allow ourselves to think and block our abilities by saying we only have one chance to show what we can do. Yet, why do we get these thoughts and only play our safe cards when it is showtime? Again, we are afraid. We aren’t scared of failing when alone or with people we feel comfortable around. Failing then evolves into a rewarding system and an area to work on to improve.

It is good to know what you aren’t good at so you can get better at it. However, it sucks not knowing where or how to start to get better. Though if you never learn to control that fear, it will strike again and again when the environment is unpredictable.

make it mentally comfortable

So how can we make the environment predictable and comfortable for our minds when there is pressure beyond what the sealing can hold and what we can manage? What do we do when we freeze? It’s difficult, but turning the thoughts back to situations when things were super difficult yet manageable to make it through will mentally reward your brain. A successful and fulfilling belief will strengthen your brain and you can see the situation through.

We all dream and imagine situations in competition and what it would be like if this and that. Do it, become a kid again, and imagine the most impossible and spectacular game or performance you ever could have. Without setting expectations but trying to work with the brain and see it in your head, see a movie of success.

Perhaps dream or visualize that perfect performance several times to feel comfortable dreaming it. When you feel comfortable, dare to see yourself fall, make a mistake, and not succeed. Dare to see yourself get back on your feet and make it the next time. It is okay to fail big time if you come back smarter.

Some say never to imagine or manifest negative images, but if we never do it, we never know how to go about them when they happen. If we never talk about how to get over a loss, a bad performance, or an injury and only ignore those topics, they will always be in the shadow hunting us. Besides, when they come creeping up on us, we have no idea how to get out of there. It is okay to talk about tough losses and watch games when you did a poor job but always see yourself walk away with a victory in the end.

Until next week, write down on a piece of paper what you are the most scared of, then take that piece of paper and cut it down into tiny pieces or throw it into the fireplace. Let go of that fear by first acknowledging it.

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Anonymous says:

    I love this post! I always felt like I have performance anxiety- especially when I know someone important is watching.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s okay because you’re not alone. So may of us have it, it’s just a matter of how we’re going to work the problem and make it work in our favor instead 🙏🏼

      Like

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