What if everything you thought about fear wasn’t true?
What if you had interpreted its meaning incorrectly?
What if you and your fear weren’t speaking the same language and the message got distorted somewhere along the way?
For most people fear is often a paralyzing force. Just when they are about to try a new trick or move the fear shows up and sabotages their attempt.
If you’ve ever hesitated or doubted your abilities and just couldn’t make yourself do it and started you know what I mean. Therefore overcoming fear is critical to learning new tricks, progressing to the next level and having fun.
MISCONCEPTION OF FEAR
Most action sport athletes want to get rid of fear and that’s what I did too.
Until one day it hit me that, it was just one perspective of looking at fear. What if I had misinterpreted what it was trying to say to me?
What if I heard wrong because of the angle I was looking at the fear from?
What if we didn’t speak the same language and I thought it was trying to get me give up, instead of trying to help me and point me to the right direction?
Let’s take an example. I’m not afraid to randomly go talk to a gorgeous high class girl on the street or do a sky dive but I am afraid of hitting a decent size jump on my mountain bike.
Why am I not afraid of talking to a gorgeous girl on the street or doing a sky dive?
Because neither of them are important to me. I have an amazing wife already and sky diving doesn’t really interest me.
Why am I afraid of hitting a decent size jump on my mountain bike? Because that’s what I want to do. It’s important to me because I love the feeling you get when you are flying through the air.
I’m afraid because I don’t have the skills to pull off a big air yet.
If you are afraid of something, it’s likely that the reason the fear comes up is to shake you up and remind you what’s important to you and it shows you the right direction.
It’s a sign pointing to the direction that is important to you.
And it also comes up to make sure your skills are at the par that you can safely do it. It doesn’t want you to take big risks and it’s making sure you are paying attention to what you are about to do.
Fear is like your internal compass.
If there’s something you are afraid it’s usually something you really want to do. It’s the next step or the step after that.
A while back I interviewed an incredible freerunner Jesse La Flair who’s done awesome online parkour and freerunning tutorials and the number #1 question he gets asked about, is how to overcome fear?
In the interview Jesse mentioned an important factor about overcoming fear which is progressions.
“Even the smallest of steps can equal to biggest of strives.”
-Jesse La Flair
The reason why your fear tends to come up, is because you might be trying to take too big leap or you are at the edge of your abilities.
Fear is our internal protection mechanism and it alerts you when there’s something you really need to be aware of. It’s like a double check system that makes sure you are doing the right thing.
Fear isn’t there to hold you back.
When you learn to understand it, you’ll realize it’s there to make sure you make the right decision and that your skills match with your ability to execute the trick or move.
“Check yourself so you don’t wreck yourself.”
Fear is your guiding light and your knight in shining armor that protects you and guides you in the right direction. You need to learn to listen and understand your fear because it only wants your best.
If you feel like you are not ready and your skills aren’t there yet, create steps between where you are now and where do you want to go and work your way up those steps.
If you want to jump a bigger gap or drop just find the in between steps and work your way up so you can safely try the next level trick or move when you feel that you are ready.
When you are afraid about doing something, ask yourself these questions:
- Am I facing this fear because it’s what I really want to do?
- Is this at my skill level? Am I ready to do this or should I take a few steps back and build my skills up to it?
MINIMUM EFFORT, MAXIMUM PROGRESSION
Whether you snowboard, skateboard, surf, freerun or do any other action sports go out and plan what’s the smallest step you can take to progress forward. Even if it’s just a minute step and then go do it.
When you accomplish that, find another tiny step that’s just a bit harder to do. And with “next step” I mean how you can do something that’s just a bit harder than you can do now, so you build yourself up to the trick you want to perform.
When you keep doing that, then fear doesn’t hold you back because you keep progressing by taking tiny steps instead of taking huge risks, huge leaps of faith.
With that being said, fears still come up and when they do, you need to learn to face them and push through them. Even a pro freerunner Jesse La Flair has fears and he knows when he can push through them and when to go back to progressions.
FEAR KEEPS YOU SAFE
Fear is your internal alarm system that protects you and just wants to make sure you are capable of doing it.
Fear is your internal compass reminding you what’s important to you.
When you are ready, face your fear and push through it but always make sure your skills are up to par what you are trying to do.
Don’t take unnecessary risks because spending months in hospital bed just isn’t worth it. You’ll progress faster by taking incremental steps.
Put what you learned here into practice and let me know what kind of results you get.