In life, to make significant progress you need to do what scares you. We all have something, some limiting belief that holds us back. It keeps us in our comfort zone which constricts our growth. It causes us to make justifications, and excuses rather than seeking truth. I believe we can develop a habit and skill of identifying and chasing our fears but it takes a conscious effort.
Fear exist in everyone. It’s how we use it and how we deal with it, that makes us courageous. If we understand, anticipate and respect that fear, we can use it as fuel to push ourselves harder and keep ourselves sharp. That being said, what we must NOT do, is invest our energy into fear or even the outcome of the situation. It is very easy to replay bad scenarios over and over again in our heads, and keep spinning it out of control. Repetition breeds belief.
Instead, we must invest our energy and thoughts into our training process and execution. We must have faith in our education and hard work.
Go in with the supreme belief that you will be successful at giving 110%, and that your training and heart will shine through. If you can do this, win, lose or draw you will have been successful, and you will have put yourself in the best position to win.
Hard work and dedication will give you the courage to act in spite of fear. Acting with courage breeds confidence. Confidence breeds success. And the cycle perpetuates.
Here are some tools to over come fear:
Questions to calm a nervous mind
a. What the worst case scenario? How could I recover from that situation?
b. What’s the most realistic scenario? How can I do better?
c. What’s the best case scenario? What would that look and feel like?
Exercise to use before game time
Have a mantra, a word that you can say to keep you focused and relaxed. Breath in and while exhaling mentally say a chosen word, and repeat this over and over again. Some good words are “cool, one, or execute”. Use it as a trigger to clear your mind, get focused and get in the zone. Also use it to zap away any useless thoughts that inevitably pop into your mind. For example if the thought “What if I lose?” crosses your mind, acknowledge it as a useless thought and go back to your mantra. People perform best when they are in the zone and not caught up in their head. You can also identify or create certain physical actions that put you in that peak performance state.
Act as if
Even if you are scared, carry yourself with supreme confidence. Move, walk and talk like you know that you are going to perform to your best abilities. Your physiology and psychology are on a feedback loop; one effects the other automatically.
Here are some really cool videos involving the 2 greatest boxing champions of all time.