Abraham Maslow, the great psychologist, said that the story of human race is the story of people selling themselves short.
One reason why fear is so difficult to master is because we assume our fears are caused by events and people outside ourselves.
You see an opponent light it up and you start worrying about losing.
Your teammates fall apart and your stress goes through the roof.
Your coach gives you less playing time and you lose your confidence.
Convincing, isn’t it?
The truth is, most fear does not come from external events at all.
It comes from deep inside.
I’m talking about our negative beliefs.
What exactly are negative beliefs and how do they create fear?
A negative belief is anything you think is true that also holds you back.
“I’m too slow.” “The coach doesn’t like me.” “I’ll never beat him.”
Think of a negative belief like a wound.
Every time a person or situation touches your wound, it hurts and scares you a bit.
That’s why we blame external events.
Now here’s the tricky part.
Most negative beliefs (wounds) are unconscious.
We aren’t even aware of most of them.
What we DO know is how they affect us–with demotivation, relationship troubles, and low confidence.
Where do negative beliefs come from?
Usually a failure or trauma from our past that we’ve neglected to heal.
I was a premature baby. Born when my mother was seven months pregnant, I weighed just 4 pounds.
I was rushed into an incubator where I stayed four weeks. My parents weren’t allowed to hold or touch me for even a moment before I was whisked away.
My only human contact came days later when nurses were allowed to feed me.
It’s a scenario filled with fear that can lead to unconscious beliefs like “I am alone,” and “the world is a scary place.”
I watch for this emotional wound in case it gets scratched. Then I deal with the fear before it deals with me.
This way I don’t over-react to people if they’re insensitive or just simply pre-occupied, as we all are from time to time.
In sport, this is important because if you feel rejected, isolated, or alone, it’s almost impossible to win. You need to feel like you belong and that at least one person is in your corner.
Everyone has loss and disappointment in his past, which is why it’s so important to do mental toughness training.
For healing fear, I personally find that the tool of visualization is second to none.
That’s why I created my program Secrets of the Great Jock Mind.
It has five visualization recordings that allow you to wash away the pain and fears of the past and then program you for success in the future.
Go get them here.
Let me know what you think.
Lisa Brown is the founder of the Courage to Win and is considered the world's leading expert on deep mental toughness for success in career, love, and sport. She has personally coached over 7,200 achievers to new heights and conducted over 1,300 live seminars on mental toughness across North America. She has been featured by major media including the New York Times and Entrepreneur Magazine, who called the Courage to Win “a straight-forward guide to success, highly recommended.”