How does your mind react to fear?
Dr. Robert Udewitz continues to answer questions about fear, this week he covers the cognitive origin of fear and how to help calm it.
Where does the fear come from?
As a baby, you move about without fear. Fearlessness helps you learn about your surroundings through curiosity and exploration.
Along the way, you take falls that teach you to protect yourself from danger. The adults around you also model behavior which helps form your unique perceptions.
As a child, you learn through play. Play is non-goal oriented and imaginative. You play for the sake of it without trying to win.
As you grow, you are taught to improve skills and begin to become goal-oriented in sports. It’s not enough to have fun kicking a ball around…we need to put it into the back of the net!
What happens next?
This growth in your perception of your place in your sport can either facilitate or become an obstacle to success. Without the perception and spirit of play you are left only with work and high demands on yourself. A rigid, self-judging belief system can elicit a fear response when competing. So what can you do?
Become attuned to the thoughts and perceptions your mind creates. Mindfulness approaches can help as the effort to fight, block or argue against these thoughts is more effortful and ultimately unhelpful. Practicing mindfulness will allow those thoughts to be there as neither right nor wrong, fact or fiction. When you develop this mental skill you can truly turn attention to the task at hand on your field of play.
Where can I learn more?
Dr. Rob's Sportmi course on Fearlessness provides more Fear Regulating Techniques including guided audio for mindfulness and breath. The course is currently 50% off, but staying true to our mission of making sport psychology more accessible we have extended this offer to 70% off to subscribers on our mailing list. Link in bio! Get discount now for lifetime access. Offer ends 29 Feb.
#FearlessFebruary #sportpsychology #mentalfitness