Tuesday, July 13, 2010

When Will The Fear Disappear?

While watching a student of mine compete recently, I was asked a common question by his father: "When will his fear go away?" 

His son was playing very well, but is young, and hasn't developed the ability to conquer his self doubt. Ironically, he's one of the best male high school golfers in the state, received a full scholarship to Northwestern University, and just tied Tiger Woods' Southern California's Amateur scoring record. Why would a player with this much talent have a "fear" problem, and how do we make it disappear?

How do we make it disappear is the main problem. Trying to make fear go away or attempting to hide from it will ultimately make it stronger. Most would tell him to ignore the fear... I say embrace it, invite it back again, and kick it in it's teeth. I want him to remember what it feels like to be scared. I want him to look at his fearful face in the mirror. I want him to admit to this fear thing that it used to get the better of him... but no more will it run his life. Never again will he allow it to dictate his actions! 

Ask self doubt to come back, rather than being afraid of the fear. Ask it to return, in order to demand that it leaves!

Fear is an illusion. It's never as powerful as we make it in our mind, but if we don't attack it head-on, it will run our lives. In my student's specific situation, he allows self doubt to make him focus on what he doesn't want, creating a self-fulfilling prophecy. The more he concentrates on what he's afraid of, the more often those fears manifest.

What he's now learning to do is substitute confident, powerful wants and needs for his doubts and fears. Confidence and doubt can't live together... absolutely impossible. His immediate goal is to replace these new confident thoughts every time he feels fear of failure. After repeating this over and over, his unconscious will then respond with fearless actions... soon turning habitual, and eventually building a cycle of belief. 

The unconscious naturally goes to it's fear place if we don't tell it otherwise. It's a survival technique- a way to guard against pain. In order to override this instinct, we must consciously take over our thoughts and feelings, creating a new positive mindset. 

We're in control... fear isn't!

Jack: You accomplished something in your last tournament that most can only dream of. You played against experienced men and beat all of them, except one. Take this confidence to Northwestern, knowing the Tour is just around the corner. Believe in yourself. You've earned the right!


bhavesh said...

Hi you are right fear is in our mind if you have a better control in your mind you will never feel fear.But fear of god and some other thing also important.please visit my blog too:-


Rettakat said...

"Fear is an illusion... The more he concentrates on what he's afraid of, the more often those fears manifest.....What he's now learning to do is substitute confident, powerful wants and needs for his doubts and fears."

Another post to put into my Save file!

This is just what I needed to read. I am right on the verge of making some big decisions as to the direction of my art... and "something" was causing me to hesitate.


Thank you for breaking it down into the basics. Once looked at that way, it's so obvious. This is excellent advice.


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