Fear of failure comes in a package with the desire to perform. You take them both together if you have a strong desire to perform.
Occasional failure should be embraced. Even though those are the toughest moments to be in, they are the moments we learn the most from and give us the opportunity to be better.
Is one of your top desires is to be better at everything you do?
Why confront and deal with fear? A certain level of fear is necessary to maintain as a motivator in training and when you need to dig down deep in a race. Fear a competitor will beat you, may produce a performance you never though possible. You need fear. Don’t work so hard you dispel all of your fears. A person with zero stress and zero fears in their life is probably depressed! So embrace fear for teaching you things and embrace fear for stimulating you to become better everyday. Fear is a good guy!
Fear and Performance Like everything there is a point where too much fear will start to negatively impact performance. When you are at that level, stepping back and having a rational talk with yourself is key. If you find yourself feeling sick with nerves/fear before the start of a race, test or tough workout and it is interfering with your ability to prepare for the event, have a little talk with yourself. The conversation in your head will go something like this:
“Why am I getting myself into a frenzy. This is no fun and my first goal before everything else is to enjoy myself so calm down! (Take a few deep breaths)”
Why are you afraid to fail? Identify what you see as failure.
Disappointing myself — remember to be strong, do not give up, for my work will be rewarded. If I do not reach my goals I’ll have another chance.
- Disappointing my family — remember they will love me no matter what happens.
- Disappointing my friends — they will still be my friend if I fail or if I succeed.
- Disappointing my coach – as long as I do my best and make good strides in training and learn something in the process then that is what matters.
What do you fear? Answer your fears.
- I am afraid of “blowing up” — I can work on pacing in training. I’ll go hard in some low key races and if I blow up - I blow up.
- Someone will beat me — I can give respect and congratulations to competitors who perform better than I did on the day. Other’s can have great days.
- I am afraid of bonking — take in calories in liquid form, keep sipping through out the race. Practice this in training.
- I feel I am being selfish and taking time away from my family — sometimes it is good to get away. It helps me to be a better wife and mother. Training and racing shows them being healthy is very important. It also shows them how to work hard to reach a goal.
- I feel guilty missing church — I can work on my spirit at home on my own time daily and not just once a week.
Most of all, have fun and a positive outlook everything will fall into place.