Fear and Peak Performance
Fear will stop you from performing at your peak. Fear will paralyze you. “The only thing we have to fearis fear itself.” FDR. This is another incredibly powerful statement of the power that fear exerts over all of us.
So what is it about fear that makes it such a powerful emotion?? Its power lies in our instinct to survive. That primal, basic part of the brain, the limbic system sounds the alarm and then a cascade of neurological activity follows. The fear response is based upon our memories and experiences, our learned fears from the past. However worries and anxieties are out in our future. So obviously since it helps us to survive we need it, right? Yes, we need fear as a call to action when something dangerous to our survival happens. However as FDR so succinctly stated, fear is something to be feared as well. The problem lies in too much fear. Unrelenting chronic fear that is based on the possibility of danger causes stress and is derogatory to our health and well-being. It creates high levels of stress hormones and that creates disease and other problems. Also unrealistic fears or phobias are capable of taking control of our lives.
So what else can we learn about fear? It is based on the past and we can trigger it by worrying about the future. But right now there is no fear. If we stay in the present moment and we let go of old memories and fears from our past and stop focusing on the possibility of terrible things happening in our future the fear disappears. In order to do this we need to change the way we think. We need to take back some of the control because fear is an out of control emotion.
If you let circumstances control you when good things happen then you will also allow fear and negativity to rule your life when things are not going well. As reasonable people we need to be living in reality. If things are really in a negative place in your life then thinking to yourself that your life is great is a delusion. However when things are going well in life and we spend our free time worrying about what might happen to change our life for the negative, that is also deluded thinking. People who tend to be on an “emotional rollercoaster” are an example of too much focus on momentary success and not enough on the process or the overall desired outcome.
When dealing with the concept of “peak performance” fear is the first thing that has to be addressed. To perform the best you can entails getting you out of your way. Whether it’s performing in sports, stage sales, academics or simply in life itself, fear stops clear focused action. Fear is the root cause of all negative emotions and behaviors. Procrastination, limiting beliefs and self-sabotage are examples of mental thought processes that are rooted in fear. The two main fears are fear of failure and fear of success. Most other fears like fear of public speaking, performance Anxiety or cold call reluctance can all be traced back to these two main performance fears.
I use hypnosis, and Neuro-linguistics(NLP) to take my clients past old fears and to create the ability to focus more on the present moment and the future that they desire. When you get out of old fears and focus on the here and now you will be able to see the future more clearly. This will move you to take action and the fear will truly be a thing of the past.