I love writing about fear. Fear is a common element that links all mankind and womankind together.
Yet, admitting fear is viewed as weakness by many people.
Since I have many MMA and boxing friends, let’s take a look at fear from a fighter’s perspective.
How many times have you heard fighters in pre-match interviews say stuff like, “I’m no ‘Bit**’. I don’t feel fear. I’m not afraid of anything.”
Or trainers tell their fighters, “No fear. Fear is not an option. Champions are never afraid.”
Is all pre-match bravado a message to your opponent or are you really trying to convince yourself? Be honest with yourself.
Do you really think champions are never afraid or that fear is for the weak minded?
Fear has a stigma attached to it as something to be avoided.
If you can’t accept fear as normal, you will believe something is wrong with you when you experience fear. You will think that you don’t have what it takes to win or rise above the rest.
If you see fear as abnormal, you will bottle it up and be overly anxious stepping into the ring.
You CANNOT talk yourself out of fear. Let me repeat, YOU CANNOT TALK YOURSELF OUT OF FEAR!!!
You can only talk yourself THROUGH fear, but you must first ADMIT your fear.
Let me be the bearer of bad and good news. You need fear. Fear is gasoline. It fuels action. But, if fear is repressed, it will eventually explode and consume you.
Show me a person without any fear and I’ll show you a person that never will achieve their potential.
A warrior isn’t a person without fear but one who defies fear. A warrior fights despite fear or fights through fear. Being mentally tough isn’t being without fear… it’s taking deliberate steps forward despite fear.
Healthy fear puts your ass in gear… it pushes you to train as hard as you can, to wake up at 5am to get to the gym, to prepare fully, to keep going when you’re tired, to move forward when you are sore and to make the sacrifices necessary to be your very best.
The key is to be ready for fear, instead of surprised by fear. It’s been said, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself,” when, in reality, “The only thing we have to fear is not acting despite our fears.”
Strategy for Talking Yourself THROUGH Fear
The next time you feel fear start to build up inside you, take a few deep breaths and remind yourself that fear is fuel.
Next, have that internal conversation, “Fear won’t stop me, it will only fuel me. That’s why I work as hard as I do. That’s why I prepare like I do. That is why I am a warrior.”
The only way to overcome fear is to see it as a training partner, not as your opponent.