Mental Skills

Photo by Rob Potter / Unsplash

It is an intimate feeling, right?

The lump in your throat, the racing thoughts, elevated heart rate, increased respiration and pumping adrenaline. Often, it has nothing to do with any imminent danger, but rather a projected future and a discomfort with challenge, married to a low tolerance for ambiguity.

But sport is ambiguous at best, and so is life.

The low tolerance to ambiguity is a conditioning though, brought to many of us through childhood trauma and the protection mechanisms that form to keep us safe when we didn’t have the resources to keep ourselves safe from psychological and physical harm. I know that space like the back of my hand.

Experience is a wonderful teacher if you will allow it to teach and you are truly willing to learn and understand.

So maybe this is one man's roadmap to dealing with fear and ambiguity based on personal experience.

Go near what you fear!

The movement towards fear is not an outwards movement, but rather a movement inwards towards those places inside yourself that are protected. When you get close to those places Inside yourself, you will feel the energetic stamp of the shells that keep you protected from those perceived dangers.

You will feel the repulsive force of antimatter that wants to drive you away from discomfort and challenge. The problem is, we are adults now and the avoidance of that discomfort is, well, uncomfortable. We are not winning either way.

The apathy that rides on the back of that avoidance of discomfort and danger is debilitating, it’s robbing the pop and fizz of not knowing what the outcome will be. The natural ebb and flow of life is ambiguous, the living of life is in the unknown.

That’s what makes it what it is, or this case could be.We are not meant to have the answers. The teaching is an exploration of what you fear and the discomfort you avoid, most of which is nothing more than mental projection and reactive protection. So, the practice is your own exposure therapy.

If you want to experience more freedom, you have to allow those perceived threats to start to integrate into your experience.

That’s right, to purposely begin to rub against that which makes you uncomfortable. Soften and allow it instead of contracting and stiffening.

Yes you absolutely can!

Go near the fear.

Move inwards toward the tender spots inside yourself that are protected and allow them to feel your purposeful movement toward the resistance.

You do this gently, methodically, consistently and lovingly with yourself. You can’t headbutt fear, it will headbutt you back into your seat if you try.

This is why our bravado, Hollywood approach to overcoming fear is such a crock of shit.

You don’t overcome fear, you lovingly invite it to have a seat at your table. You sit it down for a chat, you allow it to feel comfortable at your table. The fear slowly turns into a flow, it begins to open up to you and show you a side of yourself you have never known, a self-reliance that you didn’t know existed in you.

The integrated adult!

The fear has moved from an aversion and an avoidance to a flow of how to navigate the ambiguity of life by syncing with it instead of avoiding it. You see, we feed fear its meals by avoiding it’s presence.

The end of fear as a tormenter is as close as you decide it is.