Many combat athletes admit to being afraid. Like all of us, they too experience self-doubt and negative thoughts.
Don’t think that there is something wrong with you because you feel afraid to fight. Sparring can be dangerous; hence feelings of fear are completely valid. It is what you do with the fear that you feel, that makes sparring/fighting either a positive or negative experience.
Here are 3 things you can try to help overcome fear:
If you only focus on negative thoughts, you will find it hard to achieve any goal. Negative self-talk will undermine what you really want to achieve.
Think of it this way, if the thought doesn’t offer you an actual solution, it doesn’t offer help. So, whenever negative thoughts start creeping into your head again, consider this – if that voice or those thoughts don’t help you in any way, why would you listen to it?
A typical consequence of intense fear is tensing up your muscles. This causes both mental and physical fatigue. But, you can learn to control this by practicing a relaxation method that works for you.
Meditation will also help to discipline your mind and gain more control over your thoughts.
Visualising yourself fighting will stimulate your body and brain into thinking you are actually fighting. To a degree, your brain is fooled into thinking it’s the same thing.
The good thing with visualisation is that you get to control the scenario that plays out in your mind, allowing you to focus on your technique and strategy, visualising yourself performing everything perfectly. Essentially, this process programmes the right responses into your mind.
Unfortunately, these strategies take time to develop, but they do work. So, don’t rush it, and take your time.
However fast or slow you do progress; the chances are you’ll never completely get rid of your fear of fighting. It’s about finding a way to manage that fear, by using it in a constructive manner, instead of letting it consume you.