“The Fear” is a concept I first encountered in skateboarding. It is what keeps people from doing stupid things. Like skateboarding. You have to overcome it in order to do even the most basic things on a skateboard. My skate friends will talk about it in hushed tones. Making sure you try a trick again after a big fall, just so that you don’t develop The Fear. Because it isn’t failing that hurts you, it is The Fear. Doubting yourself when you should be boldly pushing.
A perfect example of this is dropping in. It is a move where you stand at the edge of a ramp, board clicked out on edge, tail of the board under your back foot. You then step out onto the front of the board and lean forward. Mechanically easy. Physically easy. Mentally/emotionally hard as hell. You have to just trust that you are going to make it through a 4-6 foot fall. And if you don’t do that, you basically can’t skate bowls or ramps.
The Fear is over come through patience and practice, or just taking a deep breath and pushing past it. Realizing that it is just a sensation and worse than the actual consequences of what ever it is you are afraid of.
The Fear is what stopped my boxing training. There was a span of time where we were sparring all the time. At the gym I went to, sparring was the real deal. It was a fight from the moment you got in the ring. I was getting hit in the head a lot and couldn’t control flinching. That meant if my opponent landed a few head shots on me, I would start flinching and then it was open season. I could take the hits. I was a decent boxer. But once The Fear settled in about the flinching I never did get past it.