It’s not uncommon for CrossFit athletes to build fear around certain movements - be it overhead barbell work, rope climbs, box jumps, hand stand push-ups, just to name a few. You may be afraid of pain, failing, falling or missing. You may fear doing something because you’ve been injured doing it in the past, or because you’ve seen someone else get hurt or fail badly. You might find yourself purposefully avoiding the movement altogether, talking yourself out of your ability to work on the skill, lowering your confidence to even attempt it and heightening your fear more and more.
Overcoming fears is one of life’s greatest achievements. Usually though, our brain gets in the way and tells you that you can’t do it, you failed last time you tried, you hurt yourself…blah, blah, blah. If you focus on what you’re afraid of, or what you don’t want to happen, you will lose sight of everything you need to do to be successful. This type of negative thinking creates even more anxiety and stress, causing you to doubt your ability to perform.
Is this you?
Did you know that EXPOSING YOURSELF to your fears at manageable levels and regularly will eventually take away the power of your fears and give that power back to yourself. When you fear something you should do it again and again in a controlled manner, instead of avoiding it. Then, it won’t own you but you’ll own it.
Here’s a few tips to kicking doubt, dread & aversion aside….
FIND YOUR WHY
Why do you want to move this fear along? The “WHY” needs to be INTRINSICALLY based. Remember the post about Motivation? The definition of intrinsic motivation is: The drive comes from the pleasure you get from the task itself or from the sense of satisfaction in completing or even working on a task.
This includes the guidance your coach gives you personally and as a group each session but also utilising some directed 1on1 personal coaching focused specifically on you achieving success.
SEE IT HAPPEN
The power of visualisation. Close your eyes and imagine yourself completing the movement. Think about how you look, how it feels and exactly what you’ll be focused on. Imagine everything from your approach, to your set up, to exactly how you’ll go through the movement to be successful.
Part of the CrossFit ethos is its endless scalability. You still get the same skillset and work the same muscles, but at a level which makes you feel confident with the technique you're using. Do LOTS of reps at something you feel confident with and drill that movement over and over again.
Watch a video of yourself successfully completing the movement, or of others who have mastered the movement that you’re afraid of. Seeing yourself and others complete a movement is incredibly powerful and reinforces good technique and confidence that it IS possible.
Try these strategies if you’re stuck on a movement because of fear.
You should know it’s perfectly normal to feel fear about trying a new movement, something you’ve been hurt on before, or attempting a PR.
BUT by pushing past that it means something truly powerful – You have taken steps to improving yourself and becoming better at something.
You are attempting to push past your previous limits, and you care deeply about what you are doing. That says more about you than anything else.
You are incredibly driven and that will allow you to reach new heights over and over again.
So, the next time you can sense fear during a big lift or a tough WOD, remind yourself that going forward, in spite of your fears, always makes you better.