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Fears and blocks

As I’m preparing to speak with a group of elite gymnasts tomorrow the coach wanted me to talk about fears and blocks. She said they’ve tried to explain the difference to the gymnasts, but they really don’t get it. Do you really need to know the difference to overcome the challenge? Maybe not. Athletes work through fears and blocks all the time without really understanding the difference.

So why does it make a difference? Well, it has to do with strategy. Using the right tools shortens the time you spend in the struggle. When you’re preparing for your season or in the middle of your season, then time does matter. So I want to show you how to get out of the struggle, release the resistance, quickly and easily.

Similarities between performance blocks and fears:

  • Mindset issue
  • Chips away at confidence
  • Raises anxiety
  • Perception and beliefs create resistance
  • Judgment interferes with reality
  • Lack of trust

With so many similarities it’s easy to see why it’s sometimes difficult to decide if it’s a fear or a block.

The source for your fears and blocks

The one biggest difference between them has to do with its source. What do I mean by that? Well, blocks are about you. You’re expected to perform and you’re unable to meet those expectations. Maybe you don’t believe you have the skill set or you see yourself failing.

Ryan, a world class snowboarder, is getting ready for the upcoming season. As a professional snowboarder he’s getting paid to do something he absolutely loves. The Dew Tour is a big event early in the season and his goal is to stand on the podium.

Ryan knows what he wants but can’t figure out how to make it happen. The difference between him and the top 3 snowboarders is the number of tricks done during a run. To have more eyes on him, he needs to pull some tricks together pretty quickly. And it needs to be a solid run.

Previous years he would get better as the season progressed. He never considered the possibility that he could have a strong start early in his season. The Dew Tour is a perfect place to pick up new sponsors, but he never maximized on the opportunity.

A hidden block revealed

Ryan’s block: Unknowingly he decided not to fully prepare for this event because he couldn’t see himself pulling together the tricks to beat the stiff competition.

Fears occur when you focus on something totally out of your control. It’s something most of us do more often than we’d like to admit. It creates a very helpless feeling, like you can’t do anything about it no matter what.

Fear of injury was the source of Ryan’s resistance. Getting hurt is a real risk. The truth is there are different levels of probability for getting injured. With some tricks there’s a greater chance of injury, and it’s logical not to do things that have a high potential for injury. Moving through this fear meant working on skill set plus mindset.

I helped him discover what was underlying his fear of injury:  

  • Not pushing off hard enough at the start.
  • Committing to the trick.
  • Becoming nervous in the air.

Was it possible for Ryan to add one new trick into his routine? Absolutely! He knew the exact steps to take to make it happen. Removing the physical and mindset obstacles changed his motivation from interested to committed.

Shorten your learning curve

Following the strategy we developed, along with deliberate practice, Ryan would shorten the learning curve. The impossible was beginning to appear possible.

I helped Ryan bust through his limiting beliefs, shifting from the problems to the solutions. A strong mindset builds confidence, strength and focus for high performance. The fear of injury was not fully eliminated, and it shouldn’t be. Respect for the risk is important. Too many athletes die from extreme sports because they threw caution to the wind.

Finally we used The Emotional Freedom Techniques to bust through any remaining resistance or mental blocks.  We can talk all day long, but if the subconscious blocks remain then you’ll continue to have resistance. EFT goes right to the source. It’s an effective way to clear out the unknown obstacles. The most rewarding part is watching Ryan’s resistance melt away as he envisioned himself standing on the podium.

Solution Steps.

  • Strengths. The way to move through fears and blocks is by discovering your strengths. What strengths do you already possess to help you overcome obstacles?
  • Shift. Change your approach from avoiding a problem to working toward a solution.
  • Step out of the box. See if there’s a different way you can work things through
  • Strategize. Remove the problem and discover the challenge. You can rise up to a challenge. What can you do to bust through the resistance?
  • Set up. Use EFT to release the energy blocks.

There are so many times I’ve seen something negative turn out to really be a blessing. Some of the biggest challenges lead to the BEST opportunities once you make the decision to do what’s necessary. Have you had similar experiences?

Challenge: Where are you stopping yourself? Take a moment to identify it as a block or a fear. Now follow the Solution Steps. Next decide on your starting point. It doesn’t have to be difficult. But it does require consistent effort. Using EFT to tap on resistance is going to turn things around quicker than strategy alone. Keep at it and soon you’ll realize that what you once thought was difficult has now become easy.

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