Mind Over Matter: What 6 Years of Action Sports Taught Me About Fear
Some people think that I’m crazy for many of the things that I do. I do a lot of things that most people would be too scared to do.
Like hitting jumps that send me over 150 feet on a 160-horsepower, 500-pound snowmobile in the backcountry of British Columbia.
Or downhill mountain biking, riding as fast as I can down steep rocky, rooty trails filled with jumps and drops.
Or opting out of more traditional and socially acceptable career paths like going to college or learning a trade, and instead pursuing Praxis, a one year startup apprenticeship program, where rather than chasing after a degree, I’m learning skills that are valuable to the real world.
Even partaking in a 30-day blogging challenge for month 3 of the Praxis bootcamp is crazy for others to understand what would I possibly gain from it.
Fear is something I still experience when I do these things. However, that fear you feel when you do something you could fail at never goes away, but being aware of the fear is a good first step to overcoming it.
After 6 years in action sports and 3 months of Praxis, I’ve learned how to maintain a “mind over matter” mentality.
When I’m about to do a jump, I try to stay calm and build up some confidence first. Before taking any action, I prepare myself mentally by evaluating and inwardly visualizing myself doing the jump.
This helps me keep my mind in the right place before diving into a challenging and intimidating jump. I focus on success and possibility, not fear.
As I’m gearing up, my focus is all on the task at hand. In that moment, my mind is clear of distractions, anxious thoughts, or anything that will throw me off course or cause me to overthink it. I’m completely immersed in the moment and zoned in on the adrenaline that’s fueling my immediate judgment and energy.
The same mindset I use for my extreme sports, I also use to accomplish my goals in every other area of life. This mentality I’ve developed is extremely transferable, more than I even realized myself.
Most people let fear get in the way of doing things they’re fully capable of doing.
Don’t get caught up in the fear of the “task itself.”
You make no progress by putting a project, or activity on an intimidating pedestal. This is what fear wants you to do.
Even with this 30-day blogging challenge that I’m halfway through, I tend to get wrapped up in the fear. What if I fail by writing something that others dislike they see me in a poor light? What if I can’t come up with enough ideas to produce a blog post every single day?
These stressful questions are an unnecessary hurdle in the creative process. Instead, the first step should be brainstorming ideas and just writing, not getting overwhelmed by the daily blog post-task itself sitting on a mighty pedestal.
When it’s time to take action on something you’re scared of, there’s not enough time to be afraid. There’s only time to react to the situation. Break it down and focus on the steps you have to take to make it happen. Put your energy into dedicated hard work and practice, not in overthinking, anxiety, or fear. Stay calm, relaxed, centered, and confident in yourself, and don’t let the fear win.