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  • Writer's pictureCarol Alford

Overcoming Fear

We're continuing from last week to look at why we fail to reach our goals. I've created this series for January, to help you with your New Year Resolutions to give you some valuable insight into why we sometimes fail in achieving them, so that you can recognise the patterns and take control.

This week we are going to focus on FEAR. This can be fear of failing or fear of making changes. 

Generally speaking people are creatures of habit, maintaining status quo and familiarity gives comfort to the majority. Whenever we perceive a threat of change to our status quo, we become afraid. Fear is hard wired into the rear of our brain known as the amygdala, or Lizard Brain. It was created as part of our survival kit and If at any time we feel our safety is being put at risk, the lizard brain will react.

It sees a potential threat from any of the following;

UncertaintyAttentionStruggleChangeUnfortunately, our Lizard brain can't tell the difference between a good or bad threat. All of the instances listed above are perceived as being bad, but in reality they can also be seen as learning opportunities, to help us develop and grow.

When faced with a potential threat, The Lizard Brain will always try to take the easy option compared to one that's perceived as being more difficult to achieve. Being a creature of habit, It likes to stay in its comfort zone, rather than struggle in a different environment. It seeks familiarity, rather than new experiences and it will always search for the least path of resistance, justifying why it made that choice. That is why it can be so difficult to embrace new new goals, because with them comes Change, Uncertainty, Struggle and Attention. 

Consider this  - most people fear public speaking more than driving a car along a busy motorway. In reality we have more chance of being hurt driving, than we do giving a talk. But to our Lizard brain standing up in front of people causes fear, it perceives this environment as dangerous - crazy eh?

Taking on a new goal inevitably means making changes to your environment and habits, which explains why your Lizard Brain reacts as if its under threat and endeavours to find the easiest option to return back to its comfort zone. 

In the past coaches would have told you to try and become Fearless, but as we all know this is impossible, fear is a natural response to a situation perceived as dangerous. Latest research from Harvard shows that accepting fear (where you're not putting your life at physical risk), owning it i.e acknowledging it and then reframing it has proven to increase performance - Yes you read that correctly Increase Performance.

So instead of reacting badly to fear, we need to accept its presence, embrace it and do the opposite of what its telling you. Your Lizard Brain is telling you lets do something that's brave and bold - Feal the fear and do it anyway. Learn to dance with the Lizard and smash those goals  - unlock your true performance.


If you would like to learn more about the mental side of the game visit our website and get in touch. Hope you enjoyed this week's blog, please drop me an email and let me know what you think, I would love to hear from you. Visit our website and check out our other blogs, there's something in there for everyone.


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