Fear can be crippling.

Today at the end of my un-aided walk, I crossed an uneven, slippery, dodgy bridge. It was only about 8 metres long but absolutely terrifying. I could see the cluttered bridge’s surface and its broken & rotted railings. I could feel the uneven terrain beneath my feet and hear the water rushing below. I imagined the wind sweeping me over the edge, the murky brown water swallowing me. I felt my fear escalate and freeze my limbs – paralysing fear.

After multiple near falls and tenderly shuffling my feet over the chasm, I felt relieved to have conquered the path but also devastated that I’d let fear get to me.

Upon my return I sent a video of my attempt to my physio, warning him of how badly I felt I performed. His reassuring text, after viewing the footage, “Don’t worry about the bridge – with competence comes confidence, so just keep practising!”

So, when you’re facing an obstacle and trying to tackle it in the best manner, does fear stop you? If it does, that’s ok. We’re human. If (like me) you feel ashamed or disheartened or frustrated with how you dealt with that fear, acknowledge those feelings. Recognise them but choose to let them go. What matters is how you let that fear dictate your performance.

Often too, we need a form of external feedback, whether it’s a video or another’s words to put that fear into perspective. Choose to learn from your reaction to fear & next time weave that lesson into your practice! As my physio wisely said, “With competence comes confidence, so just keep practising!