Fear, The Emotion That Inhibits Peak Performance

Imagine yourself reaching an old age, seated by the fireplace, and taking a moment to look back at your life only to conclude, with little remorse, that you achieved what you set out to accomplish. What do you think it will feel having lived your life with little regrets? When successful people are asked, what prevents people from achieving their best, they point out to fear. Fear can become a paralyzing emotion, which is often dictated by negatively painting the outcome of our immediate future goals. Fear can be portrayed in many different shapes and forms. We can be fearful of our own abilities to achieve a goal, not meeting other’s expectations, feeling rejected or being not good enough.

Fear prevents us from taking action. Rarely, we admit feeling fear. Often, we point to life circumstances as culprits for our failures. But, at the end of the day, it was mainly us who found “obstacles” that interfered from achieving success. For some of us, these “obstacles” are so credible that we become very good at convincing ourselves and others for not achieving our goals. However, if we looked very closely, it was mostly us who got in our own way from reaching our goals.

We do not just feel fear all of the sudden. Perceptions feed emotions. Our five senses gather information from our environment, which are absorbed in electrical signals that remain stored in brain. If electrical signals are linked to an event connected to fear, its simple recollection or perception will trigger fear responses.  For example, a golf player needs to hit a shot over water. Looking at the water triggers electrical signals stored in the brain, which are connected to the emotion of fear. This emotion will then travel inside the body by tensing up our muscles and tendons. As the golfer swings the club, the body will be constricted from its normal fluidity and, most likely, cause the swing to be flawed enough to increase the chances of landing the ball in the water.



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