From Fear to Flow
Sep 23, 2021
There are 3 ways you can handle things when your fear stops you from going beyond your comfort zone;
2. Force yourself to do the thing anyway in a state of fear
Sometimes its the right choice.
Fear is important information.
It may be that it will genuinely stop you from ending up seriously hurt.
sometimes, you know you do have the skills to do the thing and you really want to do the thing...you can sense the excitement and sense of achievement and satisfaction on the other side of the fear..
Go for Option 2? - Force Yourself to do it in a state of fear:
Going for option 2 often does not work out well. If the stakes are low, and the worst thing that can happen is that you slip off on to a soft grassy surface, then perhaps its worth a try.
The problem is, fear makes you overthink. Your mind goes crazy with stories about all the terrible ways this could end. If you are self aware enough to hear the inner voice, it starts to tell you things like how inadequate and useless you are, how you should be doing better, how others are so much better than you. And the more you tell the voice to shut up and go away, the louder it will shout.
This causes your body to tense up. It causes your mind to insist that it takes control. It become the "micro manager" causing you to slow down and focus on the things you don't want to hit or the exposed edge you don't want to slip off of.
Guess what happens when you focus on what where you don't want to go? Yup, you go to that place EXACTLY! (I am sure you have you heard the story of the guy with the parachute who is going to land in a huge field with one rock in the middle. He's thinking, I mustn't hit the rock, over and over again, so he hits the rock and dies)
In conclusion, Option 2 is not attractive.
So we are left with Option 3..TRANSCEND YOUR FEAR
THIS is prize!! This is where you get to find the flow state...
THIS is where it gets REALLY REALLY good!
When you learn to take charge of your mind body system, and your life energy, and work with the fear, you start to do the things that initially scare you, but the process of transcending that fear, takes you into your higher state of consciousness, where you are transcending the survival consciousness fear brain and you engage your "superconscious".
In this state your mind and body become one. You are using an intelligence that is far superior to the conscious mind. You enter a state of calm and feeling of oneness accompanied by high level of self trust.
Well, this is about mastering your energy. So its something that takes practice....just like if you wanted to learn to corner faster or to get your wheels off the ground and go over jumps, me just telling you how to do it wouldn't mean you would be able to do it unless you went out and tried the techniques for your self.
Having said this, I can lay out the principles for you here:
Don't fight your fear (what you resist persists). Its important to allow yourself to feel the fear. To have compassion and understanding for that fear. I know this sounds like a paradox, but as long as you give yourself a hard time, it will just make the fear worse
Get out of Your Head and into your Body.
To our survival brain, it feels that it will keep us safe if we consciously control everything with our thinking mind. In truth, that just keeps us frozen in fear. This is why focussing on your breathing is such a powerful way of calming fear. Bringing your attention onto the feeling of being in nature, the sounds and beauty of nature, the physical sensations in your body as you move will bring you gently out of the fear freeze
Connect with your higher qualities and who you are when you feel in the zone. Keep your attention those rather than delving into all the ways you feel inadequate or like you are failing to meet the mark
Breath deep into your hips. This is where you life energy is sourced. Your excitement, your "va va voom", your courage, your desire, your creativity. When you put your attention in your hips, it allows you to access this and for it to flow around your body. Its pretty magical when you get access this to energy. Its holding your body tense with fear that will block it off.
Look ahead, at where you want to go (i.e. don't look at what you don't want to hit). Now, this is a very simple physical action. But the beauty of it, is that it allows your mind body system to engage the super conscious...and your superconscious has a FAR superior processing power to your conscious brain. This is why, when you trust yourself in this way, you can simply look down a challenging trails at the line you want to take and you will be able to hit the exact spot you looked to the millimetre even at high speeds and not really know how you managed to do it. It feels flippin' amazing.
This is the sensation of flow.
You cannot however fool yourself into flow.
You either trust or you don't.
You are either in your fear state or your are not.
If you pretend to yourself that you believe you can do something and you have transcended the fear, its pretty likely that you will crash and burn.
The beauty of mastering your fear:
Once you know how to do this on your bike, you can apply the exact same principles to step up and out of your comfort zone in any area of your life where fear holds you back