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Mental Strategy to Overcome Fears and Blocks

May 1, 2013 | Loren Fogelman

Crossing the Finish Line

Athletic gifts are not always the key to victory. Even the highest level of talent becomes irrelevant when athletes have to deal with fears and blocks. This is because as long as you're tuned into a problem, you'll remain stuck in it.

No athlete wants to waste valuable time in or out of season stuck in a problem. Results are all that truly matter; and  the quickest way to a breakthrough is to have the right strategy.

To fully overcome blocks and fears, you must understand them. Fears and blocks share many similarities. At their root, they are both mindset issues that cause:

  • Lowered confidence
  • Increased anxiety
  • Resistance to peak performance
  • Doubts and low trust

Mental blocks are all about you. You don't have the confidence to meet the challenge. You don't trust your skills but you don't want to fail. Fears are about doing something you have no control over. You end up feeling helpless. And that feeling of no control creates resistance.

The truth is that both fears and blocks are a perception challenge. Your reality is created from your experiences and beliefs. Identifying the source of the resistance helps you to work through it.

Here's where mental toughness matters. Not the white knuckle type where you're told to just get over it. What I mean is, the readiness to tackle problems even if they make you uncomfortable. That's because you grow your confidence by stepping up to problems and finding solutions.

What I teach my clients combines strengthening their skills with mindset strategies. This approach transforms the impossible into the possible. You experience less resistance as you focus on the solution instead of the problem.

Here are the solution steps to follow:

  • Make a list of your strengths. Focus on which ones will help you tackle the resistance.
  • Shift your focus to the solution steps. Avoiding the problem burns too much valuable energy.
  • Step out of the box. Do some detective work to discover a new approach that works for you.
  • Strategize. Identify the challenge that you're ready to take on now. Then develop the game plan to get going.
  • Support. Know who's on your team. Accountability keeps you going when the going gets tough.
  • Make the decision to work through the resistance. Then stick with the challenge and do what's necessary.

My clients who tackle the biggest challenges always end up with breakthroughs in their performance. When you know how to remove obstacles, you can discover opportunities that are out there waiting for you.

Fears and blocks can happen to any athlete, from beginners to professional. The longer you compete, the more likely you'll face some form of block or resistance. Respond differently than everyone else. Instead of getting stopped or stalled, acknowledge it without letting it break your momentum. Let your motivation to succeed be stronger than your desire to avoid something uncomfortable. Know about the mindset strategies of champion athletes, so you can rise up to the challenge too.

Challenge: Where's your resistance? And how is it stopping you? Decide if you're ready to turn it around. If so, then use the Solution Steps. Then plan where to start. Make the first steps easy to give your confidence a boost. Consistently work your plan to turn things around. With continued effort you'll notice that what had once been difficult is now easy.


Loren Fogelman
- Loren Fogelman is author of "The Winning Point" and founder of Expert Sports Performance, a company devoted to teaching athletes around the globe how to...
Loren Fogelman
- Loren Fogelman is author of "The Winning Point" and founder of Expert Sports Performance, a company devoted to teaching athletes around the globe how to...
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