30 April, 2011

Our Greatest Fear

As athletes, and for that matter as humans, fear is something that we must deal with constantly. Typically, inspiring fear in the hearts of others is a whole lot more fun than dealing with our own demons and insecurities. It seems to be that there is plenty to be afraid of in the world, whether it is a fear of heights, spiders, snakes, public speaking, injury, or failure. I believe that there is one fear that comes in ahead of all of these and that is the fear of succeeding. Sounds silly right? If you take the time to to consider it there is probably little to laugh at. I am going to take the liberty of assuming that all of us have the desire to succeed in what we do. Why then do we find ourselves complacent in pursuing the achievement of our goals? Why so often do we find a way to sabotage ourselves as we reach the cusp of our aim? Fear. If we do well, we can not return to our status quo and feel fulfilled because we then know that we can do better than our status quo. We will have exposed ourselves to ourselves and to others as being amazing. The truth is that it is hard for most of us to believe that we are phenomenal; that we can excel beyond our wildest imagination. This is far too big for us to contemplate so it scares us. In sports, it is similar to the curse of the number 1 seed. If you are out front, everyone will no doubt be gunning for you and attempting to knock you off the pinnacle. This pressure is a little more intense than the idea of pursuing success seems to warrant. Most people at this point begin rationalizing, talking themselves into the belief that they are happier where they are and have no need to go any further. Though I have done this more often than I would care to admit, I say giving into this fear is bullshit! Just like everything else, all we need is genuine belief backed by
effort to break through our perceived complacency. Maybe I'm simply mad but the idea of having fears in my life that have not been overcome is problematic. If you share my belief, I encourage you to bite off more than you think you can chew and then rise to the occasion. Fearing success is a nasty one but it can be overcome as is evidenced by many who have, specifically the founders of crazy games like roller derby and the women that play it. Think this over and thank the people who made skating possible for you as you jam out 60 min of moderate to intense cardio!!! I'm just saying.



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