I bet all of you have been there at some point in your lives. There is this thing that would be absolutely rad to achieve. So you prepare for it, picture yourself doing it and right before you want to get going -you are paralyzed.
Unable to move, your thoughts are running in circles and prevent you from pursuing that awesome thing you came here for. So you can’t help but ask yourself – what the hell is happening?
It happened to me when I was standing on the edge of a cliff and just could not take the leap to jump, when I was preparing for a snowboard drop and could not get going, when I was riding my bike down a rough section and suddenly stopped dead – you see what I mean. These were somewhat risky situations, but I could have made all of them if I had not chickened out the last minute.
The good news at this point is – although dealing with this kind of fear isn’t the best feeling – conquering it absolutely is. The more you overcome your anxiety, the more you learn to trust yourself, rely on your abilities and think that you are capable of a lot. And when it comes to downhill biking, armour and a brand-new helmet also work as an instant confidence booster.
Of course that doesn’t mean that you don’t need to prepare yourself, practice on the small stuff and work your way up. The trick is to find the right balance and make it suit you. If this particular thing is too heavy for you, it’s ok, then try to find another one to start with.
It is a fine line between overestimating and underestimating yourself. And knowing when something is beyond your abilities is definitely a matter of experience. Personally, I am still far from where I would like to be as a bike rider and I have to get off and walk my bike often. Still, I know that I will be able to ride the section one day and that makes walking it perfectly ok.
And even if you feel in control, there is still the chance you might crash. The good news at this point is – it’s mostly not as bad as you think it will be (knock on wood). In the end you often grow stronger through failure and learn something about yourself. Eating dirt could eventually make you feel even more confident as long as you keep the positive thinking up.
Mental blocks in all areas of life are certainly hard to overcome, but trying it is definitely worth it and succeeding is a priceless feeling.
And if all else fails, you can always come back and beat the damn thing another day. Just put the blame on poor equipment or bad conditions until then 😉