You don’t have to be new skier to be nervous or fearful. I’ve seen experienced skiers, including competition skiers and ski professionals become fearful and nervous.
So this week I’ve been doing research in to some of the suggestions and strategies to over-coming fear and nerves in skiing, and they include:
- Positive thinking
- Learning more techniques e.g. control
- Visualisation and deep breathing
One thing they say is that there isn’t a universal approach to overcoming anxiety, fear or nervousness. Well there is actually, but it’s not strategy, it’s more of an understanding.
Before I explain this understanding first let me explain the distinction between a concept and an understanding:
- A concept is something we grasp at an intellectual level, but has no impact in our lives. It’s just theoretical. A good example of this is providing health information as a way to change behaviour. If this worked as a strategy that would mean that the NHS would be the healthiest organisation in the world but 700,000 of their 1.2M employees are overweight. Information is an example of something that we get conceptually but rarely has an impact on our lives.
- An understanding is something we insightfully get and it has an immediate impact on our lives. Taking the weight example, around 5% of people have an insight around weight loss and go on to lose weight and maintain it. On the other hand, the side effect of applying a concept (e.g. someone else’s strategy or information) without an insight is the problem gets worse and in case the weight loss 82-97% of people who apply a weight loss strategy gain weight, because they don’t see it insightfully, just conceptually.
For example, when someone has an insight the things they say usually start with one of the followng phrases:
- I realised that…
- It occurred to me…
- It made sense to me…
- I felt inspired to…
The problem with all the strategies to over-come fear or being nervous in skiing is that they have failure built in as standard, including:
- They are other people’s ideas of ‘this worked for me’, or a second hand insight. Only first-hand insights (your own) work as they are fully packaged for your life.
- Are you forcing yourself – using willpower to overcome – or finding yourself doing something (stillpower). Forcing yourself to overcome requires an excess of energy and is exhausting!
- You’re trying to fool yourself! Trying to come up with a positive thought to overcome a negative thought won’t work as you already know the trick you’re trying to play on your mind! That’s like trying to outplay yourself at chess!
- You’re already over-thinking, so trying to overcome over-thinking by giving yourself more thinking to combat the over-thinking (e.g. the positive thinking or breathing strategy) leads to…well, more over-thinking! A free-flowing state is the absence of excessive thought which is the opposite of what you’re trying to do!!!
It’s better to recognise there are no positive or negative thoughts like fear or being nervous, but just thoughts. The only power they have is the power you give them. You can’t hold on to them for long, and they are replaced by other thoughts so get out of your way and allow fresh thought to come through. And the moment you understand that at a deeper level (not conceptually) is the moment you’re back in the game, and putting the fun back in to skiing.
We don’t teach concepts at Skicology. We teach the psychological principles behind fun and great skiing by creating the space where insights and understanding come through you.
If you’d like to experience this understanding, and not just in skiing, but work and life cick here
Thoughts and comments always welcome.