‘Lead us from the fear of Death’
‘Though I walk through the Valley of the Shadow of Death, I shall fear no evil.’
A big part of athletic endeavor, especially competition, is confronting fears. I’m exploring the root of those fears. The Four Agreements book says our main fear is social rejection, something that has been conditioned in each of us from the day we are born. I’ve noticed that some people get extremely good at pleasing others at a young age, and these are sometimes the people with the worst fear when they grow up and have to compete in an athletic (or other performance) setting.
I’m now starting to think that the fear of performing in front of dozens, hundreds, or thousands of strangers is because this person who is so good at deciphering how to please others one-on-one, cannot possibly control the outcome when they are being judged by myriad eyes. This is a paralyzing and very real fear in their mind that they will get rejected, possibly by dozens of people, and there is nothing they can do about it.
So how to get past this? I think any fear has original wounds which need confrontation. This person’s inner child is still fighting for its life, and the adult suffers needlessly. In fact, all fears can probably be traced back to the fear of death, and that is not something you want to be confronting 24/7.
A person needs to expose fears for what they are, so that they can begin to live the life of a fearless warrior. A warrior knows what to fear and what not to fear.
A person who fears competition is living in the past. There is nothing to fear at the moment! You are NOT going to die if you do not perform well. You behave as though there is a gun to your head.
A competition should be a venue of inspiration and glory. Can you imagine a perfect competition, where no one chokes, and everyone performs their best for that given day? That is what spectators want to see. It is not enough to do your best in spite of your fear, you must begin that slow, painful walk through the Valley of the Shadow of Death to illuminate and eliminate your fears.
Because that is just what living with a fear is…merely the ‘shadow’ of death. To truly grow up, one must begin to leave the shadows for the light. No fear!
“What are you afraid of? Death? You should be afraid of not living!”
~Sri Swami Satchidananda