“Many athletes with a fear of failure focus on all the wrong things.”
The perceived stress you can experience just before a difficult WOD can get in the way of your performance. This anxiety can personify itself during a workout causing you to doubt your abilities and, as a result, not realize your full potential during the workout. This nervousness can increase just before a workout because (a) you have an audience, and (b) you have extremely high expectations for yourself.
No matter what level of athlete you are, whether it’s a tiny regional competition or today’s WOD, I believe one thing is certain: you cannot perform well unless you believe you will perform well.
Granted, there are factors besides belief that are required to outperform the competition. Winning is a culmination of more than just a desire to be the best. There’s hard work. Talent. Sacrifice. But confidence in your abilities is the secret ingredient.
Athletes with fear of failure need to learn how to perform efficiently instead of perfectly. During a tough WOD, a tactic I use to calm my nerves and stay focused is to concentrate on my mechanics. I’d rather sacrifice time instead of my mechanics. Efficient mechanics leads to increased performance. Proper form is simply more efficient. And being more efficient means less wasted energy.
In the end, a little fear can be good. Fear pushes us to try new things. Fear helps keep us safe. Fear can be a great motivator. If you can take advantage of being free from the fear of success or failure, you will gain a new understanding of your ability.
So when the adrenaline kicks in and you begin to feel the butterflies churning, take a second to remind yourself that this is your workout; you own it, it doesn’t own you.