There are two wolves fighting and battling inside me. One is Evil and is filled with sorrow, fear, doubt, anxiety, worry, and self-pity. The other wolf is Good and full of love, strength, confidence, power, and peace. I only have enough room for one wolf. Only one can be standing when the battle is over, but how do I know which wolf will win the battle and survive?
The stronger wolf will always win.
The stronger wolf is the one we feed. The wolf that is fed is the one that will continue to grow, become stronger, more powerful, and survive. The wolf that is starved will become weak, powerless, shrink, and eventually wither away.
Our fears follow the same story. There is a battle going on inside us. Our fears tell us to stop, we are going to get hurt, we aren’t strong enough or good enough to make it, or that we are too weak to fight and win. We want to overcome our fear and we tell ourselves we can do it, we are strong enough and we are good enough, but the battle continues inside of us.
The battle continues when we feed both wolves and the food we feed the Good wolf, is the wrong food.
We stand ready to go for our skill and the fear pops up with its nasty thoughts, we try to convince ourselves that we can do it, but the more we try, the more we are feeding into our fears.
You can do it-No, I can’t.
Just go-I can’t.
You will be fine-I hope I don’t hit my head.
You have done this before-So. I can’t do it now!
Oh my gosh, just do it-I can’t and I will never be able to do this. I give up!!!
This internal battle goes on every time we step up and try to attempt our fearful skill. We think we are saying positive things, we try to fight, we try to go, we want to go…but we don’t. Over and over we try and we fail, we try and we fail, we try and we fail. All we are really doing is strengthening our fears. We are proving to them they are bigger and stronger than us and no matter how many times we try, they will win.
Telling yourself you can do it, doesn’t help if you don’t believe it.
Telling yourself to just go doesn’t help, because you haven’t told yourself HOW to do it.
Telling yourself you will be fine doesn’t work, because you aren’t completely sure that you will be okay.
Telling yourself you have done it before only makes you feel worse that you still won’t go for it.
Eventually, you end up feeling more frustrated, depressed, and defeated.
The food we feed our wolves does matter. Feeding the Good Wolf candy, cakes, chips, and soda will keep it alive, but won’t give it the strength, energy, muscles, endurance, and power it needs to overcome the Evil Wolf. If we feed the Good Wolf steak, potatoes, salad, vegetables, and plenty of water it will have the nutrients to overcome, dominate, and win the battle.
Feed yourself the RIGHT thoughts that will build you up and get you ready to fight the battle.
- Tell yourself things you believe.
- Focus on the process and not the outcome.
- Break the skill down into sections you can handle.
If I was scared to do a back handspring, here is how I could feed the Good wolf.
- I would tell myself things that I believed about my back handspring. When I walking into place and preparing for the skill. Instead of telling myself, I can do it, I can tell myself that I can work for it. I do believe that I can and will work for it. I have no problem putting in the work needed to overcome my fear.
I will also tell myself that I am strong and I am a fighter and I will commit to overcoming my fear no matter how long it takes.
- I will focus on the process and tell myself WHAT to do in my back handspring and HOW to do it. I stand tall and tight in my ready position. I jump back into a stretched out position, I lift my toes and look for the floor, I hold and push through my shoulders in my handstand, I snap into a hollow shape, and I lift my chest in a strong landing position.
I will focus on what I want to do, and not think about what I don’t want to do. I want to jump strong, push, snap, and finish strong. I will visualize what a strong back handspring looks like and I will work on getting myself to go for it.
- I know I will not overcome my fear all of a sudden. I will learn to win little battles and then I will start to build my confidence. I will do it in all the places where I feel confident; on a soft mat, with a spot, on tramp, into the rest pit, etc.
Then I will challenge myself a little. If I feel comfortable doing it on a soft mat, I will try it on a firm mat. Once I feel comfortable there, I will challenge myself again.
Challenges should be small enough so I can achieve them and enough of a push to learn how to trust, build confidence, and prove to myself over and over again that I CAN do it.
Overcoming fears will not be easy, they will take work and you will have to commit to feeding the Good wolf. There will be times when you may feel that you will never overcome your fear and the battle may seem long. There will be battles you will win and you may think you are on your way to breaking through your fear, then the next week you slip back to struggle, doubt, and worry.
This is normal, the Evil wolf doesn’t want to die and will do anything to try and survive. Don’t let the Evil wolf live. Keep working, keep pushing, keep fighting. Always remember that little by little one of the wolves will have to lose. It is your choice.
Feeding the Good Wolf the right food will help it become Powerful, Strong, Fierce, and Confident. Once you know you have the Good wolf on your side, it will make it easier to fight the Evil wolf. Over time, the Evil wolf will be weak enough to overcome. Don’t stop fighting until the Evil wolf is gone. It is a battle you can and will win. Feed yourself the right thoughts, build your confidence, and learn how to fight your battles. Learning how to win the fight is more important than never having to battle. Learning how to win is more important than winning. We will always have battles we must fight within ourselves. Learning how to fight will keep your Good wolf strong and ready for any Evil wolf that challenges a battle.
Wendy Bruce Martin is a 1992 Olympian, Mental Coach, Owner of Get Psyched, and author of the book, Breaking Through a Mental Block. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter. Or visit her website at www.psyched4sports.com. For more information on Mental Blocks, fears, or how to compete and have your Peak Performance, contact Wendy today!