Performance anxieties are like fire alarms. They appear to exist outside of us but, in truth, are projections of what could’ve, should’ve or would’ve happened to us during childhood. These recollections or fantasies are pulled into consciousness by associations between what is going on now and what we recall happened, wish could have happened, or dreaded happening long ago. Here is how to defend against these phantoms from your past so they don’t influence your present.
How do you feel as you toe the starting line at a running race or face the jump ball at your rec league basketball game or wait for the opening serve at your health club tennis tournament? If you’re like me and millions of other motivated, recreational athletes around the country, your instinctive effort to protect yourself from perceived threat or the expectation of threat may make you lose sight of why you’re running of jumping or returning serve in the first place. You lose your focus often without even realizing it.