"Staring down a grizzly, setting off explosives, acting onstage—all these activities were part of Red Bull’s Performance Under Pressure camp. I went for a week and came away a different, more mindful athlete" - Sasha DiGiulian, Professional Rock Climber and Red Bull Athlete (@sashadigiulian)
Fear is an interesting phenomenon that exists in all of us. Some people show it more than others. Some people can handle it better. Some people are just so overwhelmed by it that it can rule their lives.
Fear is something that I see a lot when working with clients one-on-one. It is probably the biggest barrier to a person's performance after stress. Quite often it is the fear of failure, although this is becoming more acceptable in today's entrepreneurial society.
Working with the Red Bull High-Performance team (@redbull) over the past six months on the Performance Under Pressure 2.0 project, we analysed the judgement and decision-making of the athletes who went through this experience. Afterwards, we saw some exciting changes.
It is the 'experience' that is one of the things can bring change in an athlete, both mentally and physically. It seems to have done that with Sasha. It has been done before by Red Bull with Project Acheron (see my blog on this - click here). Going outside one's comfort zone and experiencing something new changes the neurological pathways of the brain and with that comes the power to overcome fear.
At Peak Dynamics, we continue to research new ways to help our clients and improve their performance. We continue to exchange ideas with Red Bull.
We continue to work with our clients both in the office environment, sporting arenas and extreme locations. All bring fear in their different ways. Our job is to help our clients overcome those performance inhibiting fears.
So my advice is go and get some 'new experiences' as it will develop you as a person. But my final piece of advice is do not try and stare down a grizzly when doing so.
There’s a simple rule in athletics that I live by: in order to break plateaus, you need to change your approach.