Hey guys! I’m a huge fan, I watched your overcoming fears either it be physical or mental but I have this problem.
I usually always train alone and my friends don’t really want to train with me, they either want to do other sports.
I’m not saying it’s a problem but I just don’t enjoy doing it alone, especially when I’m at the park, and there are younger kids around and adults.
When I can’t do something, no one can spot.
This is embarrassing when there are girls around.
Anyways I’m 13 and I love parkour, and motion in general!!
Please get back to me soon! I can really use your input on what to do!
I know exactly how you feel. When I was first getting into parkour, it was difficult to train alone, especially in front of others. These fears negatively affected my training. Instead of focusing on my movements and being confident in my abilities, I would focus on what other people were thinking like “Are they watching me?” “If so, do I look dumb right now??” “If I mess up trying to do this new move, I’m going to look stupid and all of those people will think I’m a loser” “I wish I had more skill, I probably look like some wannabe jumping and crawling around awkwardly” ha and maybe yours aren’t as negative, but deep down when was I first training alone in front of people, these negative thoughts would try and surface. Of course, as a result of these thoughts and mind set, my training would either be very weak and unproductive or I wouldn’t train at all. I’m sure you can relate to that.
Let me first tell you that there is nothing wrong with feeling that way right now and in fact it’s quite normal for most people to feel that way when they are trying something new and foreign in front of people. But if we stay in this mind set, it will hold us back tremendously. It will keep us from progressing in our training, it will lower our confidence, and ultimately hurt us big time in our long term success in anything that we do.
If we take care of this fear, we will be able to train in front of others as if we were in our own personal training facility and we won’t be dependent on the comfort of our friends to progress in our training. We will see large improvements in our skill because we will always be able to get a great productive training session and we will be able to take on any challenge in our lives by ourselves with confidence.
I’m going to go pretty deep in this answer. Some might feel it’s a little over kill for just getting over the fear of training in front of others but I see this fear as a sign of a deeper issue that is most likely holding us back in other important areas of our lives as well. Everything I’m going to talk about below can be used to overcome any social fear we experience.
We Are Hardwired To Be Afraid
So what causes this fear of training alone? If we logically think about it, we really shouldn’t be experiencing any fear of training in front of others. What’s the worse thing that could happen? The possibility of someone else looking down upon us, thinking we are idiots, or making fun of us when we mess up? These are all emotional pains created internally that are being triggered by an external source. Meaning that all of the pain that we are going to feel from “looking stupid” is created by our own brains and it is purely emotional. We are not in threat of real external danger and sense the pain is brought on by our own thoughts and emotions then we can have full control over it. If we look stupid, it’s not like we are going to get hit by a bus, have our leg broken, or get jumped by a mob of people.
We have to stop putting other people’s opinions above our own. If we hold ourselves back in something that we love, want to do, or know is right based on the thought of not getting approval from others, then that means we believe their opinions and point of views are higher and more important than our own.
This isn’t true, the only thing in your life that you can have full control of is yourself, so always be confident in yourself, your opinions, beliefs, and do what you want to do. We have to stop living our lives for others and start living our life for ourselves and be confident doing what we want to do.
Easier Said Than Done
Sounds simple but we all experience some degree of fear or hesitation when we are trying something new in front of others and especially strangers. Why is this??
Well from what I’ve studied from experts in psychology and evolution (not claiming to be an expert myself) it has to do with the way things were a LONG time ago. The evolution of man that has left us with social fears that are hardwired into our brains. Fears and emotions that were reasonable and advantageous to feel back then that really don’t serve us positively today in the modern world.
For example, a long time ago when humans lived in primitive tribes, if we didn’t win the approval from the others in the tribe, it would result in us living at the bottom of the totem pole. Life at the bottom of the group back then would have sucked. If there was only enough food for a few, we wouldn’t get any. If there was a fire and only a few could be saved, we would be left to burn. If there were only a few viable mates, we would be left alone and our lineage would seize to exist. If we were heavily disliked by the tribe or group, we would be ostracized or killed.
Obviously, back then it was very important to win the constant approval of our fellow man and these fears of not receiving approval were truly valid. These emotional triggers evolved early as important tools for survival. However, today these fears of not gaining approval from everyone, even strangers, is completely not valid and doesn’t serve us in a positive way. Most of us don’t live in small primitive tribes in the middle of no where. We won’t die from a few people not liking us or thinking we “look stupid”. Today we can do what we want and if people don’t like it we don’t have to care because we are so connected that we will always find others who will like us for who we are and people who relate to us. It’s an amazing time to be alive.
Now that we know where these fears come from, we need to be aware of them when they come up in our lives. Once we are aware of these primitive lower self fears while or directly after we experience them, we can logically convince ourselves that they are not valid and can begin to push through these fears that are holding us back from achieving our goals and reaching our full potential.
Steps To Overcome The Fear Of Training Alone In Front Of Others
Step #1 – Change our mindset.
Instead of being afraid of looking stupid or training in front of others, search for it and enjoy it. If there’s any chance I can get these days to make people think I look stupid especially on a mass scale, have fun with it, enjoy it. This means you are growing and one step closer to being a complete badass. Because a real badass doesn’t try to be too cool and doesn’t care about looking stupid, he does what he does and enjoys every minute of it.
Step #2 – Go out and train in front of people by yourself once a week.
Start small and build as you go. It might help to have an iPod or mp3 player at first to really get you in your zone. Preferably you’ll want to listen to some old school N’Sync or Britney Spears.
Step #3 – Use positive affirmations and visualization.
Our self talk and imagination are powerful tools. What ever you tell and imagine in your brain over and over will effect how you act and the results you get in your life. If we are constantly imagining and telling ourselves we can’t train alone or that we are losers and won’t succeed, then that’s exactly the results we are going to experience. When we say things like that to ourselves, we are creating a self image that will not allow us to succeed. We have convinced ourselves and our brains that’s what we are when really that’s just an image of ourselves we have created.
We have to consistently tell ourselves and imagine what we want and that we can achieve it. Do this and our brains will subconsciously begin to project that positive self image that you have created and will start to produce the results you want. The more specific you are the better.
77% of our self talk and imagery is negative and counter productive. This holds us back tremendously in our goals and in being the best you that you can be. Most of this negative talk is done without us even being aware of it. That’s why is is so important that everyday we take some time to consciously use positive self talk and imagery to tell your brain how awesome, special, and cool you are. This positive self talk and imagery are what we call positive affirmations and positive visualizations.
A lot of us have been conditioned to think this is being arrogant. This simply is not true. We should always think very highly of ourselves. This is being confident. Arrogance is when people boast about themselves obnoxiously or look down on others because they feel they they are “better” due to their own insecurities with themselves.
We are going to repeatedly say and imagine positive things about ourselves and the positive out comes we are going to have in our lives. As corny as that sounds, it works, and it works really well. After a few positive affirmations and positive visualizations, we will already begin to notice a difference in how we feel. If you do it consistently over time, you will start to see those affirmations and visualizations come into fruition and a lot of big positive changes will occur. It’s just how the brain works, it can’t really tell a difference from what you imagine vs what happens in the real world.
We can see this demonstrated in various studies. For example basket ball study.
[A study conducted by Dr. Blaslotto at the University of Chicago was done where he split people into three groups and tested each group on how many free throws they could make.
After this, he had the first group practice free throws every day for an hour.
The second group just visualized themselves making free throws.
The third group did nothing.
After 30 days, he tested them again.
The first group improved by 24%.
The second group improved by 23% without touching a basketball!!!!
The third group did not improve which was expected.]
So again, it is very important we are consciously using positive self talk otherwise we are going to be consumed with negative self talk and never overcome our fear of training in front of others.
Step #4 – Do something intentionally goofy and stupid.
I like to add this into my warm up. I intentionally add goofy movements into my warm up. I suggest you do it too. After that you could really care less about what people think about your Parkour movements because you’ve already made yourself look like an idiot and you realize that nothing bad happened.
Step #5 – Just do it and stop thinking.
Get out there and do it. If you start getting scared or thinking about what others are thinking. Just stop thinking about it. Become aware and focus all of your attention on your breathing and physical movement. Anytime a negative thought pops into your head, consciously push it out of your mind and go back to focusing on your physical breathing and physical movement.
Step #6 – Judge yourself on the action not the result.
This means we are not going to worry about the out come when we are training in front of people. If it doesn’t work out as planned, we still get scared, or feel stupid…just become aware, smile, and start laughing because your goal is going to be taking the action of training in front of others. If you achieve that action of just going out and training in front of others then you succeeded and you rock even if you still are afraid and feel stupid. By taking the action over and over again your results will naturally start to improve and get better and the feeling of fear and looking stupid will go away and be easily manageable.
Go out and do this today and if you can’t go train today, go ahead and start working on the positive affirmations and positive visualizations. Get rid of these fears that are holding us back by taking action NOW.
P.S. If you want to learn the step by step system to learn how to run up 8ft walls, take 10ft drops, vault over rails, and fly through your environment effortlessly then [Click HERE] For a Free 5 day parkour training course!
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