To be what you want,
You must be what what you want
Did that heading make sense? No.
Fear is a specter inherent to both combat and combat sports. In Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, fear can manifest as a fear of stagnating progress, fear of competition loss, fear of injury, just to name a few.
Addressing fear starts with an understanding of what fear is. Today I will briefly discuss one dimension to the problem of fear and one solution.
One definition of fear is that we avoid results that conflict with the image of ourselves that we wish to maintain. For example, we may see a lack of technical development as an indication that we are unintelligent; if we currently see ourselves as smart and capable individuals, then we may be fearful that a plateau in our Jiu Jitsu is an indication that our intelligence is compromised on the whole.
Many methods used to overcome this anxiety involve willpower. If we simply continue to grind away, the reasoning goes, then our fear will be negated by the (hopefully) emergent evidence that we ARE, in fact, making technical progress. The problem here is that we have handed over responsibility to the ebb and flow of willpower.
My suggestion is to first eliminate the image and actions of ourselves as fearful beings. All too often we expect a change in thought to result in a change in actions. Then we wait for these changes in thought to catalyze change in action. Instead, we should change our actions and follow through with them until our actions become habits and our habits contribute to a new thought-pattern of ourselves. To continue from our example, do not maintain a self-image of someone who would enjoy technical progress but is also at risk for stifled progress. Instead, project an image of yourself as someone who consistently makes progress, regardless of other circumstances. From there, carry yourself in a manner that aligns with this self-image. This is just an introduction to this type of thinking, we can expand on these ideas at a later date.
I was initially fearful of writing this entry because my last entry was well-received and I wondered how this entry could live up to the standard. Then I realize that most people speak, read and write in Chinese and all was well again. :]