Today I went climbing.

It's been a couple of months since I got back to climbing after I broke my ankle hitting my foot on a rock.

It just happened after an ordinary fall, one of the several that can happen on a day out climbing.

I still have not got back to my usual form and thus feel a bit insecure when climbing on routes close to my previous limits.

The route I am working on has a section which reminds me of the accident I had.

Every time I approach that point of the route, the "what if" starts stepping in and I stop focusing on what I should do.

Then I apply far more strength then necessary and try different solutions, thinking that it will help.

Unfortunately, it does not, as I get even more tired and then even more hesitant, entering a self-reinforcing loop which increases my chances of falling.

Self-control and sticking to the right movements would be much more effective.

Same when trading.

When things begin to go wrong, instead of focusing, the "what if" starts stepping in.

Typical end of the story is that I 'fall', together with my shares, losing much more money than necessary.

Self-discipline would be much more effective.

To regain confidence, I just have to keep on trying.

As Cheri Huber said, "Every time we choose safety, we reinforce fear".





Speak your mind

1 Comment so far

  1. David on November 8, 2009 5:46 am

    Thank you Michele and Daily Speculations!

    I too am a climber and aspiring trader. I just started getting back into climbing outdoors and leading, and I’m pushing myself to get to the point in leading where I’m confident with fear, but not fear that is disabling, but good fear that puts me is a mindset of focus and care for the movements I make in climbing. Trusting my strength, technique and ability to navigate the routes efficiently has been a big part of that too, especially when working on routes that are at the edge of the level I feel comfortable climbing.

    One of things I’ve been doing to overcome my fear leading more difficult routes is first practicing the route on top rope, and then leading it after I’ve had a chance to do it once. This way, through practice, I can reinforce my confidence, and slowly start to feel comfortable with my ability to start leading climbs without first having practiced them.

    With trading and climbing, perfect practice makes perfect. I believe, the same fear present in climbing is the same as in trading, and through practice, repetition of good habits,and getting familiar with all the variables/territory one can really gain the confidence to climb or trade with healthy fear.

    As Cheri Huber says, “Every time we choose safety, we reinforce fear”…I agree with this, but would like to say that every time we choose safety, we should take the opportunity to check in with ourselves and analyze why we feel the need to choose safety. Sometimes that fear that makes you choose safety is a good fear to have. In climbing, when I attempt routes that are beyond my ability, I have the most fear which is a good thing to have, because I am being honest with myself and respecting the fact that at this moment in time, I’m not able to do this route, not only because of fear, but because of my physical ability. In trading, it’s the same, if you haven’t practiced certain scenarios over and over again, and received either positive or negative feedback, how can you trade without fear?

    It seems that fear in performance related activities is directly proportional to the practice and positive feedback you receive from them. The more you practice and reinforce your ability to successfully reach your goals, the more confident and less fearful you will be.


Resources & Links