Mind Over Matter: How to Overcome Fear of Climbing
Fear is a basic human instinct with both biochemical and emotional components. Some fear is rational, like when you’re confronted with a charging bear. Some fear is not.
Fear can also be associated with fun, like extreme sports and scary movies.
While fear is a basic human emotion, it doesn’t have to be one that dictates your behavior. Read on to learn how to overcome fear in climbing.
Acknowledge Your Fear
Common fears in climbing can include repeating a bad fall and being afraid of the unknown when attempting a new move or path. It’s important to acknowledge the fear and where it comes from.
Fear plays a role in keeping us safe. If you’re afraid of falling, focus on what you can do to prevent it.
For example, have you noticed weakness in one of your hand grips? Then work to strengthen that grip.
Are you concerned about some of your equipment? Then maybe you can replace it.
Focusing on what you can control increases confidence and lessens fear.
If you’re concerned about a new climb, then talk to more experienced climbers. You can learn a lot about a new experience before you start it. This increases your confidence and safety in attempting the climb and reduces your fear.
The key is to acknowledge the source of the fear so you can address it head-on.
This Is Supposed to Be Fun
You got into this sport because you enjoyed it. If you’re fearful of the next climb, take a step back. Every climbing experience doesn’t have to push you to your edge; some can just simply be fun.
If you can refocus on the fun, you can diminish your fear.
Focus on the Present Moment
Climbing can be a powerful moving meditation. If you notice fear creeping in before a climb, take some slow, deep breaths.
Try to inhale for a count of 5 and exhale for a count of 5. This method of breathing stops our bodies’ natural fear response.
Your mindfulness doesn’t have to stop as you begin to climb; use your breath and your focus to keep you present. Inhale and exhale before you take your next step. Focus on how the rock feels under your fingers.
All of these activities help you to stay present, which improves your focus and minimizes natural fear responses. Not only will you climb safer with focus, but you may find that you climb better as your focus improves.
Embrace the Process
A large part of the enjoyment of climbing is facing a challenge and conquering it. A healthy fear of what’s next is part of the process. Embrace, engage, and acknowledge it, and you can harness it to improve your climbing.
How to Overcome Fear: Now Are You Ready for Your Next Climb?
Having the right gear helps to increase your confidence. We’re all about the climbing scene, how to overcome fear, and how to deal with open fingers; we have it all.
Check out our gear or find a local retailer near you.