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Published: May 6, 2017

Fear and Huge Self Doubt in Rugby

After only creating the site about a week ago, it is time to start talking about my often sad emotional fitness journey.

Sport has always been the great barometer of performance for me and my inner game with my huge hidden away self doubt. For so long self doubt has affected my sport, shown as real inconsistencies in tennis especially. Although the tennis form in 2017 has made a huge turn for the good, which will be my next blog post. Before this my sporting history had been common that I would play a freak game or few moments, then returning to the old mistakes again.

With rugby this was especially obvious. Aged in my early 20s, I was playing rugby for a Burnside social team in Christchurch, having previously played for the Lincoln University first 15 colts team. In was the local derby against our other Burnside social team. I had a blinder and was invited to train with the top club team as a wing. This was in the early days before moving to play open side flanker. The coach said I would do some off season training with their other key wing who was Steve J Cleave, he was somebody I followed  on TV, as he played the next level up which was for Canterbury NPC team. As he was a well known local player, I was so excited. I had finally made it! Yet then self doubt returned over time and my belief I could even do it was lost again. Which was a consistent story of my sports career. Real highs and lows in self belief and self doubt.

Later the Rugby career highlight was certainly playing in-front of a big crowd in London for a NZ selection and the feeling of being admired and feeling that I had made it was something money can never buy. Certainly my life highlight that feeling of the huge crowd watching us play.

Yet soon after that my self-doubt took hold again and manifested in a different with overtraining. It was being part of  the North Rugby 1st Grade squad a professional team in Sydney. I explain the story in the following video in a talk.

So as I reflect now in 2017, and my work assisting as a mental skills coach of professional athletes, I know that top professionals often don't have self doubt. Some do but not normally in their area of sport. Hence now I have learn the techniques to let go of so much self doubt, life and sport feel very different indeed. That is the exciting story and why I love to help others make the move form fear and doubt to find flow.

If we compare Emotional Fitness with Emotional Intelligence what is the difference?

Emotional Fitness is a newer term. Many people know about Emotional Intelligence, yet Emotional Fitness a subset of the broader category of Emotional Intelligence.

As explained in the following table, Emotional Fitness is more focused on the internal use and expression of emotions. While Emotional Intelligence is also focused on external relationships, as explained below.



The definition of Emotional Fitness is our level or ability to fully understand and use our emotional capacity to achieve high-performance.

Like a muscle, our emotions only support us if we use them. Hence good Emotional Fitness refers to being fully aware and in-tune emotionally, able to express and feel the full array of emotions. Not just being positive, able to handle and beneficially use negative emotions. See last weeks blog post for an example.

Filed Under: Uncategorized
Tagged With: emotional expression, Emotional Fitness, Emotional Intelligence, High-performance, self-esteem

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