Like I mentioned in the previous blog entry, I’ve had success over the past couple of years helping about 40 cheerleaders get over performance anxiety. Basically, they develop a fear of doing back flips. In some cases they have had a bad fall, in some cases it’s the fear of falling, that causes the phobia. I liken it to the fear of cold calling that can build up over time with sales people in which they can’t pick up the telephone any more.
In any case, these girls, who were once fearless with their routines, suddenly become afraid to even try to perform. In many cases, the phobia bleeds over into other areas of their lives. They make even become reclusive.
I use the same techniques I use with other phobias… anchoring, which I’ve written about several times in this blog. I have the cheerleader find a time in her life when she felt very confident and/or safe, a color she associates with those feelings and a word that she associate with confidence. Then I have her go through all the aspects of her cheerleading routine, especially the back flips or back hand springs, while simultaneously anchoring the positive feelings. I have her try to bring up the feelings of anxiety, but each time, in every step, we reinforce the anchors.
Unless the cheerleaders also suffer from anxiety in other areas of their life, they eliminate the cheerleading phobia in one to three sessions. Like I tell all my potential clients, “Hypnosis is not psychotherapy. It does not require years of talking about your life history. It’s more akin to computer reprogramming.” We don’t even need to know why the problem developed. All we need to do is eliminate it.
If you know a cheerleader who is suffering from “fear of doing back flips,” have them give me a call.