It’s pretty common that when you’re tackling something new for you to have to face your fears. It’s ok, it’s perfectly normal and we all have to do it. Fear acts as a safety mechanism that stops you from taking things too far, but if you want to break boundaries in whatever you’re doing, you need to control it. Embrace it. Channel it.

Mountain bike legend Danny MacAskill, shares five things he believes you can do to overcome fear.

1. Build yourself up

You don’t just go head first into stuff. You actually build up to pushing yourself. Like if I’m learning a new trick, I’ll try to do it in a more controlled environment first. That always helps to build up your confidence, then build up in small steps from there.

Mountainbike pro Danny Mac Askill is performing a trick on a ball with his bike at the adidas headquarter
You don't go from 0-100 without working at it.

2. Visualize your goals

I think everybody does it, but being able to visualize doing what you’re going to do helps a lot. I think that’s important in any sport to be able to really visualize in real time how it’s going to feel. It also gives you an idea of how you’re going to do what you want to do and how you’re going to achieve it.

3. The feel good factor

The thing that drives me a lot is that I try to think how good it’s going to feel when I land a trick. How good it’s going to feel when I’m in the shower that night, or when I wake up the next day and it’s done.

4. Regrets?

There’s also how bad you’re going to feel if you didn’t give it a try as well. That’s also quite good motivation – regret. I try to use that as a tool – especially if I’m looking at doing a trick I might not want to do and my instincts are telling me not to do it.

Mountainbike pro Danny MacAsill is doing a flip in front of a big crowd
Sometimes you have to go with your heart over what your head is telling you.
Mountainbike pro Danny MacAskill is giving his fans a high five while he passes them on his bike
Visualize success.
Mountainbike pro Danny MacAskill is signing autographs
Have faith in your own abilities.
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5. Using music

Sometimes I’m like “I can do this”, and I play one of my favorite songs on the run into one of my sets, a jump or something like that. When the chorus comes or a certain part of the song kicks in, I use that as almost like a starting gun. It takes your mind off all the fear, all the stupid stuff.

For me, fear is quite a useless emotion, because I know I can do it.


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by Christian Payne 23.07.2019
This is very helpful, especially your insight on visualization - thanks for sharing Danny!