Setting and maintaining your new year Goals easily

I am sure that everyone has at some point experienced the eventual collapse of their new year's resolutions. The new year often begins with good intentions however bit by bit it is common for our self discipline and energy to be chipped away until we return back to patterns of behaviour very similar to how we were before. What if there was a way to make this new year the year that you reach the goals you set out to achieve? I believe the starting point to all of this is understanding about values. Our values are the core messages that we hold to be so important that they drive and govern our behaviours. They are so embedded in us it can be easy to assume that they are simply what makes me, me, they can also feel as if that is just how everyone should be. The problem is, is that because we react to our values unconsciously they sit within our...
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Specific and Complex Phobias

Specific and Complex Phobias

In this post I explore the differences and similarities between what has been labelled as specific and complex phobias. What is a Specific Phobia? A specific phobia is when the sufferer has an exaggerated and debilitating amount of fear over a particular ‘thing’. Common examples are: Spiders, dogs, clowns, cows, small spaces, needles. And why do people have specific phobias? Because at some point in their life the person had a significant emotional reaction in response to that ‘thing’, this may even have resulted in trauma. It could have been something that happened to them, or it may have been something they heard about, it may even have come from watching the reactions on somebody else's face. The development could be instantaneous or slow-growing. The person may have a memory when they developed their phobia, or the origin of their fear may be a mystery to them. So what is a complex Phobia? Complex phobias have a secondary level to them because the fear isn't necessarily...
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Falling off and letting go: Tips and thoughts to improve your head-game

Falling off and letting go: Tips and thoughts to improve your head-game

  About This Article A fear of falling on the lead is what stops so many people from being able to climb naturally, fluidly and to their fullest potential when they are above their last piece of protection. There is a wealth of existing information out there and I will make the assumption that a great many people who are reading this article have already worked their way through a few useful articles or swapped tips with friends, and they have most likely tried at least a little falling practice and know that they should do more.  In it's most simple format, falling practice involves taking as many safe falls in as many different contexts until we become familiar enough with falling so that it no longer impacts our climbing by creating additional stress, robbing us of our concentration and inhibiting our performance. This can take thousands of falls, not tens, or hundreds. In this article I want to cover some of the untouched and unspoken...
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Climbing Related Fears and Phobias

Climbing Related Fears and Phobias

  All humans are born with 2 fears, a fear of loud noises and a fear of falling. Apart from these 2 fears, all of our other fears have been learned and stored unconsciously.  Fears can be useful and instructive and being afraid can be thought of as a useful and welcome emotion. Every day fear can teach us to be cautious and it can also teach us to be ambitious. Phobias however are fears taken to an extreme level and ones that can create a significant reaction simply by using our imagination. Phobias are neither useful or rational and they can lead to unhelpful and even dangerous emotions or behaviours. It surprises me how there doesn’t seem to be a lot of information out there regarding climbing and fears, and as a coach who works with phobias and fear, especially with climbers, I’m often curious about how a lack of vocabulary brings about a difficulty for people to understand and explore their...
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Fear of Spiders

Fear of Spiders

I work to help people to overcome phobias in quick and effective ways, sometimes in as little as a single session, so they can live a life without being controlled by their fears. A fear of spiders is very common and every autumn and winter we share our homes, buildings and cars with spiders as they come inside to escape the weather.  This article will provide some useful insights I have had through my work with phobias and may even be enough for you to take action for yourself, or if you find that more work is required for you to reach your goal then contact me. What would you like instead?   So you’re afraid of spiders, and you don’t want to be anymore. Now what? Have you ever considered what not being afraid of spiders looks and feels like for you?   It’s a common misconception to imagine that if you were able to cope with spiders then you would find that...
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Overcoming a traumatic climbing memory – a case study

Overcoming a traumatic climbing memory – a case study

There is no doubt that to climb effectively we have to be able to keep in charge of our psychological state. Before we get onto our chosen route we have to put away the emotional baggage that holds us down. We can normally achieve this ourselves through approaches such as visualisation and routines that help us to clear our mind or focus it towards our goals. Sometimes however, our memories can return to haunt us. A Case Study of John  Note: John gave me written permission to create this case study and has read it and confirmed its use for publication. 'John' is not his real name When I first met John I had worked with him to provide some climbing technique coaching. He was looking to push into the 7a grade, and so we worked on techniques and tactics for body positions and how to rest efficiently. John was fit and strong and a dedicated climber who had the physicality and the tenacity...
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