The wrong way
Firstly, let’s start with what not to do about it; avoidance. Avoiding the types of run or obstacle that make you uncomfortable or that you really struggle with, will eventually turn them into the elephant in the room. The problem will just get bigger.
Picture this. Let’s say you don’t like drop-offs. For the most part, if you ride natural trails and a bit of trail centre, you’ll hardly ever have to face your nemesis. Avoidance is looking pretty good. But then your mates all start talking about a bike park visit. You don’t want to miss out, but what about those pesky drops? Are those bike park trails going to meet with your amygdala’s* approval? It can all get very stressful.
Let’s face it. Avoiding practicing something means you will NEVER get better at it.
A better way
Let’s look at the better way; training. A few weeks of specific training of a weakness can turn it into a strength. What if you took those drop offs and told yourself that over the next 12 weeks you were going to master them completely?
Let’s say you managed 2 hours per week working on that skill. Over 12 weeks you’d have put in 24 solid hours on a single skill. By this point you’ve turned your weakness into a strength. Your nemesis has become your friend. Familiarity will reduce any feelings of anxiety you might have, your amygdala can turn its attentions elsewhere. Achieving mastery of something which previously defeated or scared you is one of THE most rewarding feelings.
How do you approach the things that scare you, or that you struggle with?