I'm not sure if its all related but about the same time I realized what this was, I had also developed a severe fear of heights and clostrophopia. I know....what a mess huh? Especially when I decided to take on Jiu Jitsu :/ For most of my 1st year I would tap if someone got to a really good top position or i woukd almost have panic attack. Sometimes the panic attack would work in my favor because it would give me abnormal strength (like the kind people get when their loved one is stuck under a car). I could throw a 200lb man across the room ;)
The bigger problem however was the performance anxiety. I know its normal to have butterflies before competition but, I will lose sleep from the second I sign up until the day of competition, I can't eat or concentrate and I get sweaty hands if I even think about my matches. Just looking at the brackets (even if I don't know anyone on them) makes my heart race!
Somehow I continue to torture myself and sign up for these tournaments anyway even when I say "this is the last one, I can't keep doing this to myself"
I look back on my almost 3 years of Jiu Jitsu now and I do feel very good about what I've accomplished! And I don't mean medals. I have faced my biggest fears and my clostrophopia is close to gone. I still feel like I'm about to jump off a cliff when I'm waiting to compete but, what a great feeling when its over! I have done about 12 tournaments and each time I wanted to run...I didn't!
I've come a long way since backing out of my best friends wedding years ago (sorry Dawn) I think I could handle it now.
I hope this will give some of you the strength to get out there and compete! Win or learn, you will be happy you did.