My psychological brakes have changed a LOT over the last ten years. We were just talking the other day about how I ski things now, without a thought, that I would have balked at ten years ago, even though I was physically capable.
More time on the hill, more self-confidence, and skiing more frequently with friends who are extremely good skiers and skiing with instructors has really changed things for me. The mental has caught up with the physical for the most part, and now I am trying to push both the mental and physical a bit farther.
I will happily ski steep, narrow, small drops, flat light (unless it's an UTTER, open bowl white-out in unfamiliar terrain), bumps (although they're not always all gorgeously skied), deep light snow, deep heavy snow. . . you get the picture. . .
Here are my two big remaining psychological brakes, though, the ones that I can't seem to kick:
#1: Tight trees, especially if it's not new snow. I will ski glades in new, deep snow, but once things start to get rutted or the trees start looking more like *woods* than *glades,* I lose confidence entirely. No idea why. If my feet can be fast in the bumps and the narrows, then they can be fast enough in the trees, right? If I can effectively scrub speed elsewhere, then I should be OK in the trees, yes? Sure. . . but I can't seem to get my head around it. Just two days ago, I picked an alternate route (and it was a route through some ugly, scraped off, big bumps on a steep), rather than skiing nice snow in tight trees with a friend.
#2: Rutted out, very narrow traverses where you can't scrub speed. I HATE getting up too much speed on traverse tracks that swing around a corner and you can't see what's coming, including whoop-de-doos and the like. Skeeves me out entirely. You'd think some of the steep stuff that is accessed by traverses like this would be the scary part, but not for me. I hate feeling like I am flying on these things with no effective way to stop. That one's kind of embarrassing, and I tend to try to hide it when I am with others.