Conquering my fears

We all have our own fears and reasons behind them. The trouble is when your fears get in the way of living your life. Many people in my life have taught me how to conquer my fears and I’m very grateful to them. The fear has not always gone away, it just stops being the boss of me and I get more out of life as a result.

This tale is simply about learning more about yourself and from others who inspire you. The common aspect of each lesson is about life being too short, that fear can get in the way of enjoying life for no good reason. The fear is not helpful so you shouldn’t let it rule you.

One of my proudest moments is conquering my fear of heights and roller coasters. I don’t like heights. I never have, and still don’t but they don’t phase me like they used to. My fear of rollercoasters was much bigger. I grew up petrified of them. Even the small kids rides would scare me. The speed and seemingly uncontrolled nature really scared me. So imagine my pride many years later when I completed a life long dream. I completed a stunt flight!!! I flew upside down, loop the loop, stall turns and even flew the plane. All without a cover on the cockpit. It was open topped and I literally touched a cloud!!!. I know… I still can not believe it. At the same time I was super excited yet completely calm. How did I manage this? you ask. It wasn’t luck but something I learnt. I learnt not to think about it. Distraction is my key to conquering fear. I literally didn’t let myself think about the flight until we arrived at the aerodrome. Even then, I focused on the good not the bad.

I knew that fear and excitement are the same thing physically but are opposites mentally because we perceive them differently. Physically adrenalin floods your system, your heart races and you become super alert. Mentally it’s about perception which is your interpretation of what is happening. Fear is a negative interpretation and excitement is positive. So you can feel either emotion in the same situation depending on how you perceive it. Ultimately both the physical and mental experience add up to the emotional experience.

I learnt this through the training I have had through my life but that is just theory. When learning from everyone who has conquered their fear I found they had in effect put this training into practice, they learnt to see excitement and fun where they used to see fear. With this knowledge behind me I looked again at where my fears came from by going through a few more roller-coaster rides. What I found is that the nerves that I felt did heighten my senses. Everything became more intense than I was used to and it was too much for me. I experimented with ways of reducing my nerves and remaining calm and found that when I wasn’t nervous I could handle and even enjoy the situation. That was a revelation. 🙂

From that point on I did two things before scary situations. I minimised the nerves before and during scary things like roller coaster rides and this stunt flight and I learnt to think happy thoughts .

The result by the time of the stunt flight was that I had no nerves at all before or during the flight so I felt the takeoff, climb and stunts as they are, really gentle and controlled things and I redirected negative thoughts in to positive ones. I realised things like, the plane is checked daily for faults while my car is checked once a year and subsequently the drive to the flight was more dangerous than the flight itself. I did not fear the drive in the car or the speed and bumps I felt during the drive so why fear the speed and bumps during the flight in the plane. That put things in to perspective and let me create a memory for a lifetime.

Since I began my challenge to conquer my fear I have learnt to love all sorts of things I would previously have avoided and would have missed out on and regretted. Things like riding the multiple loop Dragon Khan at Port Aventura  and being driven at 140mph around a rally course at break neck speed within inches of disaster and loving everyone minute.

Now, instead of being ruled by fear I’m now free and I live my life creating more great memories than I used to. 🙂 Thanks for listening. I hope my tale helps you like the tales from others helped me. If it did let me know in a comment below.

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