Fear - A Fantasy or Reality? (Part 2)
I’ve been ruminating over fear for a while. As a Life Leadership Coach, I’ve worked with groups of people who have had their share of fears. We are all human in the end. So, here I was, one fine day, mulling over my own fears. And, wondering why we fear fear.
I was a lot younger when I first remember feeling fear. It was a horror film played on television. Later on, I experienced fear when I was in school. It was this teacher who had evoked feelings of fear. I’ve seen friends fearing from asking their chosen girl out on a date during college days. When I noticed people who began working, fear gripped their minds worrying about their job security or finances.
What is fear?
Is it an emotional reaction to what we think as a threat? So, was the movie a threat to me? Was rejection a threat to my friend? What was it?
It all begins in the mind.
I wanted to understand fear. I wanted to avoid running away from it. Maybe, I wanted to romance this fear and waltz away into the night. I knew fear had a place in my life. But, I was not going to let it dictate my actions. Could I change the outcome of my actions? Or, was it safer to move back into the cocoon of safety? To be ensconced into the safety blanket of fear - one that felt so comforting, almost like a committed lover, always there for you. Never leaving you. That felt nice. Actually, not nearly that nice.
I decided to take this fear out on a date. So, there I was. Romancing fear high up in the skies. I chose a sunny day on 27th May in New Zealand. People may have thought I was crazy. (Maybe, I am!) Concerned friends whispered words of caution.
I approached a reputed skydiving institute to prepare for my first jump from the skies. Yes, here I was, taking this fear out on a royal date with an expectation of trepidation and nervousness. Or, maybe worse. Or, maybe something better.
Why skydiving? Well, I wanted to understand what happened to me during my skydiving experience. I felt fear thinking about it. But, what would happen if I experienced this fear? Would it be similar to something that I have imagined? Or, a reality much different from my preconceived notions?
As I prepared for the jump from an altitude of 16500 ft., I felt the wind rushing through me. It was as if it was reassuring me. All will be fine. The glimpse of peering through the open door, with a couple of fluffy clouds for company, I could hear a voice in my head, “ Are you serious ?”. But, then, I told myself, this is it. I have to embrace this fear.
And, I jumped.
Hurtling through the sky. Like a leaf blowing around aimlessly. I felt the tug of the parachute. I knew I was safe. I kept moving around through the vast expanse of space. The world seemed so tiny up here. It was quiet. So much said in these silent moments.
What was to fear? I was supported by a tandem. I had a highly experienced professional. It was here, I let go of my fears. I saw it blowing away into the wind. Getting smaller and smaller. I placed trust in myself and my instructor. I looked around and was amazed at the beauty I saw.
It’s amazing to see how a change in perspective shows a different world. I witnessed pure happiness and freedom. No, there was no sense of fear. It was gone with the wind.
How would my experience be if I had nurtured my fear? Cuddled with it and kept it close to me? I wouldn’t have opted for this experience. Or, I wouldn’t have enjoyed this magnificent view.
My key takeaways:
- Know you are protected. There is no need to hold fear close to your heart.
- We create a fear to guard ourselves. You have to step out of this fear zone to experience your life entirely.
- Experience the process of fear. You will then have the ability to take more risks. (Always ensure you have a backup plan for risks.)
- Fear is mostly a fantasy of your mind. Thank the mind for its imagination but move on.
- Fear leads to grandiosity. This means the fear makes your situation appear larger than it is. The best way to reduce this fear is to focus on your power of visualization. Reflect upon this fear. Meditate to reduce the shape and size of this fear. Slowly blow it away. This technique is an easy mantra to change your thought process to the way you perceive fear.
The moment you learn to support and trust yourself and experience the fear, you learn to perceive things from a new angle. I expressed my fear and took a leap of faith. Or, shall I say, a plunge into the blue skies? It was the most wonderful life lessons I have learned.