“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself”
Franklin D Roosevelt
We have all felt fear. Some people have documented phobias. Arachnophobia is the fear of spiders. Claustrophobia is the fear of confined spaces. Most of us have heard of these, but there are hundreds of other clinically documented phobias, including acrophobia, which is what I am trying to over come. It’s the fear of heights.
When I was young I had no fear, but at some point I grew to be afraid of heights. I can remember climbing trees as a child but then it come to the point I couldn’t look out a 3rd story window without getting dizzy and breaking out in a cold sweat. This also brought on the fear to fly, Aviophobia. I never really gave much thought to getting over the fear. As a kid, my family took driving vacations. We never flew anywhere. My mother would NEVER get on a plane. Not really sure if she is afraid or just doesn’t see any need to go places she can’t drive to.
When I was in middle school I had to do a history report an a famous person. I chose Franklin D. Roosevelt. As I was researching my report, I came across his first inaugural speech. The quote above comes from that speech and it really spoke to me. Why should I let fear control me. There really isn’t anything to fear from being high up. Jokingly I tell people that it’s not the height that should be feared but the sudden stop if you fall. So I began to step out of the box and push my fear and limits. At first it was looking out the window of a high rise hotel, looking down as I ride the ski lift up the mountain. Don’t think it has been easy. I talk about over coming my fear to people but I want them to also know this is hard. My fear is an easy one but truthfully fears can be traumatizing and paralizing.
I had avoided flying for over half my life, until I had the opportunity to fly to Las Vegas with a group of girl friends. I didn’t want to miss this chance. I must admit, I had to have some liquid courage to get on the plane. In fact, for the next few times I flew, I had at least 2 shots of alcohol before getting on. I was making headway though.
Over the next few years, I constantly found ways to push that fear back. I went to the top of the Space Needle in Seattle Washington. I rode a gondola to the top at Lake Tahoe, and began to fly more often.
In 2002, my husband and I took our 6 year old to Disneyland for vacation. I did not want to pass my fear to my young son, but I also didn’t want to have him see me drunk. So for the first time, I flew sober. My anxiety was a bit high but when we landed in California I realized I did it. I have flown sober ever since.
Last month I had the chance to do one of my items on my bucket list, Zip-lining. Not only is this on my list but it also pushes the fear again. I have to say it was amazing. If you get the chance to ever do this, Do It!!
The next challenge for me is going to be paragliding. Then hang gliding. Can’t say that I will ever parachute, that just seems a bit too much for me. But who knows, maybe I’ll be doing that in 5 years.
Everyone feels fear but to let that fear rule your life to the point that you miss out on wonderful things is almost criminal. It is not our fault that we feel fear but it is our fault to let it control us. If you have a fear, stop and look at it. Is there really anything to be afraid of? I’m not a professional and can not start to understand how all fears effect people but I can hope that sharing my fear and sharing my steps to overcome that fear will give others the courage to over come their’s. Just remember, tiny steps are ok. It’s all about living life right in all the little ways.
Until next time………………….