Facing my fears is proof that I practise what I preach. I am forever telling client to face their fears and do whatever it is that frightens them and I did just that two weeks ago when I went on my first flying lesson.
Okay, I’ll admit…I had procrastinated for months and cancelled once but I knew that I would do it. I wasn’t overly happy about getting in a small plane but I knew I could not let myself down and miss an opportunity for a new experience.
I really don’t enjoy flying. Whenever I have to travel on a plane my mind starts playing tricks on me and I imagine worst case scenarios. Of course, this serves no purpose other than to make me anxious and I am getting better at managing negative self talk.
I’ve been in small aircraft before, once in Zimbabwe when I was on an educational (I used to work in the travel industry years ago) and once on a small 10 seater in Cape Cod to Martha’s Vineyard.
The plane I flew was a Piper and could seat four people. The instructor explained a few technical points beforehand which made me more nervous (in fact I had such a tummy ache from nerves) before getting into the plane. I taxied down the run way and even helped with the take off!
Once we were up in the air I lost all my fear. I was doing it – facing my fear! Perhaps it is the illusory idea that I am sitting at the controls and therefore have control over the situation, but whatever it was I felt completely safe.
The views from above were spectacular and we spent an hour and a half in the air before heading back towards Fairoaks airport in Surrey. We even managed to circle over my house a few times which was a rare treat. My flying instructor was a young guy with a great sense of humour and he probably also helped to distract me from feeling too worried.
I was amazed at how easy flying actually is (excluding take off and landing). If I had never tried to fly a plane I would still have had my negative fearful thinking about what flying is like but now that I have actually tried it I have a better perspective and my fears have diminished substantially.
I am so pleased that I tried it and would do it again…in fact, I have even considered getting my pilot’s licence. I need 45 hours of flying time and voila…. only 44 left to go! 😉