Confronting Fears

We all have fears of some kind. Some of us are afraid of death and some heights. The nature of the fear and the horror you feel may vary. Often, the fear is about the unknown. Something you may never have experienced, but you fear nonetheless. What if? Two simple words and you are half way to meet your maker. At least mentally.

Some fears are borne of a genuine prior experience. I, for example, was on a propeller plane with my mother as a child. Our plane was caught in a storm and tossed around like a kite for over an hour and a half. Everyone was praying, and there was virtually no reason to make it. We did make it, leaving me with a fear of flying for several years. I worked on my fears and eventually was travelling regularly; with one condition, I would never retake a small propellor plane. Life is always full of surprises. A few days ago, I found myself boarding a flight that was not only on a propeller plane but also on a rainy day during the monsoons when planes are wont to be tossed around. Here is what I learnt.

Fear is far greater in your mind than when you confront it. Having dealt with a situation once and escaped, strangely, the next time, it does not feel all that challenging; it only seemed challenging till it was in my mind. Being present, and not focusing on your previous experience helps enormously as no two experiences are ever the same, even if they may seem to be so. Confronting your fear helps you overcome it. I had the choice of not taking the flight, but I chose to do so. A small incident helped; I was forced onto a helicopter by my wife and ended up enjoying the experience. The propeller plane seemed so much bigger. Fear is a fear only till you can soar beyond its clutches.