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Conquering Fear

Cliff, Jump, Lake, Water, Fly, Summer

As a pilot who loves to fly, the surprising paradox in my life is that I am not fond of heights. Specifically, I really don’t fancy open heights. So, a couple of years ago when I decided to go skydiving for my birthday I had to draw from the experience gained during my childhood to give me the process to accomplish my objective. Experience taught me it is easy to invent these grand ideas in your head; and, it is even easy to create the plans for such grand ideas. However, executing these thoughts can be as frightening as jumping from a plane: or as I experienced in my childhood, leaping from the 10m platform at the swimming pool.

When I looked up from the pool into the stage, it did not look so significant. It didn’t look so powerful especially when people of lesser and equal size were moving off the edge of the platform headfirst. I guess this is how many people envision their dreams and goals. It looks like something that is within your reach, and most of all, others are living their dreams so why not you. So, I grabbed the opportunity by summing the nerve and beginning the climb up the ladder to the platform. Mind you, there were two other platforms higher; therefore, this should be well within my reach rather than an attempt of lunacy. The distance seemed so much greater now that I was on the platform; and this something, this harrowing feeling had captured me. Paralyzed with fear I had to return to the pool deck in humiliation.

I learned that when I was going to enjoy the thrill of satisfaction that my peers were experiencing, I was going to have to find a way to overcome the paralysis that returned every time I attempted the jump. To put it simply, I would need to find a way to deal with the fear that we all face when matters become much larger than we initially assumed or imagined. I learned to override the fear by eliminating the time between the plan and the hop. I would climb the ladder; cross the platform and jump without hesitation or thought. Because when I stopped to think, logical thoughts of fear would hold me not because it could not be done, but since fear would have me afraid to do it.

When I decided to skydive, I started two weeks before the date rehearsing I would not think; I’d just jump. This process worked in my childhood, it worked for skydiving, it’s worked for my dreams and my objectives. Therefore, it is going to work for you. The reality is the thinking is already done once you’ve dreamed and planned. When it is time to execute, do not think; take the LEAP of faith:

O Embrace the fear – It will EMPOWER you.
O Appreciate the opportunity – It will APPOINT you.
In the heroic wisdom of Les Brown,”jump and grow your wings on the way down!”

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