Here’s the tricky thing about fear…you can’t rationalize it. We’re serious. Think of all the times you’ve been absolutely tripppinnggg out about something you’re anxious about or fearful of. We’re sure people around you told you 10,000 different reasons why it’s all going to be okay, but you still find the one “Yeah, BUT” or “Okay, what if!?” and then fall down the fear spiral again.
So…here’s the secret for how to get over fear: you just have to do it.
How to Stop Fear
To stop fear, we have to actively show our brains that there is nothing to be scared of. Will this mess up our mental health and ability to recognize when something is dangerous? Not at all! It will simply show you that you can conquer your fears AND, more importantly, that if something bad happens, you’ll be okay. Our brains are notorious for jumping (hehe) to the absolute worst-case scenario possible, but this is rarely the case in the end, right? Let’s discuss some steps that will help you finally say, “I’m gonna do it!”
- Make Friends with your Fear
Think: “Hey, this fear is a teeny tiny part of me (no matter how debilitating and brutal it seems) and I can make the choice to identify with it.” If you want, you can name your fear so that every time you start to feel irrationally scared you can think: “Ugh, here comes that annoying Sherman [fear], good thing I’m strong enough to kick them to the curb whenever I want.”
This step is relevant in many ways, specifically when it comes to the fear of skydiving. Usually, we’re scared of the unknown. Whether it’s anxiety about if someone will be nice to you, if a restaurant will be able to accommodate you, or if you’ll get hurt skydiving, they’re all fears of not knowing. If you research the risks of skydiving, you’ll find that while we do take a risk, it is extremely calculated.
For most, the anticipation of the skydive is the worst part. You spend sooo much time worrying and preparing to go skydiving when the actual jump experience lasts about 10 minutes. Let’s speak these truths so you can feel less fearful (and more excited) for the jump: your tandem instructor is a trained professional, the aircraft is kept in pristine condition and used constantly, and people do this literally all. the. time.
- Say “Yes” More!
Saying “yes” to small scary things ultimately helps us take baby steps to conquer our biggest fears. Let’s say you’re fearful of flying in an airplane, but you have a really strong desire to fly somewhere. Right now the thought of even walking into the airport and boarding the plane is just crippling. Maybe start small by driving to and sitting in the airport parking lot. Once your anxiety is controllable then take your next step inside and grab a coffee, and so on. Eventually, you’ll be fine up until getting ON the plane, and when you’re ready for that, book a super short flight. We know you can do it!
- Breathe In, Breathe Out
Mindfulness. Yes, we know it’s annoying. If you’ve ever struggled with anxiety and phobias, you probably want to punch the next person who reminds you to practice mindfulness. BUT, it can be beneficial, especially when Sherman [fear] doesn’t come strolling but rather SPRINTING around the corner. When mindfulness becomes a daily habit it is easier to implement in stressful and scary situations.
Sometimes to relax, new and experienced skydivers practice controlled and meditative breathing on the plane ride to altitude. Another practice is called “grounding” where you take account of all of your senses in a situation. This practice can bring you back down to reality and away from Sherman [fear].
Skydiving Can Help Fear
One of the primary benefits of skydiving (yes, even just once) is that it proves to yourself (and others, if you care about that!) that you can conquer your fears. Skydiving makes you feel empowered and on top of the world! One of the most common pros we hear about is a change in perspective; there’s something special and truly life-changing about being physically above all of your problems on the ground.
On a real note, we know how gripping and truly wrecking fear can be. We encourage you to jump when you’re ready, but to also do something small every day to get ready so you can live your best life. Remember that growth cannot happen in your comfort zone, but it does happen at the drop zone! If you’re ready to tackle your fear, schedule a tandem skydive or learn to skydive by enrolling in our AFF First Jump Course today!