Fear

11 07 2010

Is fear driven by visualising the worst case senario?

Fear is a funny thing, do you control it or does it control you?

On the plane last night at the start of my journey I sat next to a lady who was obviously petrified of flying. Her first words to me were “this is my first time flying internationally and I’m REALLY nervous”.

She barely survived the take-off then 1 hour into the flight the captain announced that they were turning the plane around due to “safety issues” which we later learned was hydraulic fluid leaking from one of the flaps.

Her fear was obvious, and she scrutinized every bump with comments like “is this normal”, “why is it taking so long?”, “I’m never flying again”.

We landed safely and once she realized she had survived, she turned, looked at me and re-iterated that she was never going to fly again.

Fear can actually be a good thing, it makes us much more alert and aware of everything that goes around us. It helps us to assess the situation with a focused mind and make potentially life-saving decisions in an event.

A common question I am being asked at the moment is whether or not I am scared or excited about the trip? Well I’m not excited and don’t think I will be until I have all of my gear with me and am on the water. As for being scared, the following quote from the Dominion Post best sums it up.
“There’s a fine line between adventure and misadventure and I’m certainly aware of my own fragility out there.”

The next day, we boarded our replacement flight with the hope that everything had been fixed. I smiled when I saw the same girl on my flight, and was glad that she had overcome her fear enough to get back on the plane and try again. I’m sure for her the thought of seeing the one she loved was enough of an incentive to face her fears again. Or maybe it was a couple of stiff drinks that helped calm her nerves?

That’s the thing with fear, deep inside we all have an incentive that pushes us outside of our comfort zone and into the unknown.

There is always an uncertainty about the outcome, but that is an essential ingredient of true adventure and life in general.

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