Thanks to Nate McAvoy for sharing his story.
I have been controlled by a fear for basically my entire life. It has prevented me from being fully involved in my life and the lives of those around me. This fear is claustrophobia. I have wanted to travel my entire life but was unable to due to this phobic fear. It has been quite debilitating and very frustrating for me. Never able to go on trips with friends and family, missed weddings, funerals and many many other of life's important events.
This past winter I swore to myself that I would no longer let this fear control me. I swore that before 2009 was up, I would board a plane and fly somewhere... I am very happy to announce that on March 26th, not even 3 months into the year, I boarded a plane and flew for the first time in my adult life. I can’t even come close to putting into words what this feels like. Nor, can I even fully believe it myself.
The entire week leading up to my flight was pretty nerve racking and even terrifying as the day grew closer. The day of the flight I was a total wreck at work with my nerves almost making me physically sick. But I just had to tell myself that I was going to do this and that if I didn’t do it today, I would probably never do it. Driving to the airport, which was in Bellingham, was just as bad. Still super nervous, still thinking to myself “can I do this”, and then bringing myself back with “you have to, if not you will never get over this”. I truly believe this to be the truth. If I didn’t get on that plane that day I would probably never board a plane, ever! So I kept on driving, through the boarder, down the highway and into the airport parking lot. It was starting to get “real” for me now, and as I heading into the airport to check in I saw one of the planes sitting on the tarmac and I could feel my hear rate double. Still telling myself how important it was for me to get on that flight. So I checked in and headed into the waiting room to wait for my flight to arrive. Of course I was super nervous, but when the plane landed and they told us to start boarding a strange calm came over me and it was like I just would not let it bother me anymore. I knew I had to do this and I then knew that I was not only going to do it but I was doing it because I am now on the plane and sitting in my seat. The doors are now closing and I’m fine. As we started down the runway I was overcome with such relief and joy, I couldn’t stop smiling from ear to ear. I was doing it!!!!!! I was actually doing the one thing that I waited my entire life to do and it wasn’t even a big deal at all.
What I can say is that my life will never be the same again. I am so very happy but at the same time, so very upset with myself for waiting this long to accept and face this fear, then finally challenge myself to step WAY outside my comfort zone and work to overcome it. Now that I have… LOOK OUT!
IF you are "controlled" by fear, Please, I implore you to allow yourself to believe that you can overcome it and leave it in your past... because you can!
What is fear?
Fear is a psychosomatic notion created by the mind and preventing the physical body from performing everyday mundane tasks. For some these tasks may include eating, heights, elevators, crowds, etc. For me the task was flying.
So now that the problem is defined how does one go about coming up with a solution?
One possible solution could be creating motivators that out way the perceived pain of the task. For example, my want to go to a certain destination out weighed the fear of flying to that spot. In focusing on the outcome I was able to work through the "fear".
Fear or "disability" is just that. It is a disablement to allow oneself to fulfill a task. Once the desire of the task is more important than the perceived fear then the task becomes possible. In conclusion cognitive behavior can be manipulated. Easy? No but possible? Yes!!
Hope is more than half the battle. As the common saying states..."believe it and you can achieve it". Although we have e all need to actually listen and ingest the words, so as to apply them to our own fears and inhibitions in order to surpass and overcome what our minds have prevented us from doing for too long!!