So where am I at now? Well, I continue to battle the voice in my head but the majority of the time, I am victorious. I am the winner of the battle. And this has resulted in one of the most incredible years of my life. The first half was blighted by fear and an inability to control my fear but the second half was filled with adventure, empowerment and achievement. Currently, as I’m writing this, I have 104 jumps under my belt and I just recently won, alongside an incredible person that I’ve met on this journey, skydiver of the year at my home drop zone. To me, this was the most amazing achievement of my life to date. Because everyone expected me to quit, everyone knew I let my fear get the better of me. They watched me sit for hours miserably talking myself out of something I love. But here I am. Skydiver of the year. And it would be easy to stop there. But why would I do that? When overcoming fear and challenge feels more amazing than anything else in life. So I’m competing in competitions this year with my club team. I was only able to overcome my fear when I stopped giving it my time and attention and focused upon what I wanted, not what I feared. Only when I had a really clear picture of who I wanted to be did that actually start to materialise for me. Whilst the more I worried about my fear, the more fearful I became. It was changing my thought process that changed my fate, focussing on my desires and spending time thinking about those that actually made them come true.
Now it’s my mission to look for opportunities to battle with my fear because I like the feeling of winning. And believe me, putting yourself in this position is risky, it really is. I’m opening myself up to all sorts of potential harms. But I’m also opening myself up to many amazing experiences that would have been available if I hadn’t started this epic tale. I often wonder what life would be life had I not learnt about how negative expectations limit our opportunities. I would have been living my ordinary life that was nicely ticking along, stable and safe. In that state though, I always felt like my life was passing me by. I had a truly beautiful loyal friend and fairly decent wages and a nice house. I was never without and compared to others life was good. Yet I was desperately unhappy, feeling like life was missing something; adventure? Passion? Excitement? All of those things. Which inevitably resulted in depression. So skydiving was an adventure for me and one that changed my life forever and for good.
I would love to say though that now I can control my fear enough to jump out of planes, I can control it enough to do anything. But that’s not the case. And this is what I have learnt about “fear”. That fear is merely a reaction to beliefs that have been made up in response to a range of experiences. These beliefs, that are often negative, underpin everything that we do in life and everything we are. They certainly dominate and determine our actions and choices throughout life. So my fear of going on a date or even promoting my own blog, are completely different to the fear I experience getting on the plane. Just recently, I won a burlesque photo shoot. And my initial reaction was to back out instantly “knowing” I wouldn’t enjoy something like that, knowing that I would hate it, knowing that the cost to even get there wasn’t worth it. But then I stopped my negative nelly ego in its tracks and thought, ‘let’s see how I feel when I get there’. No expectations. And would you believe it, as I’m stood there half naked in my underwear, I actually laughed to myself at how wrong my expectations were. I enjoyed the experience, was empowered by it and met this really lovely woman whilst I was there. There were no negative outcomes to the experience and I learnt something about myself. I’m a poser! I learnt that fear and negative expectation come in many forms and actually winning the war with fear would be a lifelong journey.
I have made it my mission then to learn all I can about fear, I’m going to research it in the hope that one day we can teach this subject in schools. How to have dreams and aspirations that aren’t just “work focussed” and how not to let fear determine your level of aspiration. So all I am asking of you is to send me your account of a fear that dominates your life. A fear you wish wasn’t there so you could get something that you want. Send it to me by email and if I can help I will and if I can’t I will add it to my research so that one day we have a solid strategy for dreaming big and not letting anything, least of all fear or the unknown, get in the way. I want to see if I can get over my final inner battles about promoting my blog for fear of the judgement of others and quitting my job for fear of instability and potential failure in other endeavours. I want to contribute in some small way to helping anyone overcome any fear in the hope that it improves their life in some small way.