Facing your fear of skydiving
10 Apr 2019
Over a third (34%) of people admit to a personal fear stopping them from doing something they wanted to achieve in life. Behavioural psychologist Jo Hemmings supported Franklin Roosevelt’s saying: ‘The only thing to fear, is fear itself’. And in many ways he was right – fear is what ultimately holds us back from many of the activities and challenges in life that could enrich us rather than damage us in some way. Many of us simply avoid fear, stepping away from situations or objects that trigger anxiety. While this may practically alleviate it in the short run, it also accentuates a feeling of failure and lack of confidence in the long run.
The benefits of facing your fears
The best way to overcome fear, whether it’s justified or over-reactive, is by exposure to that fear – a key psychological therapy. Exposure – whether handling an object or taking on a challenge – entails facing your fear head on. This works beautifully in the long-term: psychologically, confronting your fear, instead of avoiding it, changes your view about the world not being as dangerous as you first expected it to be, bringing a feeling of accomplishment and empowerment. It also helps on a behavioural and wellbeing level by developing new skills and knowledge, thanks to the adrenaline rush, by feeling excited and energised… in one word, “alive”. But exposure works especially well on an emotional level – once we have learnt to navigate and manage our fears, we lose that greatest fear of all – the fear of fear itself!
Scared to skydive?
For many first time skydivers, this experience proves to be a real catalyst for turning their life around, because following a sky dive everybody will experience feeling a huge confidence boost in their own abilities, the feeling of having achieved something ‘truly amazing’! Think back to the last time you did something you were really nervous about, whether it was a public speech, work presentation or a new extreme sport. Whatever it was, in the end you must have felt really proud of yourself for overcoming your fears! Now take that feeling and multiply it ten times over! Skydiving is such an unusual thing to do, and so few of us have done it, that it makes it even more special. There’s a lot to be said for overcoming a challenge and the power it has to help you achieve even more. For some this will translate into becoming more assertive at work, by making that speech in front of a crowd feel like a walk in the park! For others it will be overcoming all forms of addiction, achieving a desired weight loss or, in some circumstances, overcoming depression. Let’s face it, once you’ve jumped from an airplane, you’ll feel like you can do pretty much anything!
Gordon Blamire, founder and Managing Director for Go Skydive, commented: “Our research shows that for those who can overcome their fear, tandem skydiving gives them more confidence to overcome any challenges in other walks of life. Go Skydive is the only centre that specialises in tandem skydives for ‘first-timers’, so we’re used to helping our visitors face the fear of what awaits them. But with 82% of our visitors saying a tandem sky dive has helped them face their fears and over 90% saying they would do it again and encourage others to seize the thrill of a lifetime, it is testament to how rewarding this adrenaline-filled sport can be!”