We weren’t born with wings, so, naturally, flying is a bit out of our earth-bound comfort zones. Though, trepidation doesn’t make the dream of flight any less attainable. Despite what we lack in natural aerial propulsion, we make up for in innovation. After all, it was the dream of flight that helped the Wright brothers achieve lift off from our very own North Carolina soil in the first, sustained flight of a powered aircraft, and it is the same dream that’s been calling out for you to discover human body flight for yourself with a skydive.
Fear doesn’t have to keep you from exploring the wild blue yonder. Here are a few tips to overcome your fear of skydiving.
What is fear? Fear is one of the most basic feelings we possess. It is both powerful and primitive. The instinct of fear is triggered by situations we deem dangerous. Fear can trigger two very different reactions: a biochemical reaction and an emotional reaction. The biochemical reaction simply cannot be controlled. When you feel fear, signals radiate out from your amygdala. These signals result in the release of stress hormones. Our pupils dilate. Our heart rate rises. The rate of our breath increases and our senses become hyper-alert. The second response, the response well within our control, is an emotional response. Essentially, it is how we feel and then respond to the stimulus creating the feeling of fear. The ability to control our emotional response is how we can use our fear to succeed.
With a slight shift in perspective, you can also see fear as a tool. When you feel fear and acknowledge and embrace it, without becoming emotionally overwhelmed, you end up with the uncanny ability to “level” up your senses. Fear shouldn’t immobilize you, rather, fear should be used to help keep your wits about you as you encounter new and exciting challenges: like skydiving!
The big bad unknown has caused humans trouble since the get-go. Often, it is the unknown that inspires our fear. Thus, the more we learn about what we fear, the less we fear it. Through knowledge, you can lessen the power your fear of skydiving has over you.
Often a fear of skydiving is based on speculations of how dangerous skydiving is. Truth be told, the facts can go a long way to alleviate your skydiving fear. For example, did you know a person is more likely to be killed by a bee sting or by being struck by lightning than they are on a skydive? Want to learn more about skydiving safety? Read here.
This tip is directed a bit more toward those who would like to learn to skydive themselves. It can be too easy to become so obsessed with the destination that you forget to stop and appreciate the journey. We have found student skydivers are most successful when they set goals for themselves throughout the program. Your skydiving goal doesn’t have to be the end result of becoming a licensed skydiver. Rather, the goal can be to be more conscious of your breath on your next skydive or to manage a smile (along with your grade-A arch) as you exit the plane. Goals are a great motivator, and the sense of accomplishment that comes from achieving your goals incentivizes conquering your fear of skydiving.
Sometimes we just need a little bit of positive peer pressure. Fortunately, skydiving doesn’t have to be a solo experience. Everyone knows how powerful a rock-solid support system can be. If you’ve got a group of friends that want to go skydiving, encourage each other. Empower each other. Face your fear, and take flight. Having friends and family around to motivate you might be exactly what you need to alleviate your fear of skydiving.
At one point or another, all of us here at Skydive Paraclete XP have felt skydiving fear. But, fear doesn’t have to hold you back. Charge past the mental block and spread your wings. We will be here waiting to show you how!