Two of the things I most looked forward to doing when I had children were watching Disney movies in bed and going to theme parks. Now my Son is 3 we can do both of these things, even if Toy Story (one of my favourite films) is being ruined by how much it’s on in my house!
We recently celebrated his 3rd birthday with a trip to Chessington World of Adventures, a theme park near us, with some family friends. Since my partner and I used to love theme and water parks back in the day, it was win-win all round. There was something for the kids and the adults.
Well it turned out I’ve changed somewhat over the years…
Let’s just say I’m a little more cautious these days! As much as I face my inner fears on pretty much a daily basis, I don’t apply the same dedication to my outer fears. But fear’s fear right? And I learned a lot about my outer fears that can be applied to my inner fears.
So what did I learn?
The fear itself is worse than what you are fearing
As I stood in line for my first ride I felt physically sick. My stomach was churning and tense, I felt so anxious and terrified about what I was about to do. While waiting for the ride to start I thought I’m not sure this ride could make me feel any worse than I already feel. The ride was a shock to the system but in with all the anxiety was also excitement and so much fun.
Feeling fear’s not the problem, letting it run you is
Once I got off the ride my legs were like jelly. I had been well and truly shook up and just needed to sit down for a bit. But this wasn’t all I was feeling. I wanted to do it all again- so I did! I went back on it and it was nowhere near as bad as before, it was even more fun 2nd time around.
Shake fear off physically
I went on the ride both times with my 8 year old Godson. Being an active boy, the 2nd time he decided to sprint to the ride. So adrenaline pumping I ran after him. Once we reached the queue, I noticed that the little run had helped disperse any anxiety I had in my body. I knew what to expect and had let go of the inner turmoil so was free to go on and enjoy the ride.
Go for the feelings of liberation and exhilaration you get after
It would have been so easy to not go on the ride and completely understandable seeing how I was feeling inside. However, because I did I got to go home feeling very proud of myself and buzzing from what I did. In hindsight if I didn’t go on the feelings of anxiety would have stayed with me and it would have made it harder next time. Oh yes, there will be a next time!
You gotta keep flexing that fear muscle
I’m a little bit embarrassed to admit this but we’re all friends right? The ride I found the scariest was this really slow monorail train that runs above the zoo. A ride that back in the days I wouldn’t have even considered going on because it looked so rubbish!
I hated being a few metres off the ground on some rickety old train that was running on a single railway line. I just kept thinking our train was gonna fall off the rail and smash us into the ground! The older you get the more fearful you become unless you keep flexing that fear muscle.
So for all of you tangled up and navigating your way past your fears of failure, success, losing control etc. Get out there and start facing a physical fear you have and see what’s there that you can apply to overcoming your inner fears.
Next on my list is my longstanding fear of being out of my depth in water. I’ll be handling that in October – wish me luck!
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