Learn the steps to be free from fear of flying
Flying is generally considered to be one of the safest forms of public transportation. According to statistics compiled by the US Department of Transportation, airline travel is twenty-nine times safer than driving an automobile.
However, a large number of people are still afraid of flying.
But FIRST – What is FEAR?
Fear is a response to the perception of real or apparent danger. When confronted with real danger, the body goes into a fight or flight mode. It can lead you to take immediate action. For example: A man pointing a gun at you is a real danger that will make your body go into the fight or flight fear mode..
However, most of the time our fears are based on perception only, our imaginations. This perception is based on past events/incidents and how they were cognized and stored in our brains. For example: In your childhood, you saw a Labrador dog biting your neighbour. It was a very frightening thing for you to see. Even though it may be many years later, you still carry a fear of all dogs, especially Labradors. There is no real threat to you but because you still carry the trauma of that incident, you have an irrational fear of all dogs and adjust your day to day life because of it.
What is YOUR fear of flying?
If you go through different websites, you will see the following aspects of flying listed as things that people who have fear of flying are afraid of. Some of them include:
- Take-off and landing
- Being within an enclosed space
- Flying over water
- Turbulent weather
This fear manifests itself as:
- Panic attacks
- Avoidance of air travel as much as possible
- Extreme anxiety before or while flying
However, what if you knew that these reasons are not the real reasons you are afraid of flying?
To find out YOUR real reason for fear, follow the steps given below:
The first step: Identify when you first developed your fear
For this, you need to sit with yourself for a little while and look back at your life to identify situations and incidents in your life when you first developed this fear of flying. Keep a notepad with you and write down feelings, incidents and thoughts as they occur to you.
Was it a recent event? For example: there has been a big life change and after that you suddenly developed a fear of flying. Or were you always afraid of flying since childhood? If yes, try to recollect when you first felt the fear of flying. Write down the incident as much as you remember. Do not get stressed if you cannot recollect very clearly. Was there an accident involving travel? While travelling did something unpleasant happen to you or did you witness something which instilled fear in you?
Whatever they are, recall the incidents and write them down.
Step 2 – What was your cognition of the incident?
When you write down the incident or situation when you first developed this fear, look at the perception you had when the incident occurred.
You were inside an airplane and there was turbulent weather, forcing the flight to land at a nearby airport. Or perhaps you became ill on a flight and felt embarrassed in front of everybody by vomiting in your seat.
What did you feel at that moment? What decision did you make about flying? Did you feel that ‘airline travel is dangerous’ or that ‘I cannot control myself in a flight and I may embarrass myself again. .’ These are just some possible conscious or unconscious decisions you made that led to a fear of flying. Other people may have a very different reaction than you and not develop a fear of flying over the same situation. Neither is right or wrong. It’s just important to free yourself from your fear. Look in and find out what was YOUR cognition of the incident that led to your fear.
Understand that the reason for this fear is YOUR COGNITION of the incident, your limiting belief about the situation.
The good news is: You created it, so now you can RECREATE IT!
Step 3 – What do you do about it?
Understand that it’s your belief system that governs you and creates the fear reaction, not the external situation. During a powerless moment when the incident happened you cognized that “Airline travel is dangerous!”
Often times these judgements are made in a flash and you were probably unconscious of making this judgement but deep down IT is governing your actions.
For this you need to relive the same incident as though it was actually happening and recall what judgement YOU made during the situation. Become that when you went through the incident. If you were an adult then relive the same situation and live it as though it was happening right now. Forget your current age and circumstance. Go back to the age and situation at the time of the event and completely relive it as it if is actually happening.
When you relive the situation; it will start relieving itself from your system. You will see what cognition you made when the incident happened. After discovering that, ask yourself – is it a completely true perception or could there be another perception of the same incident?
For example: The aircraft was forced to land at a nearby airport due to turbulent weather. You made the cognition that “Airline travel is unsafe.’ Could there be another cognition of the same incident?
Step 4 – make a new cognition
Your new cognition could be, “, “Although there are some risks with flying, the good thing was the crew knew what to do and our flight landed safely, which shows how safe airline travel is even if emergencies happen.”
Write down your new and liberating cognition of your unique incident.
For example: Change your perception from ‘I may embarrass myself’ to ‘I honor and take care of myself in all situations. Life and others support me.’ This is just an example of a change in perception that restores your powerfulness. Each one will be unique to your situation. So go ahead and make one that liberates you to reach your peak possibility! .
Step 5 – Relive the incident again
Now you need to relive the whole incident again but remember the new liberating cognition is now sitting inside you. When you relive and your body starts to shake, LET IT SHAKE! Do not repress the physical symptoms. This is actually the painful fear that has been stored as energy blocks getting released from your body. Go through it with conscious awareness.m. Once you go through it a few times. You will be relieved of the incident.
Remember and live your new liberating cognition!
Do this every day for twenty-one days. You will be completely out of your fear of flying!
Step 6 – Take baby steps
After you have completed with the five steps and feel relieved and empowered, you can build your confidence about flying again. Take shorter trips, make friends with the person sitting next to you. Make affirmations and visualize that you are travelling safely. If any negative thoughts come up, remember that these are from the old cognition so drop them consciously. Remember your new cognition.
Is fear of flying the only fear you have? Usually one fear is related to another and so on. Think about the other fears you may also have and clear them in the same way.
Read the next post to learn more about making your fears a thing of the past!
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