Funny motivational speaker
How I conquered my fear of flying and got my Platinum Status in 2019.
Do you know what a phobia is? It’s an extreme or irrational fear of something.
There are many weird phobias.
Nomophobia (short for ‘no mobile’) is the anxiety caused when your phone is out of service range, out of batteries, or lost.
Spectrophobia is a fear of mirrors and one’s reflection. I experience Spectrophobia every time I step out of the shower and see myself in the bathroom mirror.
I mention these phobias to make my fear seem less ridiculous. Until 2019, I had Aerophobia, fear of flying. Fear of flying was a huge problem when my goal was to become a full-time professional speaker.
To clarify, I did not experience typical flying jitters. Most people jump a bit while experiencing turbulence.
I’m talking about at the first bump, and I’d grab both armrests, dive my head into my crotch, screaming, “We’re going down!”
I’m talking about night terrors. Days before the flight, I’d wake up from flying nightmares, fighting Steve for his oxygen mask.
I’m talking about wondering where I could get ahold of that stuff they used to tranquilize the 800-pound black bear found back floating in a neighborhood pool.
Fear, left unchecked, grows. Fear swallows you up. Fear makes your world smaller and smaller.
My speaking world became cumbersome and tiny. I wouldn’t fly, so Steve and I drove to my speaking engagements.
We DROVE to California. We DROVE to Washington, DC. We DROVE to New Mexico.
My fear of flying became so debilitating that even the thought of flying would get my heart racing. I’d created a negative thought pattern that connected flying with horrible turbulence and a possible plane crash.
I obliterated my fear of flying through the reframing techniques I will share with you in the next few blogs.
It took time and effort, but now flying is easy for me. I’ve used reframing to make many other positive changes in my life, and you can make changes too.
GET READY: Let’s start by getting mentally prepared for change.
1. Recognize that you are responsible for your change.
You are the only person who can change your life.
It might seem unfair if your current challenge happened through no fault of your own. Years ago, a harrowing flight through a dangerous thunderstorm prompted my fear of flying. It wasn’t my fault, but it was my problem to fix.
Taking responsibility is incredibly empowering because no matter what happens, YOU decide how to respond.
I used reframing to suffocate my fear of flying, lose weight, and improve my relationships.
What is the change you must make?
2. Create urgency.
Should or MUST you change? Should-ing on yourself isn’t enough; you need to create urgency to sustain lasting change. We switch to either avoid pain or seek pleasure. I knew I had to either start flying or give up my dreams of speaking nationally.
Why must you make this change?
3. Believe you can change.
Believe in yourself! Humans adapt to changing situations and challenges every single day. We are change experts.
Have you moved or changed careers? Have you experienced a marriage, a death, a divorce, have your kids left the house?
In 2019 I took thirty-plus flights and got Delta Platinum Status. I bought a house and moved. Twice, travel disruptions caused me to sleep overnight in an airport, dress in the airport bathroom, then speak to audiences the next day. I quit drinking alcohol and lost 15 pounds. I managed the sale of my elderly mom’s family home and cabin, sorted her stuff, and moved her into an apartment close to us. Initially, each of these challenges and changes seemed overwhelming. But one step at a time, I did it all.
We often forget about changes once we’ve managed them. We are so talented at and facing challenges that we take our power for granted.
Remember your Power Exercise:
Write about at least five changes/challenges you managed during 2019.
Look at you! You can do this!