Conquer Your Fears

Monday November 4, 2019

Fear is a natural part of life! Whether you have a fear of small spaces (claustrophobia), a fear of snakes (ophidiophobia) or a fear of your phone running out of charge (nomophobia), you shouldn’t be ashamed. We all experience fear at different times of our life and in different magnitudes.

One fear we’re familiar with overcoming at Go Ape is acrophobia, or the fear of heights. Every day we welcome a participant who’s a little nervous about exploring the trees with a view from the branches, instead of the roots. Guests visit us because they want to face their fears, and we are there to support them, every step, jump, climb, swing and leap of the way!

Believe us when we say you can and will overcome your fears if you really want to make it happen! Here’s a four-step process to help you do just that:

To start, you need to acknowledge that your fear is real. Often, we try to deny that our phobias exist, but if you do that you will never be able to conquer them! If you admit your fear, you’ll have better control of your emotions and will be prepared to overcoming them.

One suggestion is to buy a ‘fear journal,’ where you write down your fear along with the following:

    • Where does the fear originate?
    • How long have you been impacted by it?
    • How does it make you feel?
    • What causes your fear to set in?
    • Why do you want to conquer it?

As you start to stand up to your fear, keeping a record of your feelings and actions in a journal can help. Start with small goals and cross them off as you make progress. Don’t expect to overcome your fear with one giant leap. It may happen, but that’s not the norm. The journal will help you to track your steps and motivate you along the way. This first step will help you achieve your final goal, which is, to put your fear in the rear-view mirror!

It is time to grab control! It is normal to want to distance ourselves from our fear, instead of facing it head on. By doing this, it is easier to remain afraid because we never expose ourselves to the fear itself. When creating your small goals in step one, make sure that you include exposing yourself to the fear, a little bit at a time.

For example, if you’ve got acrophobia (fear of heights), you can start with the goal of peering out of the window of the second floor of a building. As you start to get comfortable and feel more in control, set harder challenges and move up those floors!

Many people prefer to face their fear head on with a “cold turkey” type approach. They would go to the 15th floor and peer over the edge of a balcony as step one. You can do it this way too but be prepared to fail. Don’t give up! Go back to introducing yourself to the fear one small step at a time. It is important that you realize that you might suffer a few setbacks during this process, but never keep them from stopping you on the path to overcoming your fear.

Fear isn’t always a bad thing! Say it with me one more time, “Fear isn’t always a bad thing.” It just depends on how you look at and embrace the feelings or emotions that are created when you’re afraid.

The feelings we get when we’re scared are like those we feel when we’re excited! Adrenaline pumps through your body in both situations and you feel, well, awesome! One is a happy awesome and the other is a frightened awesome. Remember that excited feeling and with practice and concentration, you can start connecting fear with that oh so similar happy, excited, adrenaline pumping feeling.

The sooner you start realizing you’re not alone in your fear, the better. Don’t be too hard on yourself, it’s a natural feeling after all! If you accept that fear is part of life and embrace this opportunity to overcome it, you can conquer your fear and ultimately build confidence and courage! We know you can do it! We see it every day.

We’d love to help you tackle your fear of heights, book now and conquer your acrophobia with Go Ape!