Monday, March 23, 2009

How I Overcame My Fear of Heights

Fear is a natural response to danger. And it helps us respond the “fight or flight” way. Fear is a positive feeling to experience. But the problem arises when fears cripple our thoughts and become a hurdle to success.

Let me narrate my own fear and how I overcame it. I have vertigo – fear of heights. Now, this is an irrational fear. When I go towards the window of a tall building I’m not comfortable and feel woozy. And when I used to be on the terrace of even a two-floored building, I used to be scared to bend over the walls and see down.

While at work, I had to go on an outbound tour. And the fun part was rappelling. When we set off towards the huge rock, I told myself there are a lot of people who rappel. Some even love it. I’m sure it’s not dangerous as it seems ‘cause they anyways have the safety rope tied to your waist. So the best thing to do is enjoy it. To conquer a fear you have to enjoy the fright every bit, with a smile.

In order that I not be scared by the nervous and shrieking colleagues who would rapel, I volunteered to go up first. I went up the rock, felt a bit woozy. But sat down and meditated: This is going to be a challenge. Just enjoy it. And once you have rapelled, you’d have overcome your fear.

When my turn came I got up and the belt was tied to my waist and I was given instructions on how to walk down the rock. I listened and did as told. I could hear the cheers from friends as I began rapelling. My instructor, an army man was also saying, “It’s going fine. Yes, that’s the way.” And soon I found myself standing down on the ground.

Big relief. And a smile broke out. I had done it.

My fear of heights had been conquered, nay vanished. I had fought it by accepting that the fear existed in me. That it was irrational. And it was not a good feeling to have. And I wanted to do away with it totally.

Now, I love rappelling.

Related Articles on Understanding and Managing Your Fears

Overcome Fear by Challenging Fears Positively