Fear is a commonality among all humans. We can’t avoid it, but we are certainly able to fight and conquer it. Why should we? Isn’t fear within us, as a survival mechanism? Doesn’t it protect us and keep us safe?

This answer is not a simple one since of course, we need self-caution in place to help us to know when to cross a busy street or to encourage us to follow societal safety rules.

Unnecessary fear, however, can hinder our advancement as a species and personally hold us back from emotional, spiritual and mental growth. It can be an incredibly limiting mental state.

The definition of Fear

The Oxford Pocket Dictionary defines fear as “an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain or a threat.”

When fear touches us, it sends adrenaline through our bodies, which increases oxygen to our muscles, so we can run faster. It restricts blood flow to other less needed areas like our stomachs and dilates our pupils, so we can see better.

In the beginning stages of human evolution, these processes no doubt saved us from extinction. They are much less helpful today, when our most fearful moments include public speaking, aggressively pursuing a work promotion, or asking someone we admire out on a date.

It also doesn’t help that our most common goal in today’s accommodating world, is to achieve comfort and ease of life.

Compared to early human days of fighting for our daily survival, most of us have lifestyles rich with leisure and convenience. We’re so used to instant gratification at the push of a button, that we can easily forget how necessary it is to push boundaries and comfort zones to advance ourselves.

“Extremes” over fear

Extreme activities such as skydiving, help us to get past our hesitations in other areas of life. Using skydiving as an example, a person can study the safety records and measures in place and feel reassured that their fears of jumping out of a plane may be irrational.

Much like the fear of riding a “very scary” roller coaster, skydiving is simply a momentary thrill, albeit, certainly an extraordinary one!

Fighting the fear that will most assuredly overwhelm a first-time jumper will take a lot of focus and determination. The “no turning back” moment can vary from person to person, as can the level of fear.

Regardless, even long-time skydivers with many thousands of jumps still must conquer some fear as they participate in an activity that shatters our normal human comfort zone of being firmly and safely on the ground.

First-time jumper

First jump no smile
The face made before the first jump says it all. © Picture by Niko Veres and AFF course by born2fly.info

Be a conqueror

The benefits of conquering fear in what may feel like an extreme way, are enormous. A successful first-time skydiver will have the immediate reward of feeling elated, relieved and courageous.

Even after the intensity fades, the memory of that moment instills self-trust and confidence in participants.

In future life moments when courage is needed, having the knowledge that we overcame a great fear such as freefalling in the sky, proves to us that we are capable of anything and everything.

Other long-term gains include increased focus and calm during chaos or confusion, better leadership skills, and the immeasurable ability to let go of worries that are out of our control.

All these things lead to better emotional health and personal confidence.

Ultimately, a victory over fear helps us to achieve our highest potential.

Jumping with friends