Hi and welcome to the latest help letter,
As I’m sure you know, the Boeing 787 Dreamliner is now back in service. You may have been anxious or surprised that this plane was even flying with its battery problems. However the fact is that every 787 that had an electrical problem landed safely … and it’s worth remembering that there were hundreds of flights where there were no problems at all.
Sure, you could think up lots of ”what if’s’, but the things that happened were the ‘what if’s’ for this plane and everything has turned out well.
This month I’m going to talk about something that happened on a recent course and what can be learned from it.
At the World Fear of flying Conference held in Montreal a few years ago, resolutions were passed that laid down guidelines for the delivery of effective fear of flying courses. Apart from the formalised side of things there was a general agreement that there is no such thing as a quick fix, or magic pill. Neither is there a one size fits all answer to the many ways that a fear of flying affects people.
|Face your fear
On our site and on our courses we try to incorporate as many of those recommendations as possible, but regardless of how well the course is designed or presented, success always depends upon the attitude of the person wanting to overcome their fear.
Recently I was asked to run a private course for a parent and her grown up child which I was pleased to be able to do. After a lot of to-ing and fro-ing with dates, we eventually agreed a day which included a very delayed start to take into account their travel arrangements.
Sadly the day of the course didn’t start too well because they arrived an hour and a half late … but sometimes these things happen. We started with an informal chat about how they felt about flying, what they’d like to learn about and what they thought might be a way to overcome their fears, so that before going on board the plane I knew exactly what they wanted to address.
On board they both felt that the ambience of the plane and the boarding sounds made their anxiety levels rise, which is a good start to a course because it means that the environment is working. I make a point of answering any questions they fearful flyers have before attempting to do anything else. I work on the principle that if there’s something running in the background that stays unresolved then the chances are that whatever I say will go in one ear and out of the other.
We have to start with a clean slate, and that’s the reason for a thorough question and answer session. We covered a lots of subjects and dispelled a lot of myths and many mis-understandings. It was then time to get on to strategies and routines before running the videos about starting up, taxiing and taking off.
Suddenly there was a distinct lowering of interest and questions along the lines of “How can this possibly help?” “What on earth is the point of this?” I explained that being in a relaxed frame of mind will make taking off less stressful and that it was a part of a number of things we’d be doing as the day progressed. I showed them the best way to place their hands during the take off and said I would count them through the breathing routine. But rather than follow my suggestions they sat with their arms folded and looked at each other and not than their video screens.
It didn’t surprise me when we broke for lunch that neither were hungry … or at least there was nothing on the menu they liked and that actually they didn’t think the course was working and that it would probably be better if they didn’t waste any more time.
So they left and went home.
|Everything is progress, except giving up
I was sad that they were unwilling to commit themselves to spending a little longer with the course where something may have ‘clicked’ and have been the start of overcoming their fears.
I mention this event because it highlights an important aspect of overcoming your fear, and that is, commitment. Without it, nothing much is going to change. With it anything can change … even the worst fear.
Giving up is the wrong thing to do, watching air disaster movies is the wrong thing to do, thinking that a fear of flying is a weakness is a wrong thing to do, not facing your fear is the wrong thing to do. Concentrate on doing right things and avoid doing ‘wrong things’ … after all, what you’ve been doing so far hasn’t worked very well so far has it?
Let me explain this differently.
If you think of the tennis champions Nadal or Federer, one of their tactics is to make sure that they always return the ball. However difficult a shot is to play, however unlikely it is that they will win that rally, their objective is to get the ball returned and then, maybe their opponent will make a mistake. They may not win the point with the stroke, but they make sure they don’t lose it. While they’re still in the rally the chance of winning remains. There are all sorts of examples in sport where the best people don’t help their opponents.
|Call 01420 588 628
What has this to do with a fear of flying? Do ‘winning’ things to overcome your fear and avoid doing ‘losing’ things. Overcoming your fear is hard work and you’ll need commitment. But you’re not alone because we’re here to help you with information guidance and support.
Think of your fear of flying course as using antibiotics rather than taking a pill.The medicine needs time to work. Or think of it as a proper diet rather than fast food.
… if you always do what you always did … you’ll always get what you always got.
Useful Links to the main website
For a FREE chat about your worries. Nothing to lose and …the whole world to gain.
We give away more help than other sites can sell you.