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Flyingwithoutfear.com 
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.

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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.
Finally.
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.
Remember
… if you always do what you always did  … you’ll always get what you always got.
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I just wanted to say what a very helpful and well-thought out email this is; I follow all your emails and am grateful for all the help you give us “fearful flyers”.

Thank you so much, Angela

Really enjoyed this months newsletter. Keith is right, there is no quick and easy one size fits all fix. I know – I have been there, and with Keith’s help and support I chipped away at my fear gremlins and they are 99.9% gone which for me is a fantastic achievement – 2 years ago I flew to Australia on my own folks! Something I could not have done without Fear of Flying and all the help I got there. JR

Hello Keith,

Thanks for the help letter

I just wanted to say how much your books, audio material & the course last year has helped me.

I coped really well when we went to Eastern Europe last September but a couple of weeks ago we flew to Southern Spain for a holiday. I meant to read through everything to refresh my memory but ran out of time. I would not allow myself to think any negative thoughts beforehand and on the flight I went over all the positive ways of coping with the result that we had a good iChat without undue anxiety. I even went to the loo on board & had something to eat!

We are going to Italy in June!

I am not sure if I could manage a long flight but maybe one day…

Thanks again for enabling me to face my fear

Margaret

Thanks for that interesting insight Keith. I do think that sometimes people who are afraid (of anything really) put up barriers which prevent the fear from disappearing – in a way they are kind of keeping the fear, because they perceive that flying (or spiders, or heights) is such a dangerous activity that they need to keep the fear in order to keep themselves safe.

It’s also interesting that some people do appear to want a quick fix, or magic solution, but I wonder if others wouldn’t take the magic cure if it was offered.

It’s very complex !

Kind Regards

Judith

Hello Keith! I don’t know if you remember me (Maria777) but I was a very fearful flyer and thanks to your help and support overcame my fear. I still use your book and CD before every flight! Apart from feeling anxious during take off and landing, I am fine. Two weeks tomorrow I am to Jamaica! My first long haul flight and I am really looking forward to it! Every holiday I have I always think of you and the help you gave me, as without you none of them would be possible!

I hope you and yours are all very well!

Warmest Wishes!  M 777

 


 

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