Face your fears and learn to fly.
Face your fears and learn to fly. Photo Britimage

Feel the fear, realise your strength

DID you know that people are born with only two fears - of falling and of loud noises?

These fears are in our DNA, providing the instincts for survival that keep us motivated to avoid perceived and potential danger.

When I was younger I used to have a recurring dream of falling from heights. This dream went on for several years - it would stop for a time and then come back.

I'd dream that I would be climbing tall things, very high, tall things. It could have been a tree or a building, a rock face or a wall.

In my dream I would work really hard to get to the top - the climb always appeared easier than it was - and what would happen when I got to the top or just near the top? I'd fall. Unless you've experienced it, that sensation of falling is very difficult to explain.

The thing was I would plummet to the ground below and, as I hit the ground, obliterated, I would wake up heart racing, partly in panic and partly in frustration.

At some point I had read about how you can control your dreams so when this dream continued to occur I started to experiment with it.

Rather than end up crashing horrendously to earth, as I fell I turned myself into a round rubbery figure and when I hit the ground I would bounce and roll. That was great.

The dream could continue which meant more climbing, falling, bouncing and rolling.

I wouldn't wake up in alarm or panic, yet I would wake up feeling frustrated and, as time went on, I realised that something wasn't complete for me.

On one particularly momentous night, in fact the last night I had the dream, it unfolded and I remember climbing and falling, bouncing and rolling several times until - and I remember this so vividly - when I fell I decided to fly and when I flew, beneath me on what was a barren landscape, colour and life appeared, flowers bloomed and it was such a moment of pure unadulterated joy that I woke laughing … and have remembered that ever since.

When I reflect on this, it was a formative event and - funnily enough - a metaphor for my life.

I realise, as no doubt you would too, that when we challenge our fears we realise our strengths.

Wouldn't you like to fly?

Nick Bennett is a facilitator, performance coach and partner of Minds Aligned: http://www.mindsaligned.com.au.

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