I’m not sure where I first heard the quote “I’m not afraid of flying. I’m afraid of not flying.” However, it is one of my favorite quotes for a variety of reasons. One of which is I also have a very strong dislike for falling. I’m not really sure where I got it from, especially given that I’ve had a variety of events that caused me to fall, yet didn’t stop me from doing that activity again. It’s also not a fear of heights. There is just something about falling that just isn’t fun.
I see a similar issue occurring in non-elevation related situations, where sometimes I have to risk losing something in order to get more. One example that others might be able to relate with is when asked to spend money on a variety of different activities. If I don’t see myself immediately benefiting from it then I tend to not necessarily invest. Even if long term I would benefit more from losing money in the short term. Another example that I’ve recently found myself battling a lot is the idea of trust. Most people look at trust as a very binary outcome, you either have it or you don’t. Yet people often are unclear about how to get or give trust and just expect it to happen.
Brene Brown discusses the idea of trust and vulnerability as needing to be less binary and more ebb and flow. Somewhat like putting money into a piggy bank. You can build up trust with others and as you do so you are putting more trust in them or them in you. If you lose some trust it comes out of the relationship. There are some things that might empty what trust you had built up. When we start changing things into more spectrum based approaches and less binary we do open ourselves up to being hurt, but also to allowing ourselves to benefit more.
As we start branching out of our comfort zones we can start learning and finding areas that we can enjoy and grow while still having the ability to go back to our safe zones when necessary. Yet if we’re always so scared of failing or falling then we’ll never really leave our comfort zone. For me that’s one of the things that I find myself really struggling with. How can I get out of my comfort zone and learn to trust others. How can I let them in even if only a little bit, so that I can start doing something new. Instead of making it all entirely flying or not flying, I’ve been thinking about how we can create new levels of relationships and new levels of adventure. I by no means have it figured out or even remotely figured out, but I feel it is important to recognize that sometimes you have to be willing to come up to the edge and just jump, whatever that means for you.
There are times when life is going to suck and you’re going to fall and you’re going to be hurt. But there are also those times where you are flying that you get to experience something unbelievable. Yet if you never take that chance to jump, you’ll never be able to fly. So as I am going through this fun new, crazy adventure that I’m starting on, I invite you to jump alongside me. Maybe we can help each other fly or help pick each other up if we fall. Not to mention if all your friends jump wouldn’t you? I don’t know what your fears are or what things we might be jumping into, but I know that I don’t want the fear of not flying to keep me from flying.