Every so often we are reminded that pilots are human and they make poor decisions. Years ago a pilot was flying drunk, sometimes they are exposed for being at the controls without adequate rest and other times they become distracted in the cockpit and make the headlines without anyone dying. All of these instances is what I call taking a “big bite out of the Stupid Sandwich”. Regardless, it does nothing to assuage fear of flying. In fact, it adds another log to the fire – some argue gasoline!
In no way am I attempting to minimize these gross errors of judgement that put many lives in harms way. I would like to offer some context. It is the deep rooted fear that incites emotion and puts another nail in the coffin for those struggling with flying fears.
We are faced with people every day that make poor decsions and impact people’s lives. We can not control the alertness of the driver coming towards us late one evening driving home. We have no way of knowing how much the driver running the red light had to drink, or if alchohol was even involved. However, since we are at the wheel (in control), and do not harbor a deep rooted fear of driving, these instances of every day life are rarely in the headlines unless someone is injured.
My point is that when you have a phobia of any kind, it does not take much to provoke an abnormal reaction. Your threshold of acceptance is much lower than in areas of your life where you are at peace. The real topic of disucssion is what actions we should take to get our threshold to a higher level of acceptance and reduce stress.
For example, if a spider is on the wall, my daughter is running to the other corner of the room screaming. Spiders do not bother me and I do not have that reaction. Show me a needle and I’m ready to pass out! It consumes every fiber of my being. I am a big chicken when it comes to needles and white coats in general. Others, take no issue with needles, blood or immunizations. Same stimulus, different response. Why? It’s all about our frame of reference based on our fears.
We are exposed to knuckleheads every day. The reaction to the knucklehead’s shenanigan is based on our own comfort level with the stage on which it was played. You have a choice. You can continue to ride the emotional roller coaster associated with your fear of flying or you can choose to bury those demons once and for all. If flying is preventing you or loved ones from achieving their dreams, it’s time for help.
Fear is False Evidence Appearing Real…. or in some instances. Forget Everything And Run!