What they don’t tell you about facing your fears, or bungy jumping.
Fear is a big part of life and it isn’t going anywhere soon – but it’s how you deal with it that makes the difference. I recently faced my biggest fear with New Zealand’s biggest bungy jump… how I did that was by using the simple tips and tricks that I am about to share with you.
Bungee is kind of the adventure seekers right of passage. The Nevis bungee is the epitome of adrenaline. It is the tallest bungee in NZ, second biggest in the world and it is an experience you will both dread and cherish. It is also the best way to learn that behind your greatest fears live the ultimate rewards.
As we got there it was obvious this was a seriously professional outfit. When a company has its own team of full time editors to create videos you know a place is legit.
After a nervous pee, it was time to harness up. The staff members were great help, some in helping me to relax; others were intent winding me up with friendly banter. Case and point, as I stepped onto the bungee base, I was greeted by a young gentleman who begun by checking my harness and saying “well that’s pretty loose isn’t it” jangling the gear with a cheeky grin.
Before you are even ready to jump, the Journey to the base is an experience in itself. A tiny cable car pulls you across the ravine, 134 meters above the rocky floor. The base also has glass floor windows so you can get a great view of the river below. If you are as silly as I am, have a look directly down and think hard about what you are just about to do.
You can start the somewhat relax though, as the instructors play music and I started to get pumped up.
That was until the first person of the group took the plunge. They were initially tied to the bungy cord while sitting in a seat on the edge. Then it is a small penguins walk to the plank.
After a couple people dropped to nothingness before my eyes in what seemed like it was straight away, I heard my name get called out. And I thought to myself, Ok go time – let’s do this! That was of course alongside a few other thoughts that involved broke ropes and sharp rocks. Taking a seat in the chair on the edge of the drop I was feeling ok – until a mate decided to tip my chair when I wasn’t looking – like really bro. I then made it to the platform and edged my way out. This is when I tried to stop all thinking and focus what I was doing. Because at the end of the day that is what this is – a mental game. It is completely on you to overcome all human instinct and dive face first out of the sky.
My heart was beating a million miles and it felt as if the world slowed. Then I heard the words as if in a dream – One… Two… Three… Jump!
And with that, I threw my arms out and sprung forward over the ledge. It was a feeling of adrenaline that I had never experienced before. Those first few seconds were some of the most intense and exhilarating moments of my life. This feeling was best summed up by the strange scream that escaped me. It truly felt like I was flying and all thoughts and distractions of the world disappeared as I plummeted to the ground.
Then, I felt the cord catch and I bounced for the first time. The trust I put in this elastic rope had paid off and was brimming with energy. Bouncing for the second time was heaps of fun and by now I couldn’t wipe the grin off my face.
Bungy is one of those things where you have to face your fears, but by doing so you will be rewarded with a natural high and feeling of accomplishment like no other. It also serves as a pretty spot on metaphor for a lot of the things you will face in life.
Fear can be one of the main things stopping your from achieving your dreams – whether it be starting a new career path or asking for a promotion. Not to mention, fear of failure or loss of money often holds people back from becoming an entrepreneur and starting a business.
Fear is one of the many topics acclaimed life and business coach, author and motivational speaker Tony Robbins addresses in his seminars. You might have already heard of one way he does this: Robbins has attendees walk across burning coals. Yep, you read that right. The goal? To teach people to overcome their fears and take the first step beyond whatever might be holding them back. The bungy jump serves my like a walk across hot coals and it is something I can always use to look back on if I forget the lesson.
As the legend himself sums up –
“People by nature are trained, almost innately, to be scared of fire and to keep away from it.”
“That is why walking through a pathway of fire is a powerful expression of moving beyond one’s fears. Walking over any hot surface does encompass some risks, but it has been done safely for centuries, and when administered properly can have enormous value as a reminder of what we are truly capable of.”
“It’s simply a metaphor for them to break through their fears and limitations,” Robbins says.
“If you look at what holds people back from expanding and deepening the quality of their lives, what prevents them from taking the actions that are necessary to transform their body, relationships, career, business or impact their kids, invariably, it’s fear — of failure, of success, of rejection, of pain and of the unknown.”
While we are at it, another acclaimed life coach Susan Jeffers springs to mind. She sums up the main truths about fear perfectly in her book, Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway. The aptly named book breaks down the main truths about fear into five key points:
FEAR TRUTH #1
The fear will never go away as long as you continue to grow!
Every time you take a step into the unknown, you experience fear. There is no point in saying, “When I am no longer afraid, then I will do it.” You’ll be waiting for a long time. The fear is part of the package.
FEAR TRUTH #2
The only way to get rid of the fear of doing something is to go out and…do it!
When you do it often enough, you will no longer be afraid in that particular situation. You will have faced the unknown and you will have handled it. Then new challenges await you, which certainly add to the excitement in living.
FEAR TRUTH #3
The only way to feel better about yourself is to go out and…do it!
With each little step you take into unknown territory, a pattern of strength develops. You begin feeling stronger and stronger and stronger.
FEAR TRUTH #4
Not only are you afraid when facing the unknown, so is everyone else!
This should be a relief. You are not the only one out there feeling fear. Everyone feels fear when taking a step into the unknown. Yes, all those people who have succeeded in doing what they have wanted to do in life have felt the fear – and did it anyway. So can you!
FEAR TRUTH #5
Pushing through fear is less frightening than living with the bigger underlying fear that comes from a feeling of helplessness!
This is the one truth that some people have difficulty understanding. When you push through the fear, you will feel such a sense of relief as your feeling of helplessness subsides. You will wonder why you did not take action sooner. You will become more and more aware that you can truly handle anything that life hands you.