"What did it feel like?" and "Was it scary?" are the two most common questions that I get when I tell people about my skydiving experience. I always feel bad, because I can't really explain what I felt at the moment. It was amazing, surreal, exhilarating, and unbelievable. Above all, it was freeing.
While we were in Prague, we actually planned on going bungee-jumping. Once we found a skydiving company, that idea was out of the window. So, we just went. I'd always wanted to go skydiving, so why not now and why not in Prague?
Fear was never really an emotion that arose when I thought of skydiving. After all, I knew I had more chances of dying in a car crash than I would while skydiving. I just knew it would be fun AND exhilarating AND expensive BUT once in a lifetime. So, why the heck not right?
We rode in a very long car ride to a rural location and on the way there, I told my parents I loved them very much - ya know, just incase. After what seemed like forever, I awoke from my usual car nap and we were at our skydiving location. We arrived at a warehouse and we thought(hoped) for some type of training...but, nope! They gave us 3 rules/steps and said, "Now, lets go jump!". At this point, it started to become real. *What if I messed up one of the three rules?* *Lord KNOWS I'll probably forget the rules by the time I get in the sky!* *If I mess up, I won't even get to live to tell the story* These were the thoughts that were going through my head. The crazy thing is that I wasn't necessarily scared at all, but I really began to realize that there were only one of two outcomes in this situation. It really hit me that this was actually a pretty crazy thing to do. Taking a risk like this was empowering because of that reality.
It obviously went well, because I'm still here. I was the first out of the plane and it all happened so fast. I didn't even have time to think or to be scared. It was SO freeing to be above the clouds(one of my favorite parts of nature) and then fall right through them. How out of this world is that? It was such a thrill in the truest form. And if I can ever bring myself to cough up the money again, I'd do it in a heartbeat.
Although skydiving wasn't a scary experience for me, it caused me to begin thinking about the fears that I do have. At that point in my life(several months ago), I was pretty fearful of starting a completely new chapter in life - essentially a fear of the unknown and a fear of major change. Completely new people in a new place doing a new thing and stepping into a new unknown. While this was slightly exciting, it was mostly scary because I had no idea what the outcome of everything would be. Despite my feelings being completely understandable and valid at that point in time, I couldn't allow them to prevent action on my part.
We all have fears. We each have external such as a fear of heights, a fear of spiders, a fear of dying in a car crash, etc. Most of these fears actually protect us from danger - which is very necessary. Then there are the fears that affect us more deeply - fear of death, fear of rejection, fear of failure, fear of the unknown etc. These are the fears that interrupt our daily lives and keep up us at night. These are the fears that hold us back from making decisions and/or taking steps forward.
If I could do something as seemingly 'scary' as jumping out of a plane, what reason do I have to be fearful of the small things? I shouldn't fear moving to a new place, starting a new chapter in life, speaking up, taking a risk, the unknown, or anything else, for that matter. We have to ask ourselves what the worst thing that could happen is. Most importantly, we need to ask ourselves what the best thing is that could happen. It could honestly go either way and unless we choose to focus on the latter, fear wins.
Fear causes us to think and react backwards. How could we be afraid of something that hasn't even happened yet? How could we know that it would happen? How could we be afraid of an idea that doesn't even exist outside of our mind? Thats the problem with fear. Its not reality. We can't predict the future. Even if we could, we couldn't control it.
Think about the negative thoughts you have. Are they actually fears? Think about these and then really examine why you have them and where they came from. Does this fear actually make sense? Is it actually protecting you or could it be holding you back? Ask yourself what could be the worse possible outcome if you were to face it. Could you handle that outcome? Would you survive it?
2 Timothy 1:7
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
Fear is crippling. Fear is damaging. It holds us back from reaching our full potentials without us even knowing it. Our fears keep us all safe(or so we think!) and cozy inside of our comfort zone. Each time we sit behind our fears, we unknowingly miss out on opportunities and possibilities that could serve us in great ways. We don't know what God has planned for our lives and fear prevents us from ever seeing that. We don't know what awaits us on the other side of fear, but life will go on either way. As humans, fear will always be an emotion that we experience but we must not let it prevent us from living fully.
SOMETIMES YOU JUST HAVE TO JUMP!
Please share this with family/friends. Leave a comment below telling me the outcome of facing your fears!