Many of our fears are just temporary reactions solely of our own making


Happy Friday and welcome to this week’s Friday Reflection’s video produced by Peter Waller, our one and only M.D 👏🏼Grab yourself a coffee ☕️ and 5 minutes to watch Peter reflect on his recent parachute jump (with pictures!), the anxiety and fear it initially caused and how many of our fears are just temporary reactions solely of our own making“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.” – Charles Darwin 💡

A few weeks ago, I completed my first Parachute jump. It is something I have said for years that I wanted to do, and as a result my wife surprised me and brought one for me for my birthday back in April.  So really until the day of the jump for me the idea of jumping out of the plane had either only ever been a remote possibility or something that was some way off in the future.

When the idea became reality, I was pretty nervous. The setup is great but by the time you’ve had an induction, been kitted out, had some training and watched a lot of people take off from a field and then come floating back down to earth in front of you the anxiety only increases. 

I found the whole experience surreal, after all, this is the only plane that I have taken off in that I didn’t then also land in. The instructor was great and really put me at ease, yet I was very aware that he literally had my life in his hands (again not a power I allow a stranger to have very often). Sitting on the edge of the open door of plane then plummeting at 125 miles an hour through the air was just bizarre, exhilarating but, weird. When the chute had deployed, we started to do controlled spins and then when these stopped, we had a few moments of what the instructor called “zero G’s” – which was amazing, I felt weightless, it felt like we were floating in the air and I guess is the closest I’ll ever get to feeling like an astronaut. 

Jumping out of plane was certainly not in my comfort zone. I guess typically, like most people, I operate out of my own created comfort zone, it is what I know and what I am familiar with. 

However, I also know that if I only ever stay inside my comfort zone, I can become complacent. Whilst I may enjoy the familiarity and security it offers, if I only say in it, I can also become bored and stale, Despite knowing this it can be hard to leave the safety and find that little bit of drive that is necessary to make a change.

I think it’s important to push ourselves out of our comfort zone and recognise that many of our fears are just temporary reactions solely of our own making – as my parachute jump clearly demonstrated to me. The anxiety I felt prior to the event could have been overwhelming, as we shuffled to the open plane door with the earth thousands of feet below and the wind rushing past, I wasn’t convinced this was something I wanted to do, yet when it was over, I would have happily done it again straight away. The anxiety is just a temporary reaction to the unknown, yet when it has been done it became a known, it felt good, and I wanted to repeat it.

Outside the comfort zone, we often find that the fear becomes positive challenges, new adventures and untapped opportunities, we may find there is choice, challenge, opportunity, progress, change, growth and development.

I know that to some the idea of change can be stimulating and exciting; to others it fosters feelings of insecurity and anxiety. For many it is a complex combination of fluctuating feelings and reactions, and no two people react or respond in exactly the same way to change or at exactly the same time. For me the key to managing change is not to resist it but to understand and learn from it and to take opportunities that are available to you. If you don’t push yourself outside your comfort zone how you are going to grow?

At On Track Learning we have over 30 courses on our platform focused on Personal Development. And over 35 covering leadership. We love working with leaders and managers on our programmes and helping them really take a look at themselves and take themselves on.