‘Fear’ is something that everyone comes across in life. One excepts the anxiety or not, it exists somewhere down in self anyhow. Encountering fears is one thing, I believe, brave hearts do. Fears do not make one a coward but excepting it, looking straight into its eye and getting through it, is courageous.
“There is no illusion greater than fear.” – Lao Tzu
I am an ordinary girl who possess common feelings as happiness, sadness, anxiety, excitement, fear and others, just as everyone else. In my surroundings, I have seen people avoid to face their insecurities, doubts and fears. But I chose to encounter my fear, more of a phobia, of swimming in pools or in deep water, leaving the doubts behind me. I knew it was going to be a challenge, but I took it with volition.
I had tried to learn swimming in my early age, but, it is sad that I got it away with, deciding I can not do it as I was told so. All this time I felt impatient bearing this thought in mind that ‘I can not swim or I am unable to enjoy swimming like everyone else’. I could not let go of the pleasant experiences my friends share about their swimming activities. It appeared fascinating to me. How can something endanger me but gratify others? Despite the physical fitness, it was a mental obstacle named fear which kept me away from enjoying the loving waves of water against my skin.
With a strong will to overcome my fear, I planned a trip to ‘Khanpur Dam’ for cliff diving, situated 25 miles away from my city. I was accompanied with my friends who were partially aware that I am intending to encounter my fear, as I was anxious on the way already. They were supportive yet some made me even nervous while they actually showed concern for me.
I am glad that after so many years of believing in the illusion of frights and doubts in my abilities, I now had full belief in myself thinking ‘I can do it!’. On arriving I started to take deep breaths to keep myself calm, at the same time, I kept telling myself that it was only a fancy monster in my mind that made me believe in stupid dubieties.
Pulling off the moment with constant mental self assurances, I ignored my heart sinking down and down and down. No wonder I was pretty nervous, deep down I knew either it is going to be a disaster and I am going to step back on the last moment, believing in the illusionary fear monster all over once again or it is going to be a success after all!
After a good boat ride of half an hour, I was now preparing myself for one last time, standing on the cliff where I had to dive from, into the aquamarine deep water. At one point I thought to walk away from my ‘Encountering Fear’ plan, but then, with no delays at all, there I was, looking down the cliff (almost 50 feet high) into the waters shortly be splashing with my dive.
Finally, I stood in a position to run a few steps before jumping off the cliff, I closed my eyes and told myself that ‘You are brave and you know you can do it!’
On the point of believing in myself 100 percent, I ran six steps forward with my eyes open, capturing the scene in my memory, I noticed that my next step would not have the ground underneath anymore, I closed my eyes and jumped up high falling deep down into the turquoise body of water. It was a brief moment of silence with a pleasant feeling of gentle wind caressing my face, seconds later, ‘Splosh!’ was all my ears heard.
My body went weightless just as I fell down the waters, the trainer pulled me up and I finally took a breath with my face out and my body floating, like a leaf. I did not drown, thanks to the life jacket. 😀
I did not know how to swim, for that, thanks to the trainer, I had already taken him in loop of my encountering fear plan. He turned out encouraging and a great help in teaching me how to move in water while enjoying as well. Although I was so close to throw a tantrum at him, getting frustrated for not being able to swim like a professional in an instant. The moment makes me laugh even now, still he kept patience and politely instructed me about swimming ethics while being a beginner. He understood me so well, I was anxious yet excited at the same time realizing I have gotten through my fear. I could hardly figure out if I should examine my feelings first or I should start celebrating my success in the water just there.
And that I did, celebrate my victory in water by enjoying it and exploring the joy that one could feel in swimming. It was worthful to overcome a dreadful feeling that had kept me away from such pleasures of life, no matter it was a small thing, but it mattered a lot to me and it still does.
After the fun I had in cliff diving, encountering my fear, I walked past the ocean tinkling into my eyes, with a smile of relief on my lips. I could not be happier getting rid of a burdensome anxiety that had affixed my mind with uncertainties.
“Saw a little girl touch a big bug and shout, “I conquered my fear! YES!” and calmly walk away. I was inspired.” – Nathan Fillion
Now, I am independent of many unnecessary mental obstacles and I confidently believe in self for my strength and abilities. I support all those who have fears and are trying to overcome them, just like I did. Fear is just a mere feeling that would evaporate eventually, I would say. It was, once, an illusion of monsters in my head who always stood in my way of doing things as simple and as pleasant as enjoying a swim in bright summer days.
How simple can life be and how complex can we make it for ourselves, I think. Anyways, I can not wait to have another dive splashing into the soft curls of turquoise waters, I can not be enough excited for another round of amusing swimming class.
“As soon as you trust yourself, you will know how to live.” – Johann Wolfgang