Confront Your Fears, Fly Over Your Challenges
Patrick, Sales Manager for a provider of heating, ventilation and air conditioning service in Portland, OR, told Session 3B of Turbo's Leadership Development Lab:
"In September of 2006, I moved from Los Angeles to Portland and had some free time for the first time in a long time. I had always dreamed of flying, but I was one of those people, who as soon as I was on the sixth rung of a ladder, was shaking with my arms wrapped in a bear hug around the ladder. So naturally, I signed up for paragliding classes.
"I trained for two months, until the time came for my first high flight. I drove to the mountain, just west of Hood River in the Columbia Gorge, climbed the mountain and waited. My instructor ... didn't show up. Another instructor from a different club happened to be there. He offered to be my instructor for the day, if I still wanted to fly. I had been very nervous before, but now I was terrified. I thought about it for a minute. I had the training, I knew what to do, I decided to go for it.
"I got ready, asked the instructor to double check my gear, pulled my wing up and watched as it flew over my head, then I turned and ran off the mountain. Oh my gosh, what an amazing feeling. I saw the ground drop out below me as the wind pushed me up.
"I looked back to see the mountain moving away from me. I looked up to see my wing full of air and flying perfectly. I looked at the lines that come down from the wing to the harness clips, everything looked great. I took a second look at the clips and started to think what would happen if one of those clips broke. One side of the wing would fly up in the air as I dropped like a rock to the roadway below. Would the trucks run me over until there was nothing left of me?
"My fear started to take over. My muscles seemed to lock in place for a moment, I became weak and shaky. 'Oh my gosh,' I thought, 'Why did I do this?'
"You know what happened right then? ....... Nothing.
"The wing continued to fly forward, all the lines held, the clips didn't break. My brain started working again and I realized my fears were all unrealistic. As I relaxed, I started enjoying flying and flew for a little over an hour before landing.
"I have flown hundreds of times in the last 10 years and never hit a truck. Paragliding is one of the most wonderful and amazing experiences of my life. I am so grateful that I took that first flight out of my comfort zone. I no longer shake going up ladders.
"What I learned that day is that it pays to aggressively push myself through personal, irrational fears to the amazing rewards that can be on the other side.
"The action I call you to take is to identify one of your irrational fears you have been unable to overcome and make a specific, aggressive plan to confront that fear.
"The benefit you will gain as you put that fear behind you is a kind of freedom that you haven't experienced before and a confidence that will help you fly over all your challenges."
Wednesday, Dec. 7th, 6:29pm
Quality Suites Keizer
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