I haven’t been traveling much by airplane in the past few years. I’ve chosen conferences that are vacation spots where I can drive and bring along my parents or I’ve chosen educational venues that are closer to home.
Why? Fear. I watched the planes strike the World Trade Center and I see terrorism escalating around the world. Plus some airplanes are getting older, mechanical parts do wear out. And some airlines are cutting back on just about everything and I’m concerned about their staff and how much they are expected to do and if some maintenance things get overlooked.
Those are 3 logical reasons for a fear of flying … this fear is not irrational. It IS possible that any of those problems could creep up. It’s also possible I could get in a car accident on my way to the grocery store or I could have a heart attack on my next walk with my dog or I could get bucked off my horse on the next ride.
Many things are possible but the question I need to ask myself is if the situation is probable. How many planes fly and reach their destination safely daily. How often do crashes happen? If I’ll probably have a problem, then I need to adjust my behavior or the situation to keep myself safe. But I shouldn’t avoid flying, driving, walking, or riding my horse if it’s only possible there could be a problem … because almost anything is possible. Giving into fear possibilities would mean leading a life of avoidance and missing out on many great adventures.
How do you determine the possible from the probable? Well, for one thing, you can’t go by your emotions … rather you have to gather information and make an informed choice. I had to tell myself about the hundreds of thousands of airplane flights that happen all the time without incident. And I had to practice stress management (i.e. breathing exercises) to calm my emotions. Plus I knew I’d need to allow a lot of extra time for getting through airport security and making it to the gate way ahead of schedule … nothing should feel like a rush because if it did, that would fuel an already anxious brain.
Finally, I told myself that I needed to leave those rare possibilities of problems for God to handle and that I would be responsible for learning about and dealing with the probability issues. Guess what? It worked! I flew to Atlanta, Georgia for a conference this past weekend and I’m back home safe and sound with a ton of great tips to implement into my business. It is worth it to sort out the possible from the probable.