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Johannes Holmberg

UI developer & designer

A couple of weeks ago I did something that, in my own terms, was amazing. I was up in the skies, flying in a two-seat aerobatic airplane at a speed of 400 km/h.

Ever since I can remember I've been terribly afraid of heights. Just two years ago, I was so immensely scared of flying I'd had to down a couple of drinks before entering a plane. I've never dared to ride even the simplest of roller coasters.

Despite all that, here I was, out making loops in a small two-seater aircraft (with a parachute on my back!).

How did that happen?

Fear is something that is very hard to deal with. It looks different for all of us. I've tried a lot of experiments over the last year in how to deal with it and the conclusion I've come up with is to turn my mindset around.

I'm bounded by assumptions, but if I switch mindset and assume that my assumptions may be wrong, I can start to embrace the fear instead.

Instead of panicking when sitting tightly fasten in a small vehicle and you have nowhere to go, feel that you're safer and in better control over the situation that way.

Instead of having your guts turned inside out when looking out the window at a height of 800 metres, realize how beautiful the world looks from above.

Enjoy the situation you're in, even if your preconceived idea was that it would scare the hell out of you.

This discovery was astonishing and made me so much more confident. In this way I can actually shape myself in new exciting directions and I'm not longer tied to my preconceptions about what I'm able to do. I apply this philosophy to many aspects in life.

For example, just a couple of months ago I despited onions and olives. I've never eaten them because my preconception was that I didn't like them. By turning this conception around, I've not just started eating them, I've started to enjoy them!

You can really get tied down and feeling weary by the anxiety fear brings. It can have a controlling feeling over you. You can let it be that way and keep living your life in the safety box, or you can challenge it and do something that you never thought you could.

That's a very refreshing feeling.

My two cents is that you let the fear go, turn your back on it, say 'I'm opting out', switch mindset and start to embrace it.

I think it's worth it.