My Skydiving Experience – Learn to face your fears by jumping out of a plane

eWe are born with only two fears – heights and loud noises. These are wired into our brains and go back to ancient caveman times. A time when there was a danger of us being eaten by predators or falling off cliffs.

Any other fears we have, we “learn” over time. They seem real, but they are only in our heads. Sometimes facing the real fears can help us put the not so real ones into perspective.

Anyway, some time ago I jumped out of a perfectly good airplane, 3 miles in the air…

How did it start? This coworker of mine says he went skydiving last weekend, and of course now I am interested. I call up my buddy Andrew and say “Hey, I want to go skydiving. Interested?”. The next thing we know, we’re both signed up for jumping the same weekend. I hate heights, have never really enjoyed roller coasters and in NO way is this a good idea.

So the weekend arrives and we show up at the airfield all ready to go. We watch the training video, and the whole thing still doesn’t seem too scary. We get on the plane, all pumped up and excited – “We are going skydiving!!”. Then the plane goes up in the air, and we’re still going – “Yes!!! We are going to do this!!” and looking all bored.

Then the display in my hand reads 14,000 feet, the hatch opens up and the cold air starts rushing in…

And that is when the reality of what we are about to do hits me. “Oops!!”…

So I’m standing at the door, looking three miles down and trying to figure out where the landing spot is. I can feel the cold air rushing at me at an incredible speed. The sound of the air and the airplane engines is drowning everything else out. At this height, the landing field is the size of a postage stamp and I have absolutely no idea where it is.

I am scared out of my mind. I am not sure I want to do this any more.

My mind is racing and going .. “Oh crap!! There is no way that… AAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!!!”.

Suddenly I am no longer on the plane and am dropping downwards at 200 miles per hour!! My evil instructor jumped off before I had time to get scared properly.


So there I am, flying straight down. And guess what? Gravity does work.

When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been and there you will always long to return.
Leonardo Da Vinci

The funny thing is, the jump wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. The scariest part of the skydive was the few seconds before I actually jumped out of the plane. The anticipation of the jump is worse than the jump itself.

Once you jump off, there is nothing more to really worry about. Its like the mind goes “Ah well. There is nothing we can do any more. So might as well enjoy the ride”.

The period of free fall during the skydive is the best part. All your natural instincts still telling you to stay alert since it is hardwired into your head. But your brain stops all silly chatter and starts watching and enjoying what is happening. It is the most peaceful you can ever be while still feeling an adrenaline rush. Scared, excited, and calm, all at the same time.

For those of you who hate roller coaster rides because of that weird feeling in your stomach? Great news. You don’t feel anything when skydiving.

I have gone skydiving a couple more times since then and taken a lot of my friends along with me. I recommend that everyone try skydiving at least once in their life. Even if you aren’t the kind of person who would normally consider it (I know I wasn’t).

Why? There is something about consciously facing one of your primal fears head-on that just frees you from inside. I would call it almost a spiritual experience. After facing this fear, all other fears fall into perspective.

Any time I feel scared, I tell myself “Hah! This is nothing. I jumped out of a plane” and suddenly the fear seems almost trivial and silly in comparison.

Since then, when doing something that scares me, I can ignore my fear as if it were a just a back ground alarm beeping in my head and nothing more. I do feel the fear, but I can do what I want to do anyway. I recognize the fear but no longer feel controlled by it.

It is like I have been set free from all my fears. And this is what I want everyone else to experience.

If you are considering skydiving, but are not sure about it, leave a comment about what is holding you back. Maybe one of the readers or I can convince you to take the plunge

7 thoughts on “My Skydiving Experience – Learn to face your fears by jumping out of a plane

  1. Sarah D. Smith

    So, you’re saying that awful falling feeling you get on roller coasters isn’t at all like what you feel when you sky dive?

    1. Aditya Ravi Shankar

      Yep… Exactly that…. I still don’t enjoy roller-coasters… I’m not afraid, but that stomach feeling is horrible…

      I felt nothing like that when sky diving… In fact, after the initial fear just before you jump, you feel nothing at all… it is one of of the most exhilarating experiences you can ever have….

  2. Bonnie

    I’ve gone skydiving a total of 4 times (and plan on going many more times in the future) but my boyfriend refuses to take the plunge. He’s the guy you see in the gym who is bigger than every guy there- Extremely built and looks like he could break someone in half… Yet.. He’s a wuss! Won’t go in the ocean because of sharks, refuses to skydive or do anything that is associated with heights, and it even took me having to bribe him to finally get him on a rollercoaster for the first time in his life last year (which he ended up liking!) He said the only way he would go skydiving is if he knew he was going to die soon (I guess if he developed a life threatening illness of some sort). I want to experience this with him SO bad because I know the feeling you describe of being liberated from all fears after you’ve made the jump. I’ve been terrified of heights my whole life but I didn’t let it stop me from experiencing rollercoasters, skydiving and other activities. I’ve been chased by a shark (and I’m extremely afraid of sharks) yet I’ll still go in the ocean! I look back and remember how sheltered, timid and unassertive I was- Overcoming my fears helped me overcome this and skydiving gave me the biggest boost in doing so. Every time I try to reason with him, he is 100% dead set on never doing it. He thinks the shoot won’t open, he would have a heart attack on the way down, wouldn’t be able to take the plane ride (he’s also afraid of flying, too). Do you have any advice on an approach that might be more effective? I don’t think he’s ever going to budge sadly. It’s such a shame because he’s truly missing out on a life changing experience. What’s most frustrating is that I know, that if he did it, he would love it. Thanks for reading!

    1. Aditya Ravi Shankar

      I’ve lived by a slightly different philosophy – “What we fear most, is what we most need to do”… Each time we face a fear, it goes away, and we get a little more free…

      If you truly want to help him sky dive, maybe it might make sense to get him to take baby steps, and get into the habit of getting outside his comfort zone and facing small fears…. Maybe more roller coasters, mountain/rock/wall climbing, etc etc… until those become normal.. Then slowly up the stakes…

      Then maybe a tandem sky dive, along with several of your close friends so he has tons of support

      From experience, peer support is amazing at helping people push past fears.

      One step at a time… That’s the key… The kaizen way –

      Good luck.. Let me know how it goes 🙂

  3. Savanna

    I have the biggest fear of roller coasters and I hate the stomach jerking feeling you get on them. I am also a bit fearful of heights. And my friends want me to go sky diving with them this weekend. any advise?

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