Skydiving: It’s Natural To Feel Scared

Published: July 12, 2016

How Scary Is Skydiving?

If it's your first time skydiving, one thing is for sure: If you're not feeling a little scared before you jump out of a high-flying plane, something is very wrong. It's natural to be a little--even a lot--freaked-out!

There's one thing we need to get straight right away: If you have a fear of skydiving, you're not alone. (Not in the least!) Everyone feels scared. It's not just first-time tandem passengers who get the cold sweats, either--even sport skydivers who have thousands of jumps get nervous sometimes, especially when they're attempting a skydiving maneuver they haven't tried before.

So if everyone's scared, why is skydiving such a beloved, popular thing?

Fear Is Good

Here's the big secret, y'awl: Fear is good.

When you feel fear, you can rest assured that it's not a bad thing. Fear is an adaptive part of our evolution to be afraid of what might hurt us. It's one of the most basic elements of our psychological makeup, and it forces us to consider the results of our actions. An animal that goes through life without fear, after all, is likely to go through that life very quickly.

That said, not all fear is the same. No one will argue that there's no difference between fear of a charging bear and fear of a presentation, even though they're physiologically similar. Where you'd undoubtedly be better off getting out of the bear's way, you'd better chase down that presentation with your best war-face on. No?

Life affords us plenty of opportunities to approach fear from an empowered place. When we're kids, this happens pretty much all the time--the act of balancing on a bicycle for the first time, for instance, or going down a really big slide or answering a question in front of the class. As adults, the frequency of important-little-scary-experiences has a tendency to decrease, and the "muscle" that we use to hold fear in its right place has a tendency to get weaker as the years go by. Unfortunately, that means that we're less capable of the daily braveries that enrich our lives.

It's entirely natural to get a little lazy about fear management. When you're a kid, your job is to learn about the world--to run little experiments, all the time, to find out how the world behaves around you, and to discover your place in it. As an adult, you have a lot of the basics nailed. Most grownups shift their focus away from adventuring and zoom those energies in on maintaining what they've got. Where that's utterly normal and noble, life's scary disruptions are much harder to recover from when the disruptee is operating from that less-agile perspective.

Embrace Fear

There's a great antidote for that, you know: skydiving. Seriously. Seizing the opportunity to "work out" that fear management muscle has extensive, profound effects in your life at large. It strengthens your ability to make swift, intelligent decisions, to see problems from a healthy perspective and to approach the other scary moments in life with a lot more agency than before. We see that magic happen every day.

Is skydiving scary? You bet! But, here's the upshot: It's normal to enjoy your comfort zone, but you'll realize huge rewards for stepping outside of it. Embrace the fear. We're here to help you do it! Learn more about tandem skydiving with the experienced team here at Skydive Long Island or contact a member of our team.

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