What results can you achieve?

Fear of Flying School

Do you wonder whether your fear of flying is treatable?

If so, the good news is this: you can reduce it a LOT. But before I go into detail, you first need to understand that in treating your ‘fear of flying’ you’re actually tackling TWO things: ‘anxiety and ‘fear’.

‘Anxiety’ relates to how you feel when ANTICIPATING a future event. For example, how you feel when thinking about an upcoming flight.

Meanwhile, ‘Fear’ refers to how you feel when you’re ACTUALLY in a feared situation. For example, how you feel during taking off.

Why do I mention this distinction?

Because when you decide to deal with you’re fear of flying, you’ll want to achieve two things:

  • Reduce how often you feel anxious and fearful.
  • Reduce the intensity of your anxiety and fear.

How well can you achieve these goals?

Luckily, that’s up to you. After all, your level of success will be tied directly to the amount of effort you put in.

On that note, what can you reasonably expect to achieve? My own experience is that if you’re SERIOUS about getting results, you can make big gains relatively quickly.

For example, let’s say you allocated 20 minutes per day to following a structured fear of flying program. And you did that for eight weeks. Let’s also assume that during that time you took four return flights. In that scenario, it’s quite possible – although not certain – that the intensity of your anxieties and fears could fall by 10% – 20%. Maybe more.

You might not think that’s much. But even a 10% reduction in your anxiety levels would be a noticeable improvement. But the good news doesn’t stop there.

Because if, in the following eight weeks you continued to follow the same structured program – and flew four more times – you could reasonably hope for a further 10% – 20% improvement (again, no guarantees).

If you achieved these results, that would mean a 20% – 40% reduction in your anxiety levels in just 16 weeks. That’s HUGE.

But can you totally eliminate your anxiety and fear?

My view is that the answer will vary from person to person. Personally, I’ve made massive improvements over 15 years (I’ve gone from not flying at all to flying every few weeks). But occasionally I still experience a hint of anxiety or fear – especially when I’m tired.

But the number of anxious and fearful episodes I have now is a fraction of what I had previously. Even better, the intensity of those episodes is down DRAMATICALLY.

The result? For me, flying is no longer a big deal.

But does it matter if you never eliminate all anxiety and fear? That’s up to you.

For me, the goal has always been to reduce them to the point where they no longer undermined my quality of life. That’s been achieved – so I’m happy.

Quick question for you

What’s your goal? Do you want to kill off your fear completely? Or would you be happy to simply reduce it a bit? Let me know in the comments.

Leave a comment

10 comments

  1. Rodianne

    I’d like to eliminate my fear completely or at least to the point where one day I’d be able to fly from Malta to Australia and back without high levels of anxiety and fear.

    1. Tim Benjamin

      Good luck Rodianne – you can do it 🙂

  2. Emma

    I have a major fear of flying. It’s mostly the take off. I have a fear that when you’re taking off, the plane won’t rise.

    I have to travel a lot and in 2 weeks I have to travel from England to California. I’m really nervous and not sure what to do

    I have to go because I have to compete in a surf competition!

    I’m very nervous and scared especially if it’s a long big flight.

    Can you please give me some tips? If possible..

  3. Susan

    For me it’s the claustrophobia and also bad turbulence

  4. Glen Fonseca

    The good things- I am ok with landing and take off. Turbulence (even slight) puts me off completely and I do not like that we are cruising and cannot suddenly hit massive turbulence and die. Flew for about 15 years before this hit me. The last fight was 1st week of Jan 2011.

    1. Tim Benjamin

      Hey Glen – you’ll be glad to hear that turbulence doesn’t threaten the plane’s safety. In fact, when flying through it, a plane rarely moves more than one foot up or down – even though it feels much worse than that. For a detailed explanation, check out my interview with turbulence experts.

  5. madeline

    I would love to avoid them completely. Hate this feeling. And because of my fear of flying, I’ve noticed that I’ve been having episodes of chest pain which is even more scary 🙁

  6. Ray

    I have flown maybe 20 times in my life. Just attempted to fly last week and had my first panic attack while the plane was boarding. Not a fear of flying with me but a fear of enclosure with no escape. Everything had gone fine until the plane filled up.

  7. Ted

    I’d like to reduce it to the point that I can fly and take elevators without the overwhelming fear of anxiety attack and fear.

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