Monday, June 4, 2012

Facing Fears

I have issues with two things- heights and elevators.  I used to walk up to nine stories in my college days just to avoid an elevator.  I have been happily riding elevators now for about four years, and now this past weekend, I conquered my fear of heights by walking out on the ruins of the beautiful Kinzua Viaduct.  I want to share with you some tips for facing fears, and I want to share photos of my experience.


Damage to the Kinzua bridge from tornado

A tornado destroyed the rest of the bridge

The magnificent view from the Kinzu Bridge

Amazing view of the creek below from the Kinzua Bridge

The view from the Kinzua Viaduct

Kinzua Viaduct

A beautiful sign showing the full Kinzua Bridge

5 Tips for Facing Your Fears:

1. Tell yourself the likely outcome.  Don't spend the whole time thinking about the extremely unlikely tradgedy that could occur from your expereince.  Instead, think about the most likely outcome.  Mine was, "I'm likely to go out on this bridge, take some amazing pictures, and have fun with my family."

2.  Baby steps!  Start small and enjoy your success!  I was lucky to do a one story elevator, and I worked my way up to larger things.

3.  Ask a friend for support.  It helps to have someone with you who will support you and share the success.  This person might offer to hold your hand, get you a cold drink, or take your picture to prove that you faced your fear.

4. Set yourself up for success.  Last year I tried to walk on the bridge as well, but I had my dog on a leash, and she kept putting her nose down between the railroad ties.  It would make my heart jump, and I had to turn around. Make sure the situation is free of external stresses and challenges.  It will be easier to focus on positive thinking and meeting your goal.

5. Pray for peace and courage!

What is your biggest fear?

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  1. This is a helpful post for me because I have a couple of fears to face in the near future, including finally getting my driver's license. :P

    Also, beautiful pictures. I know I've heard my dad talk about this spot, but I don't remember being there. I've got to spend some time in the PA mountains!

    1. I'm glad you liked it. I have had the tools for some time to work through my fears, but I get caught up in my terror and then can't do it. There is one part of my story I forgot to tell though which might be one more tip. It was the elevator repairman at my work who talked me into the safety of elevators. He told me all of the safety features, and now when I ride the elevator and the terror hits, I close my eyes and repeat what he told me. Then I feel better. It doesn't just get me through, but it really makes me calm and feel fine about riding.

      I hope that your experiences go well. Driving can be liberating, so I hope you manage to do it! More than likely you will!