I often ask this of my clients. It can be quite a telling moment for them. They can strip away all fear and begin to realise what they would really like to happen in their lives.
Recently I had to ask myself this question. I’m scared of heights. I really really don’t like them. I have avoided going on the London Eye, to the viewing platform on the Shard and even climbing ladders leaves me stressed. So when a close friend offered me a ticket to go on a hot air balloon ride my first reaction was no, you must be kidding me.
Then I stopped and thought about it. What if I wasn’t scared? Would I turn down this amazing opportunity? Of course I wouldn’t. I knew lots of people who would jump at the chance, not giving it a second thought. I decided to pretend I wasn’t afraid, just for a moment. I picked up the phone and called my friend and said yes, I’d love to come.
I didn’t have time to get too worried to begin with, it was booked for the next afternoon, and I had a lot to keep me busy that day. I put it to the back of my mind. When I got in the car to drive down to the launch site I stated to wonder what on earth I was doing. I decided to think only about the car journey, then about booking in, helping with the ballooon, getting into the balloon and listening to the safety talk. I just didn’t look at the big picture just each little step it took to get to the flight.
All of a sudden we were floating up in the air, the ground drifting further and further away. My heart was pounding and my palms sweating. I had a moments regret, at around 3,000 feet when I looked down and saw how high we were. But we only stayed that high for a minute or two, and soon we were drifting peacefully over the fields and Oast houses of Kent. It was incredible, so beautiful and truly the experience of a lifetime.
A sense of calm came over me. I didn’t feel afraid. I was able to enjoy the magic of the moment, as we drifted calmly and quietly through the sky. Even the landing was ok, a bit bumpy but all part of the experience.
Lots of people have asked if I would do it again. I think I would, now that I know I can get past the fear and really enjoy it.
So, what would you do if you weren’t afraid?