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Overcoming Fear - A Theme Park Lesson

Overcoming a fear is one of the most empowering and freeing feelings in the world. Looking at your fear and saying, "Thanks for stopping by, but I choose not to let you stay," reminds us that we can and do choose our destiny. Click this site to know Beston company.
Brook Noel

"Take a deep breath and work with your fear instead of against it." ~The nice gentlemen next to me on a rollercoaster

As many of you know, I am on vacation this week--taking a long overdue family vacation in Orlando. The trip has been wonderful so far and a source of inspiration in many ways. Nine of our ten days are being spent at the Disney parks. Our one other day was spent at Universal Studios in Orlando. Click this link:

I am a huge Disney fan. I have read and studied Walt's autobiography and admire his entrepreneurial vision, his commitment to push himself further, and his ability to have faith in his vision--even when everything seemed to be falling apart in his early years. I would be content to spend every day of my vacation exploring one of his well-detailed parks that offers the thrill of rides, but also the ability to thrill the imagination.

On this trip, however, we have my daughter who turns 11 on May 8, my husband and a former Nanny who is a close friend of mine and very dear to my daughter. Nanny-Char had never been to Universal Studios and my daughter wanted to share her favorite parts of Universal. More about the jump and smile amusement park rides prices.

Each of us has our own fears. For some it is flying, for others public speaking, for others driving at night or in snow or in a large city. Some people have long lists of fears, some of us have few fears. One of my fears has always been upside down roller coasters. My friends are often surprised to learn I have any fears at all as I tend to do what I fear most as soon as possible so that I am no longer bound by my fear. Although I can sit down on a television set and talk to a million on live television, I have two fears I have wanted to work on this year... 1. Singing in public (I do not have the best voice) and 2. Upside down roller coasters. Opportunities to overcome these fears don't come by very often. I overcame the first through a local karaoke place. The second was still alive and kicking on my list--until yesterday.

Nanny-Char is 26 years old. She is still in that thrill-seeking age with little fear of high-speed adventure rides. The first ride we walked under when entering the Universal Park is called "The Hulk." The Hulk is an incredibly high-speed coaster filled with upside down loops, inverted twists and barrel rolls. The impact is so great they have a net for catching loose items. You'll often see cameras, sunglasses, and more in this net. It was has a 54-inch height requirement and it looks scary from afar, and even scarier when you get near it. The last time I was at Universal Orlando my daughter was 3. I was able to be the "designated watcher" during thrill rides since my daughter did not meet the minimum height requirements. That would not work this time!

As we walked beneath the green steel, I suggested that my husband go on the ride with Nanny-Char. He has always enjoyed the high-speed rides. He looked at me and laughed and said, "Are you nuts? I wouldn't go on that one!" I tried my daughter. She loves roller coasters but inherited the "no upside down" coaster rule from me. I turned to Nanny Char. "Do you want to go on it?" I asked. (Hoping she would say no.) "Yes," she said. Andy suggested that I go on it with her. I think both he and Sammy knew that we would be moving onto the next ride shortly. "I'll go," I said surprising them and myself.

I encouraged Andy and Samantha to head to another ride and we would meet them after surviving The Hulk. Unfortunately, we had a pass that allowed us to bypass the longer line so our wait was only 10 minutes. At first Char was excited but she quickly picked up on my anxiousness about the ride. "Well maybe we shouldn't go..." she offered. "No, we can't turn back now," I said while white knuckling the railing. My stomach had butterflies, I felt light-headed, and my always-dry hands were sweating--and this is just while waiting in line!

The coaster sits three across. Char and I were put in the last row with another rider. As coaster-enthusiasts know the first and last rows are the most intense ride. Char and I stared at each other over the rim of our shoulder bar. We both had the same expressionless look that relayed we were both now thinking this was a bad idea. As they fastened the rest of the rows, I looked at the gentlemen to my right who was the only one of us smiling. "I hate rollercoasters," I offered. The man who appeared to be in his late thirties or early forties assured me I would love this one. "I am terrified" I reiterated.

"I'll give you a tip," he said confidently. "Don't fight the coaster by getting all tense." I imagine he noticed my white knuckles on the shoulder bars. "When you get tense, your body won't move with the ride and it will be scary and uncomfortable. Instead when the coaster starts moving, inhale deeply. When we bolt out of the first launch, exhale. Keep breathing deeply so your body and mind don't fight the ride. When your body is relaxed you can really enjoy it."

The frontman was giving the signal to launch our Hulk experience and since I didn't have any better ideas I took his advice and inhaled deeply. We bolted--and I mean bolted from the starting area. And I exhaled. And we zoomed upside down, around, over, and under. I was surprised to hear myself yelling "Woo hoo" instead of the terrified screams like other riders. The roller coaster stopped and I was calmer than I had been in line. I turned to the kind man and thanked him for the good advice. I turned to Char ... "Want to go again?" Another fear conquered.

Your Turn
I don't think that gentlemen intended to give me life wisdom yesterday, but he did nonetheless. What he said about The Hulk holds true for any fear. When we fight our fear and become tense against it, we make it worse. The anxiety and trepidation is often a worse experience than the actual fear. When we take a deep breath and let our minds and bodies go with the flow we empower ourselves to face our fears.

What is a fear that has been present for too long in your life? Imagine how good it would feel to be unencumbered by that fear. Practice breathing deeply, trusting yourself and letting your mind and body work through the fear instead of against it. (And if you have a fear of roller coasters and are near Orlando, I highly suggest The Hulk at Universal Orlando or Mt. Everest at Animal Kingdom. I am returning to ride a few more times tonight!

Brook Noel is the creator of the best-selling 70 Day Life Makeover Program for Women .. The Change Your Life Challenge. [] This program has helped thousands of women take control of their home, finances, relationships, clutter, time-managmenet and more.

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