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Old 24-09-2011, 11:00   #61
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Re: How Do You Manage Fear ?

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Reduce your fear by continually pushing your comfort zone in a progressive way so that you have the confidence to handle what ever you feel may come your way. Training and drills may be a part of that progression.
That is what I believe too but I always find it amazing when people sail off without a clue of what they are getting into and I wonder, is it just that I am too conservative or are they fool hardy. Probably a little of both.
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Old 24-09-2011, 11:23   #62
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Re: How Do You Manage Fear ?

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wore a rubber suit and some gloves and a rubber hat. worked.
Any pics of that?
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Old 24-09-2011, 11:47   #63
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Re: How Do You Manage Fear ?

Monica,
Ave Maria is one of my favorite pieces of music!! I hadn't listened to it in awhile and when I did this time I closed my eyes and could feel the boat moving my recliner under me . The ebb and flow of the music lifts my soul on eagle's wings

Someone said earlier that fear is a result of lack of information. There are many things that I become (nervous, anxious, fearful) of until I educate myself. Once I have a plan (an A, a B, and sometimes a C) my fear goes away and only anticipation remains.

This is really and excellent thread - thanks for starting it!
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Old 24-09-2011, 11:54   #64
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Re: How Do You Manage Fear ?

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I'm sure that this is not the popular answer and a psychologist can't earn a living if it gets out but; like all other wasteful emotions, I suppress it. I simply refuse to let it occupy my mind. I choose to be happy in life and fear, hate, anger and the like have no place in my thoughts. That's not to say that I haven't experienced them, but I've taught myself to look at the situation that causes them, think of what I can do to resolve it, then either act or forget about it and move on.

It works for me... Most of the time.


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Suppressing the fear is a great way to do it - the trick is being able to. There are enough out there that stuggle with the "how to" to keep us "shrinks" well employed
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Old 24-09-2011, 16:24   #65
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Re: How Do You Manage Fear ?

This thread helped me today. I had to go up the mast and it's windy & wobbly.
I used to rock climb and any fear then was manageable but it's been 15 years. I got to the first set of spreaders and I started to freak out. I almost elected to climb back down and have my wife go up, she loves it up there. Instead I took a couple of minutes to stand on the spreader, look around, and relax. I decided to continue. You see, I got to decide. It was up to me. I climbed up and did what needed doing and climbed back down. Turned out to be the highlight of my day and I'm anxious to do it again. My fear was unreasonable.
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Old 24-09-2011, 16:50   #66
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pirate Re: How Do You Manage Fear ?

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I can see where one could be bothered by having hundreds or thousands of feet of water under them and no land in sight.

For one, there is the irrational looming threat of something coming up to swallow you (a shark, a giant squid, a sea monster). We know that is unlikely but it is a concern that can be there in the back of our mind.

However, I really think it is the darkness down there, the fact that if you drowned you would be pulled into that darkness for ever, never to be seen again. Shallow water is not as dark and does not have the same prospect of you disappearing without a trace. In shallow water, there is always the hope you can swim or even wade to shore but in deep open water, that is not possible...
'See What I Mean.... theres always some one like yer man here trying to scare the BeJeasus out of you.....'
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Old 24-09-2011, 19:22   #67
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Re: How Do You Manage Fear ?

Wow, lot's of interesting anecdotes...

OK, as an experienced trainer/instructor/team leader for over 30 years, teaching hang gliding, sailing, power boating, snow skiing and people with a disability; as well as personally having done or still doing activities like surfing, rock climbing, bungee jumping and sailing across oceans, I have a few observations:-

Most fear is based on a lack of understanding or knowledge, perhaps combined with inaccurate, misinformed comments from others or things seen on our sensation loving media.

There are many techniques to alleviate fear...

1. If you 'understand' how a plane or hang glider flys (aerodynamics), how it is constructed to withstand forces and loads many times above normal, and how pre flight procedures before every flight give you the confidence in your equipment, then a large slice of the 'fear' of an aircraft falling out of the sky will be gone. Similarly with yachts. If you understand the designed strength in the hull and rig, where loads & forces manifest and that if you let go of the helm (or round up in a big gust) all that will happen is the boat will come up into the wind and luff up, stop heeling and all forces are dissipated. If the boat is knocked down (or even rolled) it will right itself, etc, etc. So, knowledge and understanding is the 1st step. This of course, includes knowing how to use all of your safety equipment.

2. Now you have some knowledge (and learning should never stop ) you need to do the task, the skill and apply the knowledge. A great technique for someone who is scared in a heeling yacht in 20 knots of wind is to put them on the helm. Get them concentrating (less time to be scared) and feeling in control, and demonstrate that if a gust overpowers the boat all that will happen is the boat will round up into the wind, level up and the wind force is dissipated. Get them to let go of the helm to demonstrate that nothing 'bad' will happen!

3. Confidence! So, combining Knowledge, Skills & Practice = Confidence. Confidence then replaces Fear.

In 30+ years of teaching, I have found that this works with most people. Of course, a little fear (I prefer to call it a healthy respect) is good.


So now apply this to crossing an Ocean - you understand your yacht, it's construction & strengths, you have maintained all the yachts systems and have back-up contingencies, you understand how to use all your safety equipment, you have practised sailing in heavy weather to understand your and the yachts limitations, you have procedures in place that you have practised, you understand the weather patterns and navigation, etc. All this gives you POWER over what may happen and power, confidence, control doesn't leave much room for Fear! Now that most of the fear is gone you can now absorb the Beauty - the beauty of a deep, endless blue ocean, the amazing stars at night, the sunrise over water, the sea life, the rhythm...

Finally, understanding that yes, there is a risk to crossing an Ocean but really, there is a risk in leaving your house every day to go to work - car crash, workplace accident, getting robbed. Life is full of risk, we just get complacent with the day to day ones!

I choose Beauty over Fear... what is your choice?
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Old 24-09-2011, 20:16   #68
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Old 25-09-2011, 06:13   #69
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Re: How Do You Manage Fear ?

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'See What I Mean.... theres always some one like yer man here trying to scare the BeJeasus out of you.....'
Ya, sorry about that. I was trying to show that it doesn't take much to bring about fear.

The fact is, one can drown in bathtub but we are not afraid to take a bath. Conversely, swimming in deep water need not be any more dangerous than swimming on a beach but there is much more fear associated with the deep and that could be why.
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Old 25-09-2011, 06:16   #70
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I think it is fairly normal to fear sailing. I remember when I was younger that fear and my ability to suck it up and go out anyway always made me feel a huge sense of accomplishment. I can do it.
But the big bonus was I would completely lose the stress of the work week.
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Old 25-09-2011, 07:07   #71
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Re: How Do You Manage Fear ?

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Wow—a pilot scared of heights!
I am also a pilot and I will not go on rollercoasters, stand on balconies or lean over railings. Yet I will happily point an engineless glider at the ground and commence a spin (something the powered pilots tend to avoid). I can sit at 6000 feet in the glider and calmly look down at the ground but I will not go up a ladder more than 20 feet. Why? It could be training, or it could be that I trust the aircraft more than the ladder. It cold even be a simple lack of imagination - my mind cannot conceive of falling 6000 feet but my imagination CAN conceive of me falling 20 feet. I guess the lesson is this... you either trust your vessel or you do not. If you have fear then upgrade the boat or do whatever it takes to make it feel safer for you. Once you completely trust your boat, much of the fear will leave you.
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Old 25-09-2011, 07:16   #72
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Re: How Do You Manage Fear ?

Found this thread interesting and tried to consider what if any fears I may have/had when cruising. I remember visualizing the ocean depths when going off-soundings for the first time - "wow, that's a more than a mile deep" - and being fascinated with a tinge of adrenaline - "was that fear?" - and then promptly suppressed it.

In situations that have me worried about the outcome, I think I use a "worst case scenario" approach. I try to picture what's the worst that can happen and do a quick mental check to see if I can handle it. I don't force myself to figure out exactly what I'd do in that case (that would lead the mind in endless circles of anxiety for no reason), but I do trust myself to be able to deal with whatever happens.

This must be my trick and most of this is unconscious for me. Works for any situation really, for fears or just simply the unknown things that you have no control over.
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Old 25-09-2011, 10:21   #73
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Re: How Do You Manage Fear ?

I have had many instances where I think most would simply freak (and many did). There has never been a fearful incident that I did not live through. The worst thing is that you will die, and that's a given anyway.

There really isn't anything to fear, but fear itself.

How deep is the water....LOL, this is common and I tell those that worry about it....it doesn't matter how much water is below you, you only use the top three feet to swim in and six feet to tread water!
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Old 25-09-2011, 10:29   #74
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Re: How Do You Manage Fear ?

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One of my scariest experiences in my life was one in which I, and no one in my family was in danger and one which ultimately turned out okay.

It was the first day of our second season of sailing and we were heading out to rendez vous with some people from our sailing club. I was running late, trying to make sure that everything was ship shape before we left. We had about 10-15 miles to cover on a day with variable wind so we sailed when we could and motored the remaining time.

At one point, the wind picked up and we turned off our motor. My son, who was 8 at the time, heard a sound which he said was like a whistle so we thought it was a bird. My old ears could not hear it and we didn't see the source. We discussed if we should try to make our appointment or investigate. I did a mental flipping of the coin: "investigate", "keep on", "investigate", "keep on, or... ultimately, we decided to investigate and moved in the direction of the sound, which I soon heard.

It turns out it was a person in the water who was crying out: "... help me, help me, help me..". We maneuvered up to the person and with a struggle and some confusion got him into the boat. He said there are two other people in the water and intitially did not see them but then found them close by. Again, with a struggle we pulled them up on our boat. They had been in the 10C/50F water for at least 20 minutes and were suffering from hypothermia. Their boat had sank.

I did a mayday call but did not get a response. We flagged down a power boat by shooting off a flare but he was unwilling to take the people to shore. Luckily, my mayday call did get through and the police found us and rescued the men. It turns out that one of them was minutes away form dying.

Initially, all I felt was shock. And then three days later I spoke with the men on the phone and it all became real. I woke up in the middle of the night full of fear what what could have happened. I was in a panic. We almost kept on sailing. In fact, we were going continue but then that flipping of the coin ended with "investigate". Once we got there, we had communication problems that resulted in losing our life ring, and lines dragging in the water so we couldn't start the motor. And there was the difficulty of getting the men on board.

If we had been on time for our schedule, or hadn't turned off the engine to sail, or chose not to investigate, they would have died. The lives of three men were unexpectedly put into my hands and I feared I wasn't up to the task (which is ironic because apparently I was).

Ultimately, they survived and we continued to sail but ten years later I still recall the feeling of panic that I felt that day. Fear can come in many forms.
Wow ..hard to belive there are assholes that would not take them to shore...some people..go figure..good on you thou and your son ..
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Old 25-09-2011, 10:44   #75
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Re: How Do You Manage Fear ?

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I am also a pilot and I will not go on rollercoasters, stand on balconies or lean over railings. Yet I will happily point an engineless glider at the ground and commence a spin (something the powered pilots tend to avoid). I can sit at 6000 feet in the glider and calmly look down at the ground but I will not go up a ladder more than 20 feet. Why? It could be training, or it could be that I trust the aircraft more than the ladder. It cold even be a simple lack of imagination - my mind cannot conceive of falling 6000 feet but my imagination CAN conceive of me falling 20 feet. I guess the lesson is this... you either trust your vessel or you do not. If you have fear then upgrade the boat or do whatever it takes to make it feel safer for you. Once you completely trust your boat, much of the fear will leave you.
I feel you ..I think its the fact that the ladder could slide and you cant control it ..I think its all about control for us fearful pilots..If the ladder had control surfaces I wouldnt fear it ,but once it starts to go look out terra firma..nothing like doing a loop, a couple wing overs and a Lumshavoc into a full power stall and a flat spin then into...oh excuse me ..got carried away..DVC
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