“I have no desire to do an aerobatic flight. I couldn't think of anything worse!” I said with certainty to a friend a year or so ago.
I’ve even thought it numerous times thereafter, sitting on the beach admiring the Red Baron planes, which regularly fly outside my home.
Little did I know that it wouldn’t be long before I would loop-the-loop and barrel roll through the sky.
Let me begin by saying:
Taking an aerobatic flight is hands down one of the GREATEST things I’ve EVER done in my life.
(Who would've known?!)
Here were my concerns prior
I wasn’t afraid of the actual aerobatics; the fear was around feeling sick. It was because 5 years prior I had gone up in a plane with pilot Amir Zoghi and been incredibly nauseous. He had just got his licence again after not flying since his late teens/early 20s and had invited me for a normal flight. We did a steep 2G (60 degree) turn and I ended up feeling so sick. It took me quite a while to recover from it after landing too. The feeling was so terrible that it had stuck in my mind all these years.
This feeling, or more so the memory of this feeling had been my limitation. And, should I have not been willing to challenge the idea and beliefs in my head — I would’ve missed out on a flight that has changed my life.
Amir and I have recently recorded a mini-podcast series called Mind over Matter. Very unexpectedly he challenged me to take an aerobatic flight, so I could witness firsthand what he and I have been discussing in these episodes.
At 3000ft, “Are you ready to do some aerobatics?” Amir asked. “Ahh, no. But yes!” I replied.
I wouldn’t use the word scared or fearful to describe how I felt. For me, the fear presented itself as a mild anticipation of what was unknown — it was somewhat exciting and nervy at the same time. I didn’t know how I would actually feel for I hadn’t had this experience before and was conscious to allow this moment to unfold as the new moment it was.
As we began our first sequence, any anticipation or previous memories were gone. It was just us, in this moment doing crazy-fun aerobatics in the sky (reaching over 5Gs). Even when vertical, facing the earth completing a hammerhead (stall turn), there was no fear or thought — only that moment. That moment demanded my attention (as Amir put it). Nothing else existed.
This flight experience is a reminder that life can only be lived in this moment. There’s no future or past when you’re hanging upside-down in the sky. There’s nothing else. No problems, no fears; no anything. And, it’s not just in that space; it’s always. The experience leaves you with a deep understanding of this.
What I learnt about myself
I AM UNSTOPPABLE
Driving home the phrase ‘I am Unstoppable’ rose up from my heart and flashed like a neon sign in my mind. I drove and pondered, asking myself, “Have I ever felt unstoppable in my life?” Inspired, empowered, confident — yes, but unstoppable? No.
It was a feeling of “I can do anything”; a real knowing of that. Not just an Instagram post; an embodiment of ‘whatever I love is possible’. These words fail to capture the feeling (and maybe its something you have to experience for yourself).
IT CRACKED APART MY CURRENT MINDSET
After the flight, I was able to observe how consumed I have been by my recent life circumstances. I could see how small I had become. How little room there has been for possibility, adventure and new beginnings because of how consumed my mind has been with thoughts of limitation and what I need to happen (in business/life). And, when you see that for yourself, you have no choice but to take complete ownership of where you’re at. But, what’s greater than that is the realisation that those things are so small in comparison to who I truly am; to my inherent power.
It’s got me asking myself, where else in my life have I told myself I can’t do something?
Where else have very subtle ideas shackled me to playing and living small?
It blows my mind at how intricate some of my limitations are and how they've kept me confined.
Returning from the aerobatics, I noticed some basketball courts. They looked so small. I smiled. What if I was to step out of my life circumstances and step into my true self? What would happen to my life if, in each moment that I felt small or challenged, I took a deep breath and remembered my inherent power? What if I rose above these perceived challenges?
I’ll tell you what, I would find myself as I did 5000ft in the air — except I’d still have my feet on the ground — I’d be unstoppable.
If you want to challenge your current mindset, book an Air Coaching flight with Amir. Or just step out of your comfort zone with Red Baron’s adventure flights. It’s SO much fun! In fact, I can’t wait to do it again.
If that’s too much outside your comfort zone, sign up to our Mind over Matter podcast mini-series and receive Amir’s 4-week Mind over Matter challenge as a bonus (don’t worry you keep your feet on the ground and you save $37). Starts tomorrow Tuesday, April 17th!
Click here to sign up.