It apparently limits you. But if you ask me, you decide what limits you.
I have a fear of falling. It doesn’t help that I have the uncanny ability to trip on nothing all the time ;p Only consolation, I usually don’t fall as I’ve got awesome reflex.
I would stand at the railing of a few storey’s shopping mall, and if I’m holding something my heart would skip a beat and start racing like mad.
But I’ve never let it stop me from doing things I love. So you can imagine how I felt sitting at the top of Angkor Wat and wondering how to get down stairs that we couldn’t see. Yes its that steep. My friend had to lie down on the ground near the edge to see if there were steps on that platform.
I finally raved it by scooting on the floor and sitting down on the steps to slowly climb down. It probably looked stupid but it kept me sane.
The only way to face your fears is to take it at your own pace and knowing your limitations. Helps to have people who understand your fear around you, sadly it’s not always the case.
I hate slippery slopes as well, but in the course of being a photographer I occasionally have to brave them and I mostly do.
My worst experience however was the trip in Sapa which I went on against my own judgement. It felt even worse when I realised half way through the nerve wrecking trip that the place was accessible by motor. I spent the rest of the trip paranoid about falling that even small slope’s would have my heart beating like crazy.
I eventually did meet another traveller who shared my sentiment and the both of us were relieved we had someone else who understood what we were going through.
On and off I’d have people ridicule or even laugh at me but I’ve learnt that if I let them get to me, I‘ll never be able to travel.
My recent trip to Yogyakarta, I was confronted with the steep steps again. The funny thing about the steps were part of it had railings and the first two steps didn’t. So I didn’t have any place to hold on to. After long consideration, I finally gave up on walking down the non railed steps and just sat down to bring down my gravity and scooted down the first two steps and then walked down by holding the railings. Had to do that at 2 sets of steps.
I finally caught up with my friend and went – phew that’s done. And all she said was yeah saw you coming down. And that was all I needed to hear.
So if you know someone with a fear of any kind, don’t mock them, don’t belittle them, and don’t make their fears sound like nothing. If they decide not to do something don’t force them, respect their wishes. All you need to do is just understand them, most of the time they would know how to handle it.
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