Flying Into My Fears

photo of back of woman's head in foreground as she looks out an airplane window at a blue sky and white clouds

Business travel is pretty common for me. I’m a Chicagoan and I fly in and out of O’Hare Airport and typically fly on full-sized jets. Don’t ask me the names or numbers of them because I have no idea. I just know a lot of people fit on them. Recently, I was traveling to Lebanon, New Hampshire. The company I was doing work for set up my travel plans and admittedly, I did not pay much attention to the details.

I flew into Logan Airport in Boston and knew I was supposed to layover for a couple of hours. After searching the outgoing screens and not being able to find my connecting flight, I asked a service representative who laughed and said, “Oh, you are going to be getting on at a completely different terminal from the outside.” At this point, I’m still thinking that I’m getting on another big airplane, so I walk to the other side of the airport to check in for my flight.

It started to dawn on me that this was going to be a different flight when they asked how much I weighed and then weighed my carry-on bag and my purse. When four other people and I were led outside and stood next to a plane that looked like it could fit in my family room, I knew I wasn’t at O’Hare anymore. It was too late to change my mind, so I climbed into this tiny plane and held on for dear life as we flew to a very small airport in Lebanon.

I’d love to tell you I enjoyed that flight, but the truth is I was concentrating so hard on not panicking that I missed most of what was surely a beautiful view of Boston and the surrounding region. When I got off of that plane I thought, “I’m driving back to Boston” as I allowed my heart rate to return to normal. My knees shook for a couple of hours afterward. I called my husband to let him know that I was still alive, but apparently he was never concerned.

Beauty Lies Beyond The Fog of Fear

As the couple of days of work passed and it was getting closer to the time for me to return home, I started to question my “drive to Boston” decision. Why couldn’t I fly in a small plane without panic and with the desire to experience something new and exciting? So I woke up bright and early on the morning I was supposed to depart and took a shuttle to the airport. I soon realized a thick fog was moving into the area. There were two other men who were to be on the flight with me and they seemed fine when the pilot announced that we were going to leave early in order to beat any further fog in the area.

Being scared is perfectly fine but walking into that fear is even better. #fear #beauty #courage Click To Tweet

I sat in that tiny airplane and calmed myself down as we took off into a thick fog with, from my perspective, no visibility. Within a couple of minutes, we cleared that fog. The sun was rising over mountains, clouds, and the fog we had just passed through. It was beautiful and suddenly I didn’t feel fear, but rather just gratitude for the experience and the beauty surrounding me. My co-flyers fell instantly asleep as this was old news to them, but I spent the fifty-five minutes of that flight looking around me and soaking up sites that I never could have seen had I not walked on to that tiny plane.

That flight was a brilliant reminder to me that being scared is perfectly fine but walking into that fear is even better. How much of life’s beauty do we miss because of our fears? What will help us face those fears anyway? For me, it was the realization that my fear was normal, but not helpful, and that the adventure would be worth some nerves. What fears are keeping you from some incredible adventures? What can you do to face those fears?


Lisa Kaplin Psy. D. CPC

Lisa Kaplin Psy. D. PCC

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About Lisa Kaplin, Psy. D, PCC

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I’m the proud owner of Smart Women Inspired Lives, where I help overwhelmed and exhausted women move from the feeling of being “stuck” into a life filled with calm, confidence, and joy. In addition to the posts and articles I write, I offer individual and group life coaching sessions, classes and speaking engagement opportunities.


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Comments to “Flying Into My Fears”

  1. Great Story Lisa! Congrats on taking control of that part of you and seeking out something brand new!

    • Administrator


      Thank you. It was quite the adventure!