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To kick off 2015, each member of our office was challenged by our bold leader Grail Noble, to set a personal goal to do one thing this year that scares us. Motivated by the notion that growth is most often achieved when you find yourself in a state of discomfort, Grail wanted to challenge us to face our fears and feel empowered in the process. She gave us each a gift voucher to put towards an experience of our choice. I had no excuse not to jump at it. Which is exactly what I did!

Naturally, there was a lot of talk about EdgeWalking and skydiving amongst all of us. But I am deathly afraid of heights, maybe because I am just 5ft tall! So jumping out of a plane isn’t at the top of this short girl’s list. However, the idea of experiencing the sensation of “free-falling” has always intrigued me. So I found a simulated version of “throwing yourself out of a plane” at the recently opened iFly Toronto (head’s up, it’s located in Oakville).

iFly provides a 45 foot vertical wind tunnel that propels wind at a speed of 175 kmph. Geared up, head to toe, everyone in the group gets to “fly” one at a time for 2 minutes each.

After 2 hours of training, all suited up and hovering at 20 feet above-ground, I admit, I was questioning my decision and my sanity … but it was also exhilarating. I immediately understood the value of Grail’s challenge and I was so glad I did it. I realized that when we overcome something that scares us, not only do we walk away with immense satisfaction but we also learn a thing or two about ourselves. That was my biggest take away. I was expecting to be so paralyzed with fear that I wouldn’t be able to do it. But I wasn’t. I was one of the quickest in my group to pick up the movements and easily “fly” around the tunnel. And that made me feel both proud and powerful.

Dale Carnegie said that “fear doesn’t exist anywhere but in the mind”, and I agree. When we let fear hold us back, we can miss out on exciting opportunities in both business and life. So go ahead, conquer that fear of yours. Jump at that opportunity even though you may be unsure where it will lead. Life is a journey made more exciting when you shake things up!

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