I believe that most of us don’t really like heights.
For a good reason too – humans weren’t meant to fly.
Yet we built planes and spaceships nonetheless, so learning how to overcome a fear of heights should be possible for most of us at the very least.
In fact, it’s a quite common fear, tormenting up to 10% of the U.S population to various degrees.
Sure, most of us don’t really like airplanes, but to some of us, the experience can be particularly difficult.
This fear isn’t exclusive to flying, however.
Many people dislike and fear tall buildings as well.
Sure, buildings are unlikely to collapse and you are unlikely to fall down, but that’s easier to say than to understand.
Fear isn’t meant to be logical.
The problem here is that this fear is perfectly reasonable to a certain degree.
The fear of heights is much more “logical” when compared to other types of phobia.
After all, high places can be dangerous.
That being said, you can’t really avoid heights either,
Tall buildings, flights and the like are entirely unavoidable.
People started building in height instead of width to avoid wasting space.
Just visit practically any large city you can find and you will notice that much immediately.
When crossing bridges – the same issue.
When driving over mountains – the same.
Heights are everywhere!
The fear of heights can affect your everyday life and it needs to be dealt with.
Which is why I am going to share with you some of my best tips on how to overcome the fear of heights!
Phobia or fear?
There is a vast difference between the two, with one being a mental disorder and the other being a far less extreme reaction.
You see, a phobia is a persistent, irrational fear.
It is a type of anxiety disorder that will follow you everywhere you go unless you shake it off from the very core.
Fear is an emotion, and as such can be dealt with when it’s not excessive.
A phobia, on the other hand, is very difficult to deal with
- Avoid certain jobs if they are located in an office on the 12th floor (or so)
- Cringe at elevators and can’t stop, just thinking about how high they will go.
- Are too scared to get up on a ladder and switch a lightbulb. Instead, you much rather sit in a dark room all on your own.
Then it is likely that you are phobic of heights.
In such a scenario, your fear is downright crippling and it significantly damages your quality of life.
It clearly needs to be dealt with but at the same time, it is particularly difficult to overcome.
If you don’t experience any such symptoms to this degree then your problem as a whole is easier to deal with.
How To Overcome the fear of heights
Exposure therapy is one way to go about your fear of height.
Exposing yourself to height repeatedly is bound to desensitize the experience as a whole eventually.
Still, if you are phobic of heights then perhaps this is not the right way to go about it.
Otherwise, learning to tackle your fears is the best way to go about overcoming them.
My method is just that – a method, a 3 step process that will help you improve your condition.
Keep in mind that results are not guaranteed, and largely differ between individuals.
1) Find your triggers and limits
As I have said earlier, we all have a certain range when it comes to our fears. Ranging from minor fear to flat-out phobia.
The first thing you need to do is to determine how bad your case really is.
Are you afraid going up the stairs? Are you scared of riding high roads? Does your fear only affect you when you try skydiving?
It’s neither here nor there, but the first thing you should do is to find out what are your limits, so you can put the effort into overcoming them.
How should you do it in the first place, then?
Like I said before, Throwing yourself at whatever tall places you can find will not be helpful at all.
In fact, you are likely to do yourself more harm than good.
Instead, here’s what you should do.
Recall all of those times that you felt afraid and put them in order, from the highest to lowest.
Don’t add a number to scale it, that would beat the whole point of the next steps. Simply write those experiences down, from top to bottom.
Make sure that you have at least 5-10 of these.
If you don’t then start imagining scenarios.
The lowest ranked case needs to be something very small and simple, that’s the most important part here.
Through this method, you will be able to determine your tolerance to heights.
2) Push yourself slowly and steadily
Even if you aren’t big on exposing yourself to heights, it is something that you will need to do eventually.
You wrote down a list of different levels of fear, right? Now try to go up that list, facing those different scenarios you’ve mentioned.
Start at the bottom of your list and climb from there.
If you are afraid of climbing the stairs take one step at a time.
Heck, invite a friend or a family member to help you.
It might seem a bit ridiculous, but if you have someone that you trust enough to help you then should seek out their help.
If you are scared of skydiving start by exposing yourself to extreme heights and keep going.
Don’t rush your progress, but make sure to actually make progress.
It’s easy to feel that you are doing something when you are accomplishing nothing, so make sure to try and push yourself a little more every day.
Consistent, slow and steady improvement is the right way to go about this problem.
Over time you will start marking down your list, and eventually you are bound to achieve your goal.
Even if you get stuck at one point or another, keep up the effort.
As long as you take tiny steps consistently you will improve over time.
Sometimes, however, that can be easier said than done.
3) Fight your inner voice
Some people may tell you that you are taking far too long, others may tell you how badly you are doing.
Heck, you might start believing them, feeling like you just aren’t making enough progress, that you have something to be guilty of.
It’s easy to feel like a failure when everyone and everything seems to point it out.
Peer pressure might even be a cause for developing self-hate and guilt.
This 3-step method is all about persistence, so these thoughts have not place here.
Fight this inner voice that limits your progress and keep on going!
The alternative would be to give in and do nothing, something which is only bound to hurt you in the long run.
It might be more comfortable and easier to learn to live with your fear, but with such a limiting fear this is simply not true.
You need to learn to keep going.
The best way would be to make a habit out of it over time – this will lead to optimal results.
Fear is only in your head
I think that we all fear high places to some degree, and while this fear is perfectly bearable for many of us, it’s still unpleasant at best.
We aren’t afraid of heights, not really – Rather, we are scared of falling and crashing down.
That is unlikely in most circumstances yet we can’t seem to shake it off.
The fear of crashing is basically the same as fearing pain – a survival mechanism, the type of reaction that saved the human race time and time again.
As such, we can’t reason with this fear or throw it away completely – it is instinctive in nature.
Instead, we should all be taking action to ensure that our fears don’t dominate our lives.
Making a steady, systematic change through great effort is the only way for any of us to get better.
While you might not get rid of your fear completely it will be significantly easier to handle all the same.
There are many things that can help you with your efforts.
I personally would recommend the Panic Away Program.
It provides many great methods to cope with phobias and other anxiety-related disorders.
Not only that, but the Panic Away Program also has many useful tips on how to make your efforts much more bearable and effective.
You should definitely check it out!
Before you do that, here’s a quick question I would like you to answer – How important it is to you to overcome your fear of heights?
Having the resolve to help yourself get better is the first, and arguably most important, step in overcoming your fears.
Make sure to write your answers down in the comment section below, I read every single one of them.
If you got any questions you would like to ask me personally then feel free to send me an email, I read every single one of them.