Paralysis of fear

Yesterday evening was one of those get-out-and-try-it moments for me.

The kitties had all been fed for the evening and the food for the wild creatures had been laid out for them and I arrived at that time of the day where I suddenly have time for me.

Often in these instances that moment will equate to relaxing into the sofa or taking the camera off on a shoot and other times will put me into a research or planning mode online in some area of interest.

Recently some of this research has been in the area of drones and I finally bought one a couple of days ago . It arrived on Sunday and so I took the first 24 hours to try to learn the basics, never having flown one before.

My big fear was that my own ignorance of how to fly one would lead to me destroying it on a maiden flight; assuming of course that I could figure out how to get it off the ground.

That fear was fanned during my research by one youtuber explaining that the reason he had just bought this same drone was because his prior drone experienced a GPS failure and just flew away from him, never to be seen again.

This definitely didn’t feel like a trial and error situation, but having studied the basics a bit, I took the leap of faith yesterday evening and headed off to the ball-fields on Walker Road determined to take her up.

I say “her” because all seafarers know that you are supposed to name your vessel after a lady. So I named mine “Maureen” after my mom. She was a true adventurer and loved traveling so she seemed the right person to be remembered thus.

Anyway, there I was, standing in the parking lot, finally having figured out how to trim to ground level, synch the GPS, and set the gyro (trust me, I had no idea what all this stuff was 24 hours ago either, so don’t feel bad). So there was nothing left but to push the take-off button and hope for the best!

It was a bit breezy but the rest of the conditions were perfect for a video shoot and just a few minutes ago I uploaded the video of Maureen’s maiden flight onto youtube.

It isn’t the most wonderful video you will ever see, but the video quality from the drone was surprisingly good and gives my mind hope that once I master the controls, she and I will capture some worthy video footage over the coming months.

If you want to check it out, here is the link (it’s less than two minutes, just fyi)

I give myself a 2 out of 10 at mastering the controls, but I expect to be able to get to a solid 6 or 7 once I have taken her out a few times. After that, the world is my oyster!

In any event, the two minute drive home had me feeling really proud of myself. Not just because I didn’t crash or lose her in my first flight, but also because I had stared down my fear of doing just that and overcame it.

Fear can be paralyzing and fear that is associated with stepping out of our own comfort zone and trying something new can be completely disabling. Particularly when there is a tangible result attached the failure. In this case, losing a $300 flying instrument.

But even when it is no more than the embarrassment of failure or looking stupid in front of others, fear can absolutely be sufficient cause for never taking the chance.

And think about that phrase: “taking the chance”. While such a step will always have a chance of failure, it also has a chance of success. And invariably success will never come without taking that chance.

Waiting for a sure thing is a fools errand. There is no such thing in this world other than our eventual death. So if you want to wait for a sure thing before living your life, by all means go for it.

I don’t buy into the concept of being too old to try new things. I think that is a cozy excuse given by lazy people. My Dad was always a learner, well into his eighties and together we unearthed understandings as the opportunity to do so came our way.

He was well into his sixties when he learned the sophisticated world of fiber optics and how microns (not millimeters) can determine the difference between success and failure.

So, if he can learn such intricacies at that stage of his life, I can learn to drone.

I guess what I am trying to say is that sometimes our fears are entirely red herrings and we place them needlessly in front of our ambitions without even understanding what the difficulties are or what we are giving up by not trying.

And that is the great shame. Because success in anything requires us to try. If we don’t try, then we have already failed.

Fear is the friend of failure but no friend of mine.