When I tell people that I’ve never been on an airplane, their first reaction is usually disbelief. After all, air travel is so much a part of life in the 21st century that everyone pretty much takes it for granted. But ever since I can remember, I’ve had an intense fear of flying that has prevented me from stepping foot on a plane. This didn’t matter a whole lot when I was a kid and never really went anywhere anyway, but now that I work for a Fortune 500 company, I’m sure there will be plenty of business trips in my future. That means I have to get over my fear of flying as soon as possible.

Fortunately for me, the fear of flying is one of the most common phobias out there. As a result, there are a number of different treatment options to choose from, so all I have to do is try to discover one that will be effective for me. For instance, I’ve read a lot of positive stories about people who have overcome their fear of flying through hypnosis. I’ve actually considered seeing a hypnotist in the past, but never followed through on my plans. This could be the right time to do it, though.

Another option for those with a crippling fear of flying is to take an orientation class specifically designed to address this phobia. Many experts believe that people who are deeply afraid to fly feel that way in part because of a lack of knowledge. They might not understand just how sturdy and well-built airplanes are, nor do they know the basic physics involved in air travel. The belief is that by educating these people about the fundamentals of flight, the fear of flying can be conquered. These types of courses consist of classroom instruction and open discussions, and often conclude with a tour of a small plane — and perhaps even a short flight for those who want to give it a try.

And finally, for those who only have a mild fear of flying, there are a number of meditation and relaxation techniques that can help soothe your nerves prior to takeoff. These techniques are great for those who need just a small push to get them over the hump, and who would prefer to handle the problem themselves rather than seek outside help. Personally, I think my own phobia is severe enough that self-help techniques won’t work quite yet, so these solutions likely wouldn’t work for me.

But I’m definitely encouraged by the number of resources I’ve seen thus far, and am hopeful that I’ll be able to conquer my fear of flying very soon. Once I’m comfortable getting on a plane, I’ll have much broader career and travel prospects ahead of me.

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