The old feminist tome “Fear Of Flying” by Erica Jong was a wild adventure, a roller coaster ride into the unknown, as a young woman unhinged herself from societal expectations and spread her wings.
As a huge fan of Jong, I’d like to pay homage to her incredible sensitivity about certain fears and, in the context of success versus failure, safety versus terror, and being responsible versus being selfish and irresponsible, discuss the ubiquitous fear of falling haunting the daily landscape.
In our jobs, we often feel paranoid, looking over our shoulder for the pink slip as the economy inevitably shatters our sense of job security.
We walk on eggshells with our higher ups and wonder if there will ever be another chance to just dream of what we really wanted to be when we grew up.
The fear of falling has so many of us trapped in our heads and hearts, looking for an exit plan, attempting to think ourselves out of jail but too terrified to go for it.
The entrepreneurial spirit is a fable told in movies about Ivy League sophomore billionaires and computer savvy technophiles beyond the scope of the every day person.
It’s fascinating to be rich and famous, but demoralizing when we think it represents a type of freedom we will never be able to experience.
How do we live with the fear of falling and maintain our ability to laugh? There has to be some risk involved in enjoying life, spontaneously joking with people, trying out a new career or falling in love, starting a business or having a baby.
The fear of falling can be so debilitating and crippling that it can stop you, not only from realizing your dreams, but from daring to dream at all.
When this type of fear becomes so strong, the safety you choose is hardly worth it; after all, living from paycheck to paycheck like an automaton when you’re afraid no matter what you do will never quite be good enough anyway is not really a safe way to live at all, is it?
Taking risks is important. Learning to balance a healthy risk with an impetuous, irresponsible one is important too.