Fear Experiment #3 – Standing Backflip
This is the third experiment in the Fear Series. Every week in the month of January, I try to do one thing that scares me. This is in order to practice overcoming fear. If you haven’t already, check out the How to Overcome Fear post!
Why am I doing this?
I’ve been afraid to try a standing backflip for a long time now. So I think it’s time to overcome this fear!
I actually used to be able to do a standing backflip. But about 5 years ago, while doing one, I landed on my face. Ouch! It goes without saying that it was a very unpleasant experience. So ever since then, I’ve been terrified of doing one. But this is all about overcoming fear. So the fact that I’m scared of doing it is the very reason I’m gonna do it!
Plus, I’d really love to be able to do a standing backflip again. A goal of mine is to increase my agility and have ultimate control over my body. So accomplishing this would be growth in two areas.
If we’re growing, we’re always going to be out of our comfort zone.
-John C. Maxwell
So, as outlined in How to Overcome Fear, I’m trying out the techniques:
- Practice Bravery – If I want to be better at overcoming fear. I must practice it, just like with any skill. So since I’ve been afraid of doing this for a while, doing it would be perfect practice.
- Assess the danger – So this experiment is actually a bit more dangerous than the previous two. I could actually land on my face again or land badly and injure myself. So I asked myself, how can I mitigate the danger? I decided I’d do it in a gymnastics gym, where there are soft mats to cushion my fall and there are instructors to guide me through the technique. So with proper technique and mats to cushion my fall, the danger is significantly reduced. So I’ve got no excuse. Great. Onward.
- Forget the outcome – Okay. So I’ve established that there’s not much danger, so now I can forget about the outcome. The outcome doesn’t matter now. What I need to concentrate on is getting the technique. Clear my mind of all anxiety of landing badly, just focus on the technique and everything will work out. Okay, I’ll try that. Hope it works 🙂
So here goes.
- I started by attempting to do one on a soft mat. But then I chickened out.
- I decided to start on the trampoline (since I was less scared to do that) and then build from there.
- I flipped multiple times on the trampoline, refining my technique each time.
- I moved back to the mat – launching from a springboard, flipping and landing on a soft mat.
- I did that multiple times with someone spotting me.
- I did it multiple times without someone spotting me.
- I graduated to the floor.
- I landed badly a few times but I kept going and eventually I was able to land on my feet consistently.
By the way, I didn’t get videos of this, but each time I moved to a new phase it took me a LONG time to build up the courage to go. What eventually got me to go was just putting faith in the technique.
Overcoming fear feels GOOD! I feel so happy that I can do a backflip again. I feel more in control of my body and very motivated to continue my fitness goals.
I also feel much braver. Overcoming a fear of physical danger is a bit different than one of social danger. But I learned to assess the danger logically and set up an environment to reduce that danger. When there is little chance of danger, I learned to trust the technique. Once I trusted the technique, it was all good.
If you’re reading this, please try a fear experiment of your own. I truly believe that you will grow in many ways. And trust me… if we pree growth, the possibilities are endless.
Once again, I can safely say that I have grown. That’s dope.
I’m not sure what my 4th fear experiment will be yet. But stay tuned!