Intense fear of heights is called acrophobia and is a kind of panic or anxiety attack when you are positioned at a significant height. There are various symptoms like you can feel sick or dizzy or having an intense need to escape or having shortness of breath.
“I’m not afraid of heights, but the idea of falling from them, well, that I’m afraid of.”– Laurell K. Hamilton, Cerulean Sins
I first found out that I had fear of heights when I was at Hampi. We were at Anjaneya temple at Anegundi, Hampi. To reach the top one has to climb 570 steps. On the top, there are many boulders wide enough for a person to climb and enjoy the top view of Hampi, especially during sunsets. As I climbed to the top to view the sunsets, I had this intense feeling which gripped my neck like I am definitely going to plummet and no one can save me. This feeling of intense anxiety left me trembling. I had my husband with me and all was finally good. But the residual fear remained with me and popped up every time I was descending a steep trek or even stairs.
Trip to grape city Nasik
I remember watching this video of Curly tales giving tips on places to visit in Nasik. It was the first time when I got a glimpse of this unparalleled Fort Harihar. And I immediately knew this was the place where I am going to fight and beat my fear of heights.
Inaction breeds doubt so instead of overthinking I planned a trip to Nasik. We planned to visit Sula vineyards and a few other interesting sightseeing options. The highlight of the trip was this Harihar fort ascent.
Getting over my fears at Harihar fort
This extremely steep fort with an incline of about 80 degrees was genuinely terrifying for a person like me. I knew that I had to break my comfort zone and beat my anxiety of heights. And the trek at Nasik gave me a perfect opportunity.
Harihar fort is situated at an altitude of 3676 feet and the trek is around 2.5 km from Harshewadi, where we parked our vehicle. The fort is pretty crowded on weekends. However, there were very few trekkers when we visited as it was a Monday. In a way, this was a good thing, as we got the entire place to ourselves. But in absence of directions we also ended up missing a few turns during our descent.
The fort is built on a triangular piece of rock and is extremely steep to climb. There are 200 stairs inclined at almost 80 degrees. These vertical steps are the main attraction of the fort. Although there was intense fear, I was determined to climb the stairs. And this determination finally helped me challenge my fear. I still have fear in the back of my mind, but now I know that I can control it and achieve heights I had never imagined.
There are no structures on the top, just a Shivalinga, and a saffron-colored flag. But after the success of climbing those 200 stairs, it felt as if the flag was waving especially for me.
Learnings from Getting over my fear
Everything you want is on the other side of fear’– Jack Canfield
Now I can confidently agree with this. Also, intense happiness lies on the other side of fear. Here are my learnings from the hike I thought I could never take –
I acknowledged and accepted my fears however tried my best to detach myself from them. It’s just a matter of making a choice in spite of your fears.
I visualized the entire climb in my head. The video of Curly Tales helped and I certainly was more confident when I was actually climbing it. This technique was used by Michael Phelps right before going into the competition and I found it useful for staying calm during the steep hike.
Get a friend as a supporter
I had my support system – my husband with me. The partner ensures that you don’t back out and is certainly there to cheer you when you conquer the fear.
Be prepared for any kind of contingency. I had planned my outfit, my bag, water bottles, cap, and shoes to help me in my climb. Planning helps you to act intentionally in spite of your fears.
Joy of conquer
Nothing can beat the ultimate joy of conquering your fears. So if nothing else works, see if you can conquer your fears to feel that ultimate joy of winning over unreasonable emotions.
I think there is nothing humans can’t do if we put our minds to it. So if it is a matter of just winning over your fears, I think it’s a simple matter of telling yourself that you are bigger than your fear so go and defeat it.
When are you planning to get over your fears? What is your action plan? I would love to know more so drop a comment below.
Stay tuned for my details blog on our 2-day trip to Nasik. Till then enjoy these 7 tips for Wine tasting in 2023!!
Till then see you in the next blog.