If so, you will probably find this interesting. You aren’t alone.
These two fears were addressed in The Against All Odds Club, a recent Psychology Today article by Brooke Lea Foster. I found the information fascinating, but I wish they would have referenced their sources.
I love traveling and playing in the water, so I thought it would be fun to discuss the enjoyment these fears rob us from, while also sharing actual statistics of the likeliness of any unwelcome events.
Who knows, maybe this information is just want you (or someone you know) needs to finally enjoy, or at least try, swimming and flying.
Fear of Shark Attacks
My wife and I spent our first summer as a married couple kayaking and snorkeling the famous blue ribbon rivers of southeast Idaho. How I pulled off decent grades that semester still evades me.
I’ve surfed the coasts of Washington, Oregon, California, Florida, and Mexico and wakeboarded lakes all throughout the northwest, including the warm and glassy, but frankly gross, Moses Lake.
I have yet to find, on land, a comparable match to the grace, tranquility, and beauty I consistently experience under the waters surface – especially the ocean. For as long as I can remember, I have always been captivated by water. To me, it’s therapeutic. It offers connection with nature, physical movement, and an easily accessible gate to almost immediate flow.
Yet many adults still haven’t enjoyed the “full” beach or ocean experience because of their fear of sharks. If this is you, I hope these statistics will boost your bravery and let’s you step out of the box and enjoy the beauties of the ocean. (I have always had occasional moments of panic while surfing. Now I can reclaim the six inches between my ears more quickly by repeating this statistic to myself again and again… and probably again.)
You have a
1 in 3.7 million chance
of dying of a shark attack.
Your odds of drowning are 1 in 1,134 (which really doesn’t help my case for swimming more does it?) There were 29 shark attacks along the U.S. coast in 2011. None of which were fatal.
Fear of Flying in an Airplane
I was at a family event a few years back when my mother turned to me and speaking of my grandpa said, “It’s really neat that he is hear for this”. I asked why. “Because he’s deathly afraid of flying.” I don’t remember the event, but I remember the impression this had on me. It changed the way I looked at fear.
Letting you fear of flying win is expensive!
Not only does it cost the obvious time and sometimes more money, but it can also cost you experiences you can’t put a price on, or easy recreate – if ever.
I’ve had job interviews in a different state once and was still home for dinner, which isn’t uncommon these days, but it didn’t stop me from marveling about it. My family thought it was just an ordinary day.
I can only imagine how thrilled my ancestors, who traveled on foot across America, would have been for a plane ride! They probably would have volunteer to ride on a wing if it were for some reason required.
We zip around by automobile and plane for weddings, vacations, business, or anything else we want giving it little thought. What a marvelous time to live.
So how likely is it that your fear of flying will be valid?
An analysis of plane crashes between 1983 and 2000 is reveals of the 53,487 people involved in crashed, 51,207 of them survived – a 95.7% survival rate. Not bad.
You have a
1 in 2 million average annual chance
of being killed in a plane crash.
Average annual risk of being killed in a car crash: 1 in 7,700. In 2010 there were 30,043 fatalities from transpiration in the u.s.
32,999 involved motor vehicles, 723 involved boats, 823 involved trains, and only 476 involved airplanes.
How do you tame your fears?
While surrounding our irrational fears with facts and logic is kind of silly, if you are the proactive person looking to liberate yourself from one of these fears, I hope these stats and considerations are helpful.
Do any other fear-taming tricks for sharks, flying or anything else come to mind? Don’t be afraid. To date, not a single death has been reported from blog commenting. That’s a 0 in 800 trillion chance. True story.