Fear Is An Illusion

Going for a holiday is usually about these few things:

  1. A good reason to get away from work.
  2. A good reason to explore new & exciting places.
  3. A good reason to shop & eat.
  4. All of the above.

My trip this year (and the only one), was to the sunny island of Boracay. I’ve heard and seen much about it, but I’ve always wanted to see those pristine beaches with my own eyes. They say seeing is believing. So I went, and I saw. Before I arrived, of course, my selection was (4).

Never did I expect it would be a holiday that gave me so much more. I learnt so much – about myself and what I could do.

There’s a place that everyone needs to visit when they visit Boracay: Ariel’s Point. Located about 40 minutes via boat, away from the main island, Ariel’s Point offers not only great scenery but also the thrill seeker’s perfect playground – cliff diving. Parasailing & banana boats are for kids.

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Ariel’s Point, Boracay – A view to die for.

I’ve always had a slight fear of heights (acrophobia) and water (aquaphobia). I guess most people don’t like heights to a certain degree, so that’s fine. My fear of water came from a near drowning incident at Bali when I tried to snorkel in the murky and strong waves that is more suited for surfing. For almost 2 years, I didn’t even go near the swimming pool (it’s stupid now that I think of it, because the depth was only 1.2m – all I needed to do was to stand up).

So what the hell was I doing at Ariel’s Point then? This place was the amalgamation of my two worst fears!

A: I was on HOLIDAY, and I needed to experience everything that a new place has to offer.


There were varying heights to jump off from: 3m, 5m, 8m and the Mt. Midoriyama – 15m.

We were excited, and went straight to the 5m. (WHAT?????)

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Too excited, forgot to take off my top. A true facepalm situation.

As I lurched closer to the edge, I literally felt very small. I didn’t want to let go of the railing. Why did I put myself through this?

I never knew how I mustered the courage to take the leap of faith. All I remembered was I left earth, I fell through the air, and landed in the water blinding quick on my bum. There wasn’t even time to scream.

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The wife had guts.

After two jumps on the 5m, the 8m was pretty acceptable. But we were still apprehensive on tackling the 15m.

I realised that I was probably never coming back to this beautiful island any time soon, and it was now or never.

The fear was the same as the other heights, but somewhere in between the jump and landing, I experienced a very brief moment of freedom. Nothingness. Liberation. And this could only be possible if I had faced my fears, challenged myself to the seemingly impossible, and take the leap of faith. The only thing I had to overcome was myself. The fear of heights and water were only an illusion – one that my own mind persuaded me to believe that I must stay away from the risk and danger.

I felt real good after this experience. I felt that if I could overcome this mental block and obstacle, I could do anything. I truly gained so much more than “(4) All of the above”.

Sometime there is no point in overthinking. With a clenched fist and a few thumps to the chest, just do it. The more I hate doing it, the more I will do it. If it’s difficult, the more I should do it. And get better, and better, till I master what is something I thought I would not have done.

Try it. Do it. You’ll be surprised to find that it’s not that hard at all in the first place.



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