Why I Jumped Out Of A Plane

In this world, I am deathly afraid of two things:

Carp (those ugly fish with lips)
Jumping Off Of Things

As I’ve previously mentioned on my blog, jumping off of things and the act of “letting go” scares the crap out of me.

Because of that, I recently decided to face it head on by jumping out of an airplane.

Why I Jumped Out Of A Plane

Does This Face Say "Scared" Or "Stud"?

Although the fear was very evident, I have learned over my (relatively short) life that fear are often irrational stories that we create in our minds – they don’t exist in reality, and the only way to convince yourself of that is to experience them.

Therefore, for reasons deeper that I care to admit (but I will later in this post), I decided to jump out of an airplane.

It took some prodding from my friend Andrea… in fact, she booked the trip against my will…

Some of you know that a year and a half ago, I had panic attacks because of a very dark time in my life, but I haven’t had one in about a year. However, once we committed to face my biggest fear, I started to feel them coming on. In fact, I woke up in the middle of the night sweaty and scared at the very thought…

What is interesting is that I am NOT afraid of dying or falling… I am afraid of JUMPING.

Why is this? What is it about letting go that scares us so much?

As I write this, my body clenches at the very thought.

Why I Jumped Out Of A Plane

This Is My "Trying To Look Excited" Face

There is this sense of fear that grips us when faced with fears the unknown… fears that keep is stuck where we are… stuck in a safe place… because it’s “safe.”

I believe that this is why we are all risk averse – we link “pain” to the unknown, and “pleasure” to stick to what we know. Why else do we stay where we are, even when we know there is something better?

The idea of having faith is so scary to me… and I think to most people. I think when Jesus said that faith as small as a mustard seed can move mountains, he was addressing this. It is amazing what happens when we take one step in faith into the unknown.

On a business note, if you are procrastinating in your work or have been stuck in the same place for a long time, it is ONLY because you have linked more PAIN to taking action and PLEASURE to doing nothing. I know I have found this to be true in my life too… and that is why I decided to take a giant “leap of faith.”

Some major changes are coming up in my life (business is growing, I’m pursuing a career in acting and comedy, and I am traveling more than ever), and I needed to remind myself that taking risks was a good thing.

Why I Jumped Out Of A Plane

The View From Halfway Up (6,000 Feet)

Therefore, I wrote down all the times that I benefited from taking a risk. Included were starting my business, creating products (I was scared to death to do this), hiring my first employee, Tyler (who has made my life so much better and has become a good friend), and opening a restaurant (opened up amazing new opportunities).

So, I decided to practice “letting go” and having faith by jumping out of a perfectly good airplane.

After almost pooping my pants most of the day and being completely unable to eat for about 18 hours beforehand, I boarded the plane with Andrea and my instructor. Once I was in the plane, my brain went into preparation mode and the fear subsided somewhat…

Until the door of the plane opened.

Why I Jumped Out Of A Plane

"HERE WE GO!"

“Hollllllyyyyyyyy craaaaapppppppp!!!” I yelled as the wind gushed into the airplane at 12,000 feet.

“MOVE RYAN!” Gerald, the instructor yelled at me.

I put one foot out side the airplane, and then the second. The wind was so cold from 12,000 feet that I started to shiver… but that was probably mostly out of fear.

I remembered why I was there… and I stood outside the plane.

My body tightened intensely, and I prepared for free fall. I immediately felt sick but accepted the moment as it was.

Gerald yelled, “SMILE AT THE CAMERA!” and I feigned a smile.

“READY… SET…”

I closed my eyes and tucked my hands down into my harness, as instructed. Once again, I accepted the moment as it was, and the fear dissipated.

Together, we fell out of the airplane… and the next few seconds are a total blur.

I know that we fell, and I remember screaming, but the experience is so overwhelming the first time that the brain doesn’t even know what to do with it.

Once my brain adjusted, I enjoyed the free fall as an exhilarating experience… until all of my limbs fell asleep. That hurt… A LOT.

Gerald tells me that “the only time I wasn’t screaming was when I breathed in to keep screaming.” Ha!

Upon landing, I laughed until it hurt and experienced a sense of joy and freedom. What an exercise in letting go.

Had I NOT jumped, I would still be feeling afraid, still dreading the experience, and it would have reinforced the idea that taking risks was a bad thing.

But since I HAD jumped, I experienced an intense joy and greatly lessened this sense of fear. To me, it wasn’t just an adrenaline rush, it was a big step toward the goals that I have set for myself.

Just before my jump, I wrote this in my journal:

“Risks are what open doors and provide new opportunities. When I risk and I “fail”, I don’t really lose anything. The idea of having “faith” scares me, yet it is the one thing that is necessary for anything good to begin.

“What is most interesting is that the idea of a safety net is a total illusion. Money, safety, and walls prevent me from experiencing so much good when I use them as a shield. In fact, I think staying idle is the greatest potential for loss, and this has been proven over and over in my life.

“Every time I take a risk, some sort of change happens, even if it is just a new experience. There is pleasure in taking risks and pain in staying idle. If a risk doesn’t pay off, it is easy to return to the previous state. My financial safety net is more than capable of carrying me to wherever i want to go.”

Why I Jumped Out Of A Plane

I Was So Excited When I Landed I Picked Andrea Up And Ran Around

In my life, the times that I have stayed idle and done NOTHING are the most painful of my life. The times that I am trying new things, even in the face of “loss” are the most rewarding.

After all, I have concluded that the idea of being “safe” is a total illusion. The darkest time of my life was when I had a ton of money in the bank, and I laid in bed at night worrying about what would happen if I lost it. How pathetic. Yet this is how most people live their entire lives. The idea of “letting go” of what is safe is the scariest thing in the world.

Reading “A New Earth” by Eckhart Tolle helped me put this into perspective and release this deep seeded fear – it helped me realize the illusion of safety, and what I “got” out of worrying about it. The brain attaches to things in order to keep us safe, but in doing so, we miss out on the present moment and never truly experiences happiness.

How freeing to finally release this.

The fear in taking risk is why we stay stuck in the places that we are. We attach fear of loss to change… we ask ourselves, “What if I lose this money? What if I lose this relationship? What will people think of me?”

To this, I have learned that even if ALL of that happens… WHO CARES.

Tim Ferriss makes the argument that if you take a risk and FAIL, how hard will it be to return to EXACTLY where you are now? Usually… it will take almost no effort at all.

Will you be the same person? Will your sense of self be threatened? Will you be physically hurt? And even if that happens… what about you has been threatened?

When your sense of self isn’t in the external, you become empowered to do anything.

And when you move out of your comfort zone, amazing things to happen.

So this year, I started taking massive risks and enjoying the process, even if I fail miserably. It’s been an unbelievably freeing experience, and tears fill my eyes as I even think about it.

I think that is what faith is all about. Once you step out in faith, doors just tend to open. New experiences show up. The right people come into your life. And when you look back, you think, “Why didn’t I do this earlier? I would have missed out on so much!”

But without that faith, without taking a risk, without letting go, you stay stuck in the same “safe” place.

What a joyous experience it is to let go of safety.

Why I Jumped Out Of A Plane

"We just jumped out of a plane!"

Facebook comments:

38 thoughts on “Why I Jumped Out Of A Plane

  1. Great Story, Ryan! I completely agree. With everything good I’ve done in my life there’s always the question.. why didn’t I do this earlier. You have to take the courage and believe your abilities to make things happen. I recently started building my list and presence online and getting more and more traffic each day and can see how this internet marketing thing can work and that it’s not that difficult if you do the right things. Now I say to myself why didn’t I start building my list earlier.. I was too afraid I might fail.. but when I started believing I will succeed I started taking massive action and it pays off.

    Anyway thanks for the post, keep up the good content! ;)

  2. Ryan,

    When I opened your email and read it, I thought to myself, What the heck is Ryan up to now? What possible interest could this be to me?

    Thanks Ryan, if one can apply the lesson you have given here, most certainly, there will be a great benefit.

    Donald

  3. Congratulations Ryan!!! You were very brave to do such a thing given your fear of heights. I’ve never done it but in my mid-sixties I did go on a hot air baloon ride and loved it. Actually, I was surprised that it was so very calming.

    Keep enjoying life and making your mark.

  4. In a very short time, Ryan has shown me the light. He is the case and point for me of “having the right people show up” because I’ve learned way more from him than I ever imagined.

    I think the word “faith” has different meanings to all of us…..but what it means to me is this, that NO matter HOW hard times have been or what challenge we are faced with that it ALWAYS works out. It always has and always will……have faith that things always work out like they are supposed to…..easy to say but challenging to believe, I know.

    So, if we can grasp the fact that….things WILL be ok, no matter what, make sure your basic necessities are taking care of and go for something you never thought in your wildest dreams that you could do.

    The rush, the sensation, the energy, the feeling of LIFE when we take risks is far more empowering for the individual than living in a constant state of fear and worry.

    Ryan, I think your story frickin’ ROCKS!

  5. Dude, you’ve come SO far from when we first met in the War Room master mind. I’m really blown away how much you’ve grown as a person and a business man. Right on bro. ;)

  6. Great post Ryan and you are figuring it out. Reminds me of a quote by Dale Carnegie that says “You can conquer almost any fear if you will only make up your mind to do so. For remember, fear doesn’t exist anywhere except in the mind. “

  7. Glad you got over your fear Ryan.. People jump out everyday from planes.No big thing. Personally I think it would be a real rush and a great high (no pun instended).

  8. Congratulations on your “leap of faith” Ryan!

    I have been following your career through the thick and thin, and am especially great-full that you have been hanging out with the Hillbilly / Flat lander Travis.

    I work full time as a child care worker, (at risk girls from the inner city.) It is only co-incidental that recently I conducted a ceremony that required each youth to choose a word that was meaningful to them and explain why.

    I began with my word, “Faith.” I explained to the ladies how important it is to have faith in themselves, so that others could have faith in them.

    Recently re-reading “Think and Grow Rich” I was finally touched by the need to grow faith in myself. Even though I am a spiritual person, that faith thing has been a stumbling block.

    Your post is inspirational. I will further my efforts of developing a greater sense of faith by following your good example and looking within instead of without for the answers.

    The major leaders of internet marketing have a deep sense of faith in their own abilities to help others in the process that nets helping themselves. I only look to the real leaders for advice, and I’m placing you back on my short list.

    Na’mast’e

    Jim Blackstone

  9. What an incredible example of faith and letting go. It is truly inspirational. I am so scared of succeeding and failing both. I hold myself back and I am angry at the same time. I have been reading about your new life for months now, and I would like to say Thank You. And to say that it took a lot of letting go and faith to put this out to the world as well. You have come so far that it is truly uplifting and wonderful. I want to be able to do that also. Every time I read these I can feel the empowerment in myself wake up.
    On a different note, I agree with what some others said here. Andrea is a wonderful lady. Let go of what happened before with your woman. Let go and JUMP. Give Andrea a chance if she is willing and single herself. Let her in Ryan. Your inside self and heart are so close now almost healed and so ready to shine. So share it. Let it shine. Just BE my friend. Let her in and Let go and Just JUMP.
    Thank you so so much for being wonderful enough to share with us. Thank you for showing us that it is possible. Thank you for letting us in and experiencing this with you.

    Well Ryan I gues I better go and do this myself. Thank you and Keep the Faith. Its All Good.

  10. Ryan so glad you have turned yr life around & found happiness. You and Andrea look like a perfect couple. Have followed you since yr dorm days, its’ been an interesting ride for you. Although I don’t do marketing anymore, you are the only one I have kept on my list because you are honest and caring and like a true friend.

  11. Hey man,
    What an experiance! I cannot say your a nurd!!!!!!!!!!Even your very nice woman
    (I looked the most at her, ( sorry) hahahaha, was realy proud of you.
    I want to do the same as I have enough money for, so I can asked you for advices!

    greetings and smaal kiss for your beauty

    Leo

  12. Just wanted to say your posts was very inspirational to me and I can relate in my own life about fear and constant worrying about mainly money but although I am not where I want to be at the moment, I have faith that Christ will give me a breakthrough. Keep enjoying your life Ryan and may God keep you and your pretty wife in his hands.

    • I said “friend.”

      Commenters said “girlfriend.”

      Anthony says “Wife.”

      Wow… Andrea is popular here.

      Haha, in all seriousness, thanks for the kind words, Anthony. I’m rooting for you.

  13. Hey Ryan,

    That’s just awesome, man! I love your outlook on life and the fact that you are not afraid to take some risks. I have found that it is not always risk taking that can better your life, but the calculated risks that have some solid positive information to back them u[ that are those which are worth taking.

    From what it sounds like, you do enjoy taking those kind of risks and are not being a foolish risk taker that some people end up being, usually by accident.

    Although, I have enjoyed learning from you and Travis Sago as I struggle to build my online business, this is the first time I have visited your blog here. You can be sure that I will return.

    Thanks a lot Ryan!

    ~Jeremy Ruggles

  14. Hi Ryan,
    I know how you felt! I jumped out at 60.
    Getting out of the cockpit was the hardest as I have a bad right leg. Once out on the wing I enjoyed every second. It was marvelous.

  15. Ryan,
    As a long time customer of yours and a person scared of heights (even tall sidewalks bother me!) I wanted to offer my congrats to you for your bravery. Well done brotha!!!
    Also, I am pleased that you are doing well in life – you deserve it. Continue with the great products and in being happy!

  16. congradulations;
    Now you know you can do anything.,
    You’ve have excellent taste in woman.
    Best woisjes
    Pierre

  17. Dude!!! That girl looks so much like you . . . even down to the eyebrows. You are so going to end up married to that girl.

    I made the prediction here first :-)

  18. Wow.. When I first jumped, it was because the instructor pushed me out.. I was so scared, I just froze.. I couldn’t even pull my chute even though mylife depended on it..

    I think fear becomes a big obstacle in my life on making choices whether right or wrong.. If I don’t make any choices because I’m scared, I just won’t know the outcome. Death or the “life” after death fears me, my unpredictable future fears me, and as a Christian I know it’s foolish to fear but I can’t seem to shake it off..

    The reason I Started following u was because I wanted to make money. My parents are in their retirement age, worked 14-16 hr days all their lives , and yet have no retirement set up.. They can’t enjoy life traveling, they can’t even go to the dentist without worrying about the bill.. As a daughter all grown up, I felt so ashamed and angry that I couldn’t be of any help. Wy didn’t I study harder for a better paying job? Why can’t I be wiser to be more successful for them? I didn’t care how, I just wanted to make money..

    Then reading your posts and emails, helped me think more morally.. No matter how much I struggle and fight to make money, if God doesn’t help me I can’t do it. I read a bumper sticker the other day; ” if you do right, He will bless right” I know I haven’t been living a christ like life and sometimes I’m embarrassed to even pray for all these blessings when I know I don’t deserve it..

    After the jump off the plane, the parachuting ride was amazing! I felt like flying and felt so free.. From what was the most fearful moment came the most beautiful outcome.. I would’ve never experienced that had I not jumped.. Sometimes blessings doesn’t seem like a blessing at that time. But He know what’s good for us.. If I can’t be responsible for the little He gave, He knows I would destroy myself if I had a lot. So right now I believe I’m in training.. Both with your program and God’s.. I just thank you for making me realize that. I don’t know know what I’m doing right now with this Internet business. I’m still new and very confused. I’ve been scammed a lot so a little bit of skepticism exists and if it is, it’d be another lesson learned. I just thank u for your stories and want u to know u move people’s lives..well atleast mine.. :)

  19. Hi there, I discovered this post via Andrea and I just have to say thank you! I have always been a fearful person, and have been recently attempting to overcome them, but my biggest – jumping out of a plane! It’s weird because I also know it would be so liberating, and I actually WANT to do it, but I’m afraid of my fear, if that makes sense. We have plans to do this in May, and I’m going to do it, because I’m sick of being afraid! Best, Sarah :)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>