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Are You Afraid of Heights or Are You Afraid of Falling?


Isaac Mashman standing on a bridge in Little Rock, Arkansas wearing a white hoodie with the Mashman Ventures logo. The photo is black and white.
Isaac Mashman in Little Rock, Arkansas, taken 2023.

Is it cliché to say that we are all afraid of something? One person might be afraid of dying, the other of tight spaces, and another person of public speaking. People can shape their entire identities around what they’re afraid of, instead of everything that they love and embrace. This is why you see hypochondriacs think that every time they get the common cold they have cancer.


I’m not trying to belittle genuine conditions, but living in this place can restrain your actions, your thinking, and your potential successes. I wanted to take a couple of minutes and write about one of my biggest fears.


Airplanes

Every time I fly in an airplane, I feel exhilarated when we lift off. I am in this gigantic metal tube that weighs thousands of pounds, filled with fellow citizens of the world, traveling hundreds of miles per hour, yet somehow is able to float in the air. I love it! During my longer flights when the pilot says will be going up to 35 or 40,000 feet, I think to myself, the higher the better. I’m able to look down at the ground and see millions of acres of land pass by. Canyons fade into topographical maps. Clouds fog the visibility.


Clearly, I’m not afraid of heights.


What I am afraid of, is the idea of falling.


In my life, I have never truly felt restrained by how big I set my targets, what I want to accomplish, or the idea of my potential. That never has made me feel fear. Just like in an airplane, I want to go as far into the sky as possible but I am afraid of the idea of falling down. Not figuratively falling on my face once or twice, but the idea of reaching my pinnacle and having a fall from grace.


Losing it all…


This isn’t a fear that keeps me up at night as so much as a subconscious thought that comes and goes. We see celebrities and entertainers have their couple years of fame or less, and are now the laughing stock of TMZ. Businessmen going bankrupt and having to start from zero.


I am not someone who takes comfort and knowing that I could rebuild something if I lost it all. I find that counterintuitive to everything that I have ever worked for, studied, and applied myself towards.


My Dream

Several weeks ago I had a dream that for some reason I had to change businesses. I have been working on Mashman Ventures, my public relations firm since 2020, and in my slumber I had to start a new business, leaving my old one behind. This is different from starting a business on top of my current one.


I woke up fearful and anxious, but I knew in confidence that what I was doing was the right thing. Mashman Ventures is the way I can hit 40,000 feet. I share the story from a place of introspection, and as I am writing it and continuing to question what all of this means. This fear of falling has recently motivated me to build something that is figuratively, too big to fall. To take things with even more aggression so I may never be faced with these challenges.


What are your fears? Are you letting them control your life or be a part of the background?


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