Beating your fear of flying is tough and frustratingly slow. To succeed, you need courage and the ability to handle a roller-coaster ride of success and failure. That’s why a determination to win is a must. But how do you get that determination?

Step 1: Build the Right Mindset

The trick is to view the process as an exciting game, not a terrifying chore. You need to apply the same energy and enthusiasm as you would if learning a new sport, instrument, or language. Once you see the process this way, your motivation levels will rocket, as will your ability to handle the inevitable setbacks.

Step 2: Become Less Anxious

One of the best ways to ease your fear of flying is to reduce your “background” anxiety levels. What do I mean by “background” anxiety? I mean the non-specific anxiety you’re carrying around 24/7. Why? Because in my experience, people who have a fear of flying tend to have higher background anxiety levels than others. That means they react more fearfully to all of life’s stressful events.

For example, imagine that a door at home slams shut unexpectedly. The person with the highest background anxiety will freak out more than anyone else in the room. By reducing your background anxiety levels, everything about flying will seem less scary. As an example, consider turbulence. If your background anxiety was lower, you’d feel less anxious when your plane was bumping around. You’d also feel less nervous when simply thinking about turbulence.

What’s the trick to slashing your background anxiety? It’s practicing a relaxation technique. Daily. I do mindful meditation, but I started with progressive muscle relaxation. It doesn’t matter which one you use, as long as it helps you relax. What does matter is doing it every day. Twenty minutes is ideal, but five minutes is better than nothing.

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