Managing Your Internal Dialogue Whilst Flying



by guest blogger Crea Sentido

Every step we take in our daily life – each decision or behaviour – comes preceded by a “core belief,” determined  determined by our experiences.  And at times it may not be totally true to life, thus generating irrational thoughts not in line with reality. If such thoughts occur often 
during the day, they can eventually lead someone into an internal dialogue.

How Does This Come into Play with a Phobia Like Fear of Flying?


In the days leading up to a flight, someone with aerophobia will be plagued by “automatic” phrases about what they perceive as a threat, such as “there are only two days left before the trip – surely something bad will happen.”

This internal dialogue is often linked to a false sense of control, because if someone has in mind that “something bad is going to happen,” they’re preparing their body to face a possible danger, so in the days before they’ll be on alert and their behavior will be directed based on these types of phrases.

As we told you in a previous post, “How Your Thoughts Can Affect Your Fear of Flying,” one of the keys to managing fear is to stop, pay attention to the thoughts you’re having and question it. Is this thought real? Can I really guess what’s going to happen in two days?

You should do the same with your internal dialogue: pay attention to it and stop to observe how you’re are talking to yourself in the days before the trip, when you’re about to board, and when you’re on the plane ready to take off.

In order to better understand and work on all this, you can imagine that there are different parts within you – for example in this case there may be a “fearful” part that’s been formed through your previous experiences (on previous flights, negative comments that you’ve been receiving, etc.) and on the other hand you could imagine a “coherent” part that invites you to face situations with all your most adaptive resources, to act with respect, and to put into practice everything that makes your daily life easier.

If You Visualise Your Fearful Part, What Might It Tell You When It’s Time to Fly?


“Don’t get on the plane.” “Something bad is going to happen to me.” “I won’t be able to manage your emotions.” “I’m going to get airsick.”

But if you continue to give free rein to this part, you’re going to be unable to face flying. So you should find a balance between the parts, bringing to light our coherent part, which could tell you, for example: “It’s normal to feel this way if I’ve had a bad experience – it’s completely logical, so I can let myself feel this way.” But also, “If I have discomfort, I have resources to draw upon” and “I can ask for help if I need it.”

The internal dialogue of your fearful part can generate a good deal of discomfort, including symptoms which hold you back in your daily life. That’s why we believe it’s very important to learn how to manage this dialogue and deploy tools to counter it.

Key Points for Working on Your Internal Dialogue

  • Make room for this way of speaking you have when you’re going to face a fear – avoid telling yourself “don’t talk to yourself like that” “stop thinking this way.” This, as we have already seen, is not a solution but rather exacerbates the problem much more.
  • Organise your day in such a way that you can set aside a specific time to listen to yourself, to determine what your interior dioloague is trying to tell you and observe it without judgment and from a placeo of respect and compassion. 
  • If you need to, in a quiet moment you can write down what you’re feeling, with the objective of helping yourself.
  • And again, don’t be self-judgmental – you have every right o feel what you feel, as well as to express it.


Some Phrases to Use in Your Internal Dialogue

Finally, here are some “reparative” phrases to use in this kind of internal dialogue – keep a copy on your phone or printed out in your pocket, and be ready to consult them when you start to feel discomfort:

  • How am I speaking to myself in this moment?
  • It’s OK to feel what I’m feeling.
  •  I’m going to allow space for this dialogue: if I’m afraid, it’s normal to verbalise it to myselfVoy a dar un espacio a este diálogo, si tengo miedo, es normal que lo verbalice conmigo mismo para protegerme.
  •  I am the best one to manage this internal dialogue.
  •  I have various resources to draw upon to counter my fear.
  •  I will fly with the dialogue I have in that moment, and will be capable of managing it.
  •  Today I have a right to think what I think.


You can fly high by integrating all the parts which form us as individuals – and keeping in mind that the grown-up part will always be accessible, and will be your best travel companion.