Regaining Lift

5 min readAug 21, 2021
Photo by Steve Halama on Unsplash

Most of us experience stalling at some stage in our lives. In our attempts to be all we can. In our attempts to climb as high as we can, as fast as we can.

The problem is, like an aeroplane, we can only climb so fast. If we pitch the nose up too high or carry too much weight, we run the risk of stalling. And if we do, then we’re only left with one choice.

Just like an aeroplane, the only way to recover — the only way — is to point the nose back towards the ground. You have to sacrifice height to regain lift.

For many of us, this is the last thing we want.

When we’ve had our eyes on that optimum crushing level — that perfect, enviable position we wish we were at in life — we find it hard to let go. We become so fixated on that place we lose all sense of what needs to be done here and now.

Of course, if you keep pitching up in desperation — if you refuse to accept your situation — well, then the results can be catastrophic.

Towards the end of 2019, I found myself in such a stall. I was mentally and physically exhausted. The relentlessly busy rosters and regular night flying had taken their toll. I also needed help navigating depression.

I’d known for some time I needed help, but I didn’t want to admit it. So, in desperation, I kept trying to pitch the nose up. Of course, it only made things worse. I only found myself in a deeper stall.

Eventually, I conceded. I acknowledged the stall and pointed the nose down. I asked for the professional help I’d ignored getting for years.

It was one of the best decisions I ever made.

Shortly afterward, the pandemic gripped the world, and I suddenly found myself with an abundance of time at home. All of which gave me the perfect opportunity to keep the nose down — to utilise my support systems. As a result, I spent the first half of 2020 at home, resting, writing, reading, and being with the people I love.

It was exactly what I needed to regain lift.

By June, when I finally went back to work, I felt ready, like the heavy fog that had shrouded my mind had lifted, and I could fly once more. It’s just that, this time, the whole world had stalled. Little did I know just how long that stall…


Aviator. Author. Awesome Father. Expert in stalling. I combine lessons in aviation with modern psychology to help people navigate life.