Anxiety · Personal

Subconscious Anxiety and Plane Metaphors – I’m Going To Be A Pilot One Day

Early this morning I had an interesting dream.

I was going to what I think was a job interview, or perhaps just an open day, for working on an airplane. For some reason I was wearing something very, very similar to what the current staff wore and so I think they mistook me for one of them. I was encouraged to take a look around the plane and start helping passengers to their seats.

The plane was different – it seemed as though it was only for people with quite a bit of money – since it had a whole bar area with a grand piano in it.

I was scared out of my brain. I remember having the background buzz of anxiety and thinking, “I can’t be an air stewardess! I have anxiety!” and I kept wondering if I would be able to fly over the other side of the world.

It’s weird that those thoughts can become so natural that even in your dreams you’re restricted to what you can do. Dreams are supposed to be where your imagination soars! Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t the first time I’ve been hindered by my anxiety in a dream, but the difference with this particular dream was what happened next:

Before I could change my mind I was in the air.

The more I focused on living in the moment, on the plane, the less I thought about the doubt. It seemed a little redundant to keep thinking “I can’t do this” when clearly I was already doing it. Even though I wasn’t prepared, I didn’t have all the right uniform changes, I didn’t know where anything was, I gave it a go. I even wasn’t wearing any underwear underneath my clothes (which apparently is a sign you have a secret you don’t want to reveal, which I assume was the anxiety) I still managed!


To compare this with a different dream I had around 4 or so years ago…

I boarded a plane as a passenger to fly somewhere in the country. I was so nervous that I couldn’t shut the anxiety up. It seemed as if the plane was sitting on the ground for ages and the more it sat there, the more anxious I became. Eventually I began to have a panic attack, sitting in my seat with my belt around my waist. When I finally couldn’t take the panic any longer I got out of my seat and opened the cockpit door to find no one ready to fly the plane.

There were other passengers, and stewardess, but no pilots.

Then the whole cockpit swung around and faced me as if to say, “you have to fly” – well, I was having NONE of that.


It’s nice to know now that at least I can be a stewardess. The nice thing about the dream was that the environment was so welcoming – the other staff didn’t even care I didn’t know what I was doing, they were encouraging, the passengers were nice, there was no pressure – and I think it highlights an idea with anxiety that we think our environment won’t be helpful or forgiving but once we look beyond our own thoughts it often is.

Hopefully one day soon I’ll have the same dream and I can finally be the pilot!


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