You’re scared of trying a float tank for the first time? Good.

written by Jake F.

Fear is a silly excuse not to have an experience. Often times, the most profound, the most entertaining, the most emotionally substantial things we will ever encounter come from the moments when we decide to take the reins back from fear and guide ourselves toward things we think might be unpleasant or uncomfortable. Every single time you’ve ever made a life changing decision, it’s because fear was sitting in the back seat.

When people tell me they don’t want to try floating because they’re afraid of being alone with their own thoughts I straight-up want to shake them and shout: “But that’s how you HEAL!” I want to Magic School Bus shrink down, jump into their brains, and have a street fight with their fear so they can maybe have the clarity to not listen to it and take control.

Exaggeration aside, I get it. It’s weird. It’s the unknown. If your negative thoughts are anywhere near as vicious as mine, I 100% empathize. Making the decision to strip away the distractions in your life can quite literally feel like you’re taking away every possible coping mechanism that you’ve ever developed, because (let’s be real) you kinda-sorta are.

If you’re afraid to try out a float tank, here’s the REAL truth…you’re holding yourself back from growth. I say this not to condescend, but from the perspective of my own life led by fear. I’ve left too many things on the table. I’ve turned away too many opportunities to actually have substantial experiences/relationships/insights. I’ve listened to fear and I’ve chosen comfort over growth most of the time in most circumstances for most of my life. I still do now, even when I know not to. It’s a lifelong process.

One of my favorite quotes ever comes from Joseph Campbell:

The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure that you seek.

The risk/reward ratio for floating is massively in your favor. Everyone who I’ve ever encountered who doesn’t like their float experience comes out of the tank and just says it’s not for them. Completely understandable, people are different, this might not be for everyone. But far more often people who are initially anxious come out of the tank glowing. Those thoughts they were trying to avoid couldn’t hurt them in the tank, and that gives them a sense of control. It becomes a sanctuary where they can diffuse tension.

If you really want to try floating but still feel apprehension, I recommend trying it with a friend. Fear has much less control over us when we share experiences. And who knows? It might just be the exact experience you’ve been waiting to have.