I was in the middle of my instrument training. I was getting overwhelmed. I had days where I felt like the best pilot in the world and I had days where it seemed I couldn't do anything right. All I wanted to do was to make my instructor proud. But I felt like I was failing. I wanted to quit.
Flight training is filled with highs and lows just like mountains. One day you feel like you can't do anything wrong and the next day you can't do anything right. You may be at this point in your training or you may be in the process of thinking about flight training. Please take the time to read this.
As a flight instructor, I have seen many people give up at low points in their training. This happens so much that in our flight instructor training guides we discuss the plateau effect and how to keep students motivated. I'm telling you this because it is an absolute normal process to plateau and feel like you aren't going anywhere. I have been there and every professional pilot at every level has been there. I hope that by hearing this, you realize it is normal to feel this frustration and that maybe I might motivate someone to continue their training.
The experience of most pilots is that when you push through the plateau it will all come to an end and pieces of all the puzzle come together.
Here are a few things that helped me through my downtimes.
My Dream - I kept focus on what me dream was. I wanted to make a difference in my family and go for a tough but rewarding career.
My Family - I have a strong desire to teach my kids that when faced with adversity or tough times, Thompson's don't quit. We push harder. I desire to raise my kids to dream big and succeed in their dreams.
Money - Let's be real. Learning to fly isn't cheap. I didn't want to let all that go to waste.
The Challenge - As a child I struggled through school and academics. The classroom was just not the best place for me to learn. I know this about myself and I had to challenge myself as an adult to push through that and succeed. I needed that challenge as an adult.
Support - I have an amazing wife that has supported me along the way. It has been tough through working full time, student full time and Dad full time.
I hope that reading this encourages somebody to keep going. I have an amazing career and love what I do. No matter if your wanting to fly as a hobby or wanting to be a professional pilot, push through those tuff times. It is worth it in the long run.
Keep the Sunny Side Up and the Airspeed in the Green!