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Wednesday, June 12, 2019

My Very First Dive Class-Methods of Overcoming Situational Fear

For years I rolled around in the back of my head getting an diver certificate. From the earliest days I used to watch TV ads with wonder how people would explore places unknown to discovery something new. I've had plenty of opportunities to get a certificate but either didn't have the money, time, or decisiveness. Then one day I found a discounted price at a local place and I signed up.

A little sheepish with a hint of fear of dragging a lot of heavy equipment into the water I stood contemplative. "If I sink to the bottom this instructor will be able to help me". I looked at the 160 lb instructor and my 200 lb weight and thought, "OK he can't lift me! I'm a goner!".

We don't just head into the water without a little lecture. That would be unsafe. Good news is that if I needed to dump the items I could with a few release levers. "I guess I can get out of this if I'm sinking", I thought to myself. By the time the lecture and practice on the equipment was over I had a solid working knowledge of how everything worked.

Fear is one of the most difficult things to get over. We are afraid of everything. Maybe we look silly, maybe we will drown, maybe my tank will blow too much air, etc., etc......Fear is just a possibility so give it a second and then let it slip away if it isn't likely or doesn't have much merit.

I can say that there is no other feeling better than sitting in the water with neutral buoyancy. You float and breath slowly and the world around you comes alive through your suspension. Granted, the first few lectures are in the pool but the feeling of finally being under water and using the equipment makes life interesting. Much of our planet is covered by water so we are missing out on most of it....as an unexplored environment.

Ways to overcome fear:

1.) Give yourself a minute to think about the "reasonable" negatives. Find a potential solution for any of the most likely.

2.) Switch your brain to think about all of the positive things and the enjoyment you are going to have.

3.) Realize you that in every new situations you will feel a little nervous. As you habituate it will go away. Just keep pushing your comfort level.

4.) Slow your breaking and stay focused on what you are doing right now.

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