Scuba Diving is all about relaxation, making a connection with ourselves, finding new things to explore, and ultimately experience total freedom. Sometimes, we have an internal battle that we face that prohibits our ability to seize an opportunity, and even take a step forward.
This feeling where our heart races…
Our breathe becomes erratic and thoughts start to cloud the mind….
Fear finds its way in, and we are suddenly trapped in our own body….
But, no one specific thing triggered the moment.
So you ask; “What can I do? Is there hope for improvement? Will I be unable to resolve this frightening feeling?”
For many, Panic interferes with more than just Scuba Diving, it can affect work, school, friendships, relationships, and much….much more. Panic can make a person feel embarrassed, shy, hold back in front of others, and even force us to accept defeat.
As you’ll see in the video: “Half the Battle is fighting yourself, the rest is finding yourself.” (Ryan Custureri)
Fortunately, with a dedicated person by your side. Search for someone that understands what you are going through, and is willing to guide you in this battle both in and out of the water. Remember to always CHALLENGE yourself, and if you fail, do it again. Ask for help, because we all need it.
You need to understand what is actually happening with your body. It could be a fear of drowning; sharks (friendly animals); losing your dive buddy; getting left behind; or more. Learning about anxiety and panic disorder can help you to take control of your condition. Anxiety is likely to cause the worry you feel as a part of panic disorder. Anxiety is a normal part of the body’s “fight-or-flight” response to uncertainty, feeling unprepared, or trouble, which prepares us to act quickly in the face of danger.
Work with your instructor and be honest about your worry and feelings. Panic disorder can be frightening, but it is highly responsive to treatment strategies. Individuals with panic disorder tend to have spontaneous panic attacks, and they therefore become preoccupied with the fear that they may happen again, at any time. There is NO NEED to live in fear. Find a proper instructor that has stepped outside of their normal training routine to study and understand the psychology behind working with anxious students. Someone that is always several steps ahead and can establish a pathway to accomplish your goal.
Make sure you interview any potential instructor, or dive buddy, and be honest about your feelings. It is OK to feel anxious. It is OK to want to quit. However, as long as you don’t quit on your instructor, they won’t quit on you. All too often we get students that are on their second (or third) training course. They felt abandoned because they couldn’t keep up with the “cool kids,” or that skills didn’t “come naturally” like most people exclaim.
Remember, YOU are in control. For Jessica, she felt she didn’t have it. We worked together on accomplishing small victories each time we met for almost 18 months. I was her second instructor by this point, and her first was all about:
“Great Job! You get a check in the box. Let’s go do your checkout dives!!!! Don’t worry, just go practice by yourself and you will do just fine.”—- Does this sound familiar?
From Day One, we established a routine to overcome the fear. Each day was about gaining confidence through exposure, and pushing a little further each time. You see, diving is not just about how well you can perform a skill in the water—That is the easy part (just look at our instructor videos). Diving is about how you CONNECT with the world around you, who gives a crap who you impress. As time went on, she GREW! What seemed like an eternity was now in her grasps. At first water in the mask would cause the sensation of drowning, and now a minor inconvenience.
Jessica Caballero’s journey isn’t over, it is just beginning. Your’s begins when you take the first step.
At this point, and without further or do, PLEASE HELP congratulate Jessica on accomplishing one of her major life goals—To become a Certified Scuba Diver.
Great job! I am humbled to have the opportunity to watch you grow and be part of this mission.
Bron: AQUI Water Sports Ryan Custureri