Overcoming Your Fear of Scuba Diving
Having predive jitters, even before stepping foot in a pool is not uncommon. While some new divers feel comfortable from the get go, others struggle or panic with the thought of putting their head underwater.
Being a PADI instructor I have taught divers from both ends of the scale, and I take the most pride in helping people overcome their fear of scuba diving. Would you believe me if I told you, even myself (now a PADI instructor) was afraid when I first started diving!
When I got my first job in a dive center I was the receptionist and boat guide, I worked at the counter for six months and refused to go diving. I LOVE the water and regularly went wakeboarding, kitesurfing, and snorkeling but diving… Nope, not for me.
Everyone has their own reason as to what part of scuba diving they fear the most, and I am not ashamed to say I was terrified of damselfish. Sure damsels are tiny fish, but they also have the biggest attitude.
Damselfish are algae farmers that guard their home rock with hostile attitude. Any time you approach they swiftly charge your mask, which caused my heart to skip a few beats. Although the damselfish never got close enough to attack, the fear was real. After learning more about damsels and their propensity for charging if I got too close, I simply kept my distance and reduced my overall fear.
Most divers laugh when I tell them this story. That I was terrified of damselfish, but I never quit and overcame my fear to become a dive instructor. This is why I love helping people overcome their fear of diving.
After teaching hundreds of students, I realize, I was 99% more afraid than all my diver, and I have never met anyone who is afraid of damselfish like I was. In fact, most new divers share the same common fears.
- Putting your head underwater
- Breathing underwater
- Feeling claustrophobic
- Clearing your mask
- Marine life
Read more about the 5 common fears shared by new divers.
Getting over your fear
It is normal to have some fear before you dive. Diving can be sensory overload; the diving equipment is unfamiliar, and the environment and its inhabitants are new. If you want to scuba dive but know you have some fear, consider taking a course in your hometown (before a dive trip) so you can have more time to practice and go through the course slowly.
Depending on your holiday location, dive instructors work long hours and teach lots of students. Not all of them have the same patience it takes for teaching fearful divers. However, we are here to tell you it is possible to overcome your fear of diving, and that there is no greater feeling of accomplishment than overcoming this fear.
Have you overcome a fear of diving or wish you could dive but are still dealing with some level of fear. Leave a message in the comment section below. We would love to hear from you.