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  • Debbie Howell

Celebrating Each Small Victory When Facing Fear

Today I spent the day at a pool with certified Padi divers being tested on diving skills. I was in a class with 5 other people and an amazing instructor.


As soon as we descended into the pool (the shallow end) my anxiety started to take over and it took everything in me to not leave the pool and go home. As I made the decision to not listen to my fear and pray “God, I am not afraid because You are right here with me” I began to relax, little by little.


I was able to pass some of the skills that I was nervous about – like taking out my regulator, throwing it to the side, then reaching to find it so that I could put it in my mouth again and purge it. What I struggled with was flooding my mask and clearing it under water. I tried several times and couldn’t get it.


As I struggled with some of the skills and my anxiety re diving I noticed how relaxed and comfortable all the other students were in the class. They were able to perform every skill and become certified by the end of the day.

What really helped me was that one of the certified divers who was there to help with the class offered to work with me one-on-one. He was patient and understanding and celebrated every skill I accomplished.

Here’s what I learned today:


  1. Even though I didn’t finish my certification, I was able to stay the entire day and complete half of them which is huge since my fear was telling me to run and go home.

  2. When dealing with fear we should never compare our progress with others who aren’t facing fear in the same situation. Any and all progress should be celebrated.

  3. It really helps to find someone who is patient with you to help you face your fear at a rate that is comfortable to you.

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