You are one dive away from your dream dive
You are one dive away from your dream dive but… something is stopping you. Maybe it's time you dare to go out of your comfort zone?
Here are some tips:
"If you want something you’ve never had, then you’ve got to do something you’ve never done".
I've seen so many drivers wanting to go further or deeper but they had something stopping them. Usually, an internal fear making them fear for their own safety of the safety of their dive buddy. Like in daily life, humans tend to repeat the same patterns. However, in doing so, we limit ourselves and keep ourselves away from our dream dive.
I've spent my life doing things I am, theoretically, not supposed to do. As a woman starting out in the film industry, I didn’t have a lot of role models on my path to become a director of photography. At the beginning of tech diving, it was a similar experience. There is no school to become an explorer. So, you had to go out there and explore for yourself. From reading through both older and newer books I started to learn and understand what others did to overcome their limits and achieve their great accomplishments.
Sure, sometimes I had to endure uncomfortable things that threatened to stop me from achieving my dreams. For instance, the cold. I don’t really like to be cold, but, I wanted to dive under icebergs and observe other cool icy environments. So, I pushed myself out of my comfort zone to do it and eventually became an Arctic expedition dive leader. Make no mistake, a great accomplishment is something personal. You have to own it. It's the dive you will be proud of achieving, regardless of the difficulty or complexity in the eyes of others.
Here are some of the tools I use to push myself, not for the sake of taking a risk, but to be able to explore and discover more and ultimately to be happier in the process and outcome of my expeditions.
1. What is your comfort zone?
The comfort zone is a behavioral space of routine, pattern, without stress or risk. It is best to have a routine and pattern so you perfectly understand your diving equipment and can also easily conduct your safety drills. Although, some elements in the comfort zone represent limitations and prevent opportunities to learn and grow. One of the best examples is always diving with the same, more experienced, dive buddy. Once you identify your comfort zone, you can act to get out of it.
2. Getting out of your comfort zone, one step at a time
Slowly, you can take action to get out of your comfort zone in order to expand it. There are multiple ways to do this:
- Do a drill. If you don’t like shooting lift bags, do a drill and adjust the plan of the dive to exclude this element.
- Change your dive buddy, so you stop counting on the knowledge of someone more experienced.
- You will see that with each new action, you will open your view and will lessen your fear or apprehension of the unknown.
3. What do you dare to do this week, that you've never tried?
To go further, each week or each dive, do something new in order to push your limits and your knowledge. Whatever it is, it will be new to you and you will learn from it. When doing something new, see how you feel and how you can adopt new skills or actions to push your limits and become comfortable and safe.
- Assemble your dive buddy's equipment and ask them to prepare yours. This is something we don’t usually like, but in doing so, we will see differently how you prepare your own equipment and communicate.
- What is something you are doing because you’d been taught one way - but don’t fully understand why it is done it that way? Can you try it differently?
4. What you learn today to get out of your zone.
Even the best diver has still so much to learn, as technology and equipment evolves.
- Can you take solo diver training or any advanced diving or equipment training?
- Did you read every single user manual for your equipment?
- Do you know what your computer can do and not do for you? Play with it so you know all menus by heart. You can even make a game with your dive buddy, like who is faster to set it up?
- Have you done all the upgrades on your equipment?
5. Meet and talk to different kinds of divers
You can meet so many divers and learn from the experience of other explorers. Keep an eye out for upcoming dive shows, where there are plenty of lectures on so many different topics. The exhibitors are there to showcase their new products, so ask them about the newest updates.
I left my comfort zone when I did my 44-mile journey in the St Lawrence River (an urban water odyssey). It took me 30 hours in the water over 2 days, 5 boats due to the geography of the river (heavy rapids, bridges and intense commercial & recreational boat traffic), and a dedicated team of 24 people. None of us were in our comfort zone as we were facing challenges that we couldn’t predict. However, as a team, we were able to adapt and complete the traverse safely.
If I like to get out of my comfort zone, exploration will always be part of my routine. One thing I won't change or modify is the equipment I use. It is the foundation of safety. When it comes to my equipment, no matter if it is a shallow dive or a deep one in a cave, I know I can count on it and the team behind it 100%. For my safety, my job is to know how to use it perfectly.