How does it make you feel?
How does reading that make you feel?
Fear is a deep topic with a lot to unpack...
It can be the single biggest source of ridicule, the driving force behind some of our dumbest choices...
And it is also the most important tool to keep divers alive.
Fear can hijack our otherwise-logical approach to a situation and twist it around to make us do things we normally wouldn't do. Crazy things.
Fear can even make us do things we are afraid to do... Because we are afraid of something bigger than the actual situation.
But most importantly for us...
Fear can make or break you as a diver, and as a leader.
Now, instead of trying to swallow this massive bastard in one go, we're going to break this topic down into a few emails.
I don't know how many emails quite yet since many of these topics flesh themselves out as they are written.
If there is one promise we can make... It's that your understanding of fear and it's role in our work will be challenged. Some butts will get hurt.
So let's get to it with some enthusiasm.
Fear is arguably the most important factor in the evolutionary success of mankind.
You are here, right now, reading this email because our ancestors were afraid.
Grab your loincloth and a giant bone, and let's jump down this rabbit hole.
You and your caveman buddy (let's call him uFckhead) are creeping through an area neither of you have ever been in.
Food has been scarce lately. Times are getting desperate.
As you creep along, giant club in hand, you both hear a soft rustle in the brush ahead.
You glance at uFckhead and slowly nod...
"Dinner time?" <- Nod translation.
"Fuck yes." <- uFckhead's return nod.
Just then, a creature slowly emerges from the bushes...
Neither of you recognize this animal but it has short stubby legs, a round body, and for whatever reason makes you think of a delightful smell that us future humans would call.... bacon.
uFckhead hefts his club... This baby is going over the fire with an apple in it's mouth. (Let's just assume they have apples.)
You're not so sure. This thing has some pretty gnarly tusks on its face. And it doesn't look happy.
It isn't running away either.
Fear starts creeping in...
uFckhead hefts his club again, smacking his hand with it... The animal grunts but doesn't back down.
uFckhead looks at you...
"Let's demolish this thing and drag it back to the fire." <- uFckhead is clearly not afraid of the bacon-creature and can speak with his thoughts.
The animal shakes its head again, sharp tusks catching the light.
"Bro, this looks like a bad time" <- You.
"Pussy" <- uFckhead.
Your adrenaline starts kicking up with your fear... heart starts racing... fight or flight kicking in...
uFckhead hefts his club one more time before squaring his shoulders and preparing to attack the animal.
Your brain is screaming "This is a no, dawg!!" when the animal suddenly charges with incredible speed and ferocity...
And takes uFckhead right in the gut with a wicked tusk.
He goes down without a fight.
You, on the other hand, are suddenly gifted with running-from-the-cops speed and leg it in the other direction. Safe.
In the grand scheme of survival... Who do you think passed their genes along to the next generation...
Along with a very pointed story about being careful around the bacon-creatures?
Way back in 1871, a smart bloke by the name of Charles Darwin wrote in his book The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex, that any organism unable to adapt to the demands of their environment would fail to pass on their genes and consequently fall in the "war of nature."
The primary driver of adaptation to an environment is... Fear.
Without fear, our dumbasses would just walk into traffic without a care in the world...
Or step off Niagara falls because the bubbles looked like fun.
Antifreeze looks tasty and smells like candy...
Tigers are really fluffy and probably feel soooo soft...
Yeah. None of us would survive past childhood. Hell, some of us barely made it.
Fear is hard-wired into the very fibers of humanity... and for a very good reason.
So here's the question I'll leave you to ponder until the next post:
If fear is so important to our survival...
Why the fuck are we so fucking afraid to actually be afraid in public safety diving?
Spoiler alert: If the word "pussy" came to mind somewhere in here... We're going to have a lot of fun on the next page.
And it's not going to be in the way you think.
Click here to move to part two.