As a little girl, I nearly drowned while visiting Stradbroke Island, off the coast of Queensland. As you can expect, this caused me to fear water, and I had a strong aversion to it for a long time.
My near-drowning experience was sudden and came on quickly without me knowing how it even happened. I was standing in the water by the shore, holding my mum’s hand as we watched the coast guard set up their equipment. I remember they had a big reel with rope on it, the tyre-shaped buoys and there were a number of lifesavers all wearing their red and yellow. It reminded me of Strop from the Paul Hogan Show, one of my favourites at the time.
Everything felt very normal, and then I was suddenly ripped away from my mum’s hand by some massive waves. Before I knew what was happening, I was out in the deep blue sea. Giant waves washed over me again and again… and I was struggling to keep afloat and take a breath.
I remember looking around, desperate for help with each fleeting moment I had between the waves. Somehow I managed to get my head out of the water for a breath, and I saw a lady. I thought that she had come to save me, but she, too, had been washed out with the waves. When I looked at her face, all I could see was sheer panic. Something kicked into me, perhaps survival instinct, and I yelled out to her, “Put your hand up!”. I also put my hand up and did my best to keep it up even as I was thrown around by the waves.
After what felt like an eternity, we were both saved by the lifesavers and made it safely back to the beach. From that moment onwards, I have had a very strong aversion to water. To the point that I could only go into the water as long as I could see and touch the bottom. So nothing above my knees!
Since learning NLP and the fast phobia cure, I was able to use this technique on myself and ‘cure’ a number of fears. I now go boating, fishing, jetty jumping, and even swimming in the ocean (although I don’t go too far out!). A huge success in both my eyes and my family’s eyes.
Which leads us to my most recent adventure, visiting Iceland and snorkelling with Iceland Explore, diving between the tectonic plates in 2-degree water (from the glacier). Very exciting!!
Dynamo from Iceland Explore was our guide and a fabulous one. The adventure started by getting on the suits in preparation, which caused much laughter. We headed out together to the water and once we arrived and had another quick briefing, it was then time to actually enter the water!
The suits were amazing, and all of us were still feeling relatively warm. My family were kitted out in 9mm wetsuits, but I was in a dry suit due to a shoulder injury. The dry suit meant that movement was slightly limited, and to make sure I stayed dry; the neckline was quite tight.
As we prepared to enter the water, the itty bitty shitty committee started. I suddenly had a big realisation that I had never snorkelled before, and I began to panic at the thought of only being able to breathe through my mouth in freezing cold water! I could feel the fear building, and all I could think was, “I can’t do this”… “I need to go back”… I was about ready to do a runner!
Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you think of it!), my family was with me on this adventure, and they all know full well what I do as an NLP coach. They wouldn’t let me allow fear to control this experience. They said to me, ‘Mum, use your own stuff!”. So I listened, and I drew on all the techniques I have learnt, and I was able to release my fear and conquer the beast!!
Talk about residual fear popping up at the worst moment! It was an incredible experience, and I am extremely glad that fear did not get in the way of this! NLP can help you do amazing things – I love what I do, and I am so excited to be able to share this experience and these amazing photos with you!!!