We all dream of the perfect dive, some claim to have experienced it, but does it actually exist, and should it even be something we strive for in the first place?
Firstly, the concept of something being 'perfect' is an absolute; if a thing is perfect, it is complete, whole, with nothing to be added, subtracted or altered to allow for improvement. As much as there are fabulous dives, where everything goes to plan, I don't believe we ever reach that state of absolute perfection, nor should it be our goal. The problem with the word 'perfect', is that we are setting out to achieve the more or less impossible, and setting ourselves up for the most momentous uphill journey, let alone the prospect of perceived 'failure' when we realise that we have yet again fallen short of that all elusive 'perfection'.
When we believe that nothing but perfect is good enough, we fall into the ghastly trap of perfectionism, the self-made pressure cooker that can only ever result in a horrible mess; an inability to even get started due to overwhelm at the impossible task that we have set ourselves, or fear of a possible failure - for many a fate worse than death; or a massive implosion when the end results ultimately fall short of the desired perfection and our self-esteem, dreams and motivation are utterly destroyed by what is deemed to have been a failure.
So, rather than perfection in your dive, look to perfect each element of you dive; work out what is not working for you right now. Could your duck dive do with a little more refinement to make it smoother and more efficient? Is your equalisation letting you down? Are you struggling to get relaxed before your free fall and then suffering from early turns. Rather than striving for an unattainable perfect end goal, look to break down the task in bite-sized chunks and work out each of those. Ask for guidance from more experienced freedivers, your coach or instructor, on what they perceive to be the element or elements that are holding you back, and spend time working on that element alone. This way, you step away from the concept of a perfect dive and the crucifix of perfectionism, and set yourself manageable, measurable and attainable targets that, when incorporated into the bigger picture of the whole dive, will make everything flow and feel more like the blissful experience you want to achieve, without getting bogged down in paralysing pressure of the overall performance.
To really explore how this issue affects you and how you can overcome it, get yourself a copy of my latest Yoga for Freediving programme, Success & Failure - just $50 and over five hours of amazing videos to help you with your freediving, mind, body and spirit.