On First Times, Comfort Zones and Overcoming Your Fears

“When was the last time you did something for the first time?”

I read this a while ago and it stayed stuck in my head ever since. It resonated with me because when I asked myself this simple little question, it had been a long time since I hadn’t tried something new. But what is it with first times that make them so fascinating anyway? Kids try new things every day, it’s part of their day-to-day lives. Then we grow up and it’s so easy to get stuck in a routine that we know everything about. Nothing’s new, nothing’s surprising. It’s all about that comfort zone again. It feels safe to stay in it. Trying something new means stepping out of it and thus taking risks, making mistakes or failing.

It actually hit me when I was sitting with only my thoughts for distraction in Bangkok airport, waiting for my next flight. I was totally out of my comfort zone there. I was exhausted, jet lag, lost in translation and travelling without anyone to talk to (I am a very talkative person so this was a 24 hour challenge). But it was the first time I was in this airport, going to that particular destination, travelling on my own for so many hours, and it felt incredible. Everything that surrounded me was brand new. I was filled with amazement and excitement.

If sitting in an airport alone could bring so many positive feelings, what could trying other things for the first time do? I got the answer to this question during my trip because the two weeks I spent in Bali were full of new experiences.

From eating new food to driving on the left, from dancing barefoot around a bonfire to making love with someone from another nationality (love’s a universal language), from learning how to surf to diving with colorful fish… It was all about trying new things. Everyday, a new experience awaited me. I felt like a kid again. I felt like I was finally living life to its fullest. I was feeling ALIVE.

And this was all because I had looked my fear straight into the eye and kicked its ass. Because, yes, every new experience was scary and sometimes uncomfortable at the beginning, but what came after that was so worth it. Fear is just smoke and mirrors. Once you face it, it instantly disappears.

So come join me on the other side. The view is amazing.



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