23 August 2015

Out of the Comfort Zone or in the Danger Zone?

 I've just come back from a boat trip around Capraia Island, the seaside place where I'm staying for a week (check out more details about my trip here).  I have to say it was an... interesting experience.

While booking the boat trip for the next morning it didn't even occur to me that I should have checked whether there was something in the trip that could have bothered me. I found out during the trip, which definitely wasn't pleasant.
Basically, the tour around the island consisted of a guided explanation of the history of the island, mainly the ex-prison and the evolution of its nature's history... and the viewing of the island's main caves. It sounds amazing, right? Well, not for someone who hates small, enclosed spaces.

Finding that out only when the twelve people on the boat started to lower down to enter a lift-size cave was horrendous. I felt like I couldn't breathe and nobody could help me. And despite the driver saw how much I was suffering, he surely didn't stop and come out of the cave more quickly because of one claustrophobic passenger. That was his job after all. Which I kind of understand (yet, if I was the guide I would have immediately come out!). Later on, the caves became bigger, but there was still seven of them. Seven. A number that kept resonating in my mind as the trip went on and I counted down how many caves were left. At some point I managed to completely calm down, then there were other two consecutive caves which made me anxious again, and left me with a bad feeling I still haven't completely got rid of.

I wish I could stop this silly fear of mine - silly because that's how I perceive it. I wish I could get rid of it like I do with most fears, just breathe in and out a few times and let it go. But it doesn't happen that easily. We are human beings with strengths and weaknesses and we have to deal with it.

This whole experience made me think of this big comfort zone thing everyone's talking about. Does getting out of your comfort zone mean fighting your fears? Does trying new things necessarily have to correspond to pushing yourself beyond your limits? I feel like it's very hard to do something outside the comfort zone without stepping, or rather, tripping, into the danger zone - which is what I'm going to define it. Yesterday, when I decided to book that trip, I felt like I was acting cool, out of the comfort zone. But it turned out it was the dangerous, off-limits zone. My question is, is it worth to push yourself that much to the point where you're not enjoying yourself? I don't think so. I think that to do something you've always dreamt of doing and that you know won't be traumatizing is a positive 'getting out of the comfort zone to fight your fears'. Getting adventurous, even. But I believe that exaggerating is really not worth it. It's like when you see those people in documentaries where they do crazy things to stop their fears. Seriously? Do you really want to go up the Eiffel Tower to fight against your fear of heights?

Everyone has a different take towards their fears and dreams. To me, embracing or fighting them means challenging myself to an extent where I feel ok, not where I am suffering.

How do you feel about this topic? 

Read My Super Treks around Capraia Island here where I talk about getting out of the comfort a good way :) 


  1. Taking steps out of your comort zone means to be adventurous, brave and takes a big portion of courage to push your boundaries. However these boundaries shouldn't be pushed too hard, they should only be extended and the moment you feel uncomfy is the moment that rather pushes you back to your comfort zone. I feel you've been brave to face the situation but if in hindsight the experience has left you with negative feelings than I'm not so sure if it was a good idea. You should only do what makes you happy and also you feel comfy with. New experiences take courage but they can be exciting and who knows, you may discover you new sides in your personailty that you wouldn't have otherwise. xxx

    Caz | Style Lingua

    1. I think you're right - you need stick to your limits and avoid hurting yourself. I also agree with the idea that feeling uncomfy will be the factor that pushes you back into the comfort zone. Hadn't thought about that. Thanks for sharing your ideas <3 :)

      Assia |

  2. This is such a fab, thought provoking post. I'm a firm believer in pushing myself beyond my comfort zone but I also think that doing something that terrifies you to the point of anxiety and pure fear is sometimes not worth it. We have to be kind to ourselves but push ourselves in things we are passionate about/genuinely want to do. Loved this hun :)


    1. I agree with you Elle, I believe that fear is really not worth it, plus we don't need extra anxiety that we already get from daily life stress. Challenges are good if you are mindful of what you're getting yourself into. I'm glad you enjoyed the post <3

      Assia |