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If You’re Not Scared, You’re Doing It Wrong

Diving in Thailand

How do you know if you’re doing the right thing by leaving everything behind and jumping head first in to a new life? The simple answer is: you don’t. But one thing I can tell you for sure is that if it doesn’t scare you, you’re doing it wrong.

When I think about all the things that I’ve done and the things that scared me most, it’s exactly those things that have helped me grow and become stronger and more confident in life. For me, some of these things included solo traveling, scuba diving, moving to a new city where I didn’t know anybody. Each of these events in my life freaked me right out!

Scuba diving was an especially huge fear for me. I’ve never liked the water, I can’t stand the cold, I hate having my face in the water, and the thought of going 30 meters below the surface of the ocean was simply paralyzing!

But, I did it!

And with that certification I went to the Blue Hole in Belize and swam with sharks, I did a liveaboard diving trip in Thailand and dove a shipwreck in Bali. Scuba diving has introduced me to an entirely other world! It has been an absolutely amazing experience and it was so empowering to stare a major fear in the face and overcome it.

From that fear-facing experience I learned that if something doesn’t scare you, then you’re not on the right path. If you’re not challenging your comfort zone, you’re not playing a big enough game. If you’re not even a little scared, you need to think bigger!

Fear of the unknown is something that stops so many of us from exploring amazing opportunities that life has available to us. Your comfort zone is exactly that: a comfortable place for you to hang out and float effortlessly through life. This may be enough for some, but it’s not enough for me. Hence my commitment to creating a life that that inspires and challenges me.

What are some of the fears that you’ve overcome?


  1. Enjoyed this post Mariska and I wish you the best of luck and much success on your journey! The magic certainly does happen outside our comfort zone. Kudos to you for facing fears and overcoming them… very impressed and inspired by your scuba diving story 🙂

  2. Thanks Debi! I’m looking forward to diving in head first! : )

  3. Totally agree Mariska?, many times when I have taken a huge leap and drastically changed my lifestyle for the better, going raw vegan within 3 weeks to cure an illness, or gone on a big adventure, going on a year and half shoestring budget cycle tour of 7 countries, all the anxiety fear and worry was all so real at the time and could have stop me, but I went anyway and all of these great changes and experiences in my life were brilliant outcomes and either made me a better person or made me happier as a result. You have to feel the fear and do it anyway, fear is just a feeling and only your inner ego trying to keep you in your comfort zone. Go for it Debi and never look back 🙂

  4. Thank you Jane! Fear is such a paralyzer for so many people, but it just takes one tiny action to make it all begin to melt away. Sounds like you’ve faced a few fears of your own, and kudos to you for overcoming them!

  5. I felt a bit like that diving too – really, really wanted to do it, but super nervous the first time (and on the first dive each trip), but love it and can’t wait to dive again. Thailand Liveaboard is a great way to fill your log book – from your amazing photos it looks like a very similar trip to one I did (just different dive company).

    Mariska, thanks for the great reminder on dreams and fear.

  6. Kristy, diving still scares me every time I hit the water, but as soon as I’m under, it’s so peaceful and so inspiring to explore a whole other world! Diving in the Andaman Sea in Thailand was an absolutely amazing experience! Thanks for the comment and the compliments on my photos!

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