Fear is a choice

Photo by Etienne Girardet on Unsplash

I remember being a kid, maybe around 8 or 9 years old. My family was at an amusement park and my older brother and mom were about to go on a roller coaster. Looking up at the immensity of the ride and hearing the screams as the passengers in the carts would go down the big dips, twists, and turns scared the hell out of me. I couldn’t bring myself to get on the ride, it seemed almost impossible. Deathly afraid, my family convinces me to get on to the ride and I was scared for about the first 10 seconds of the ride, and then the fear I was feeling turned to excitement and joy. Ever since that day I have been in love with roller coasters and won’t leave the park until I have been on every ride.

I wonder what it would be like if I never got on the ride. How I would’ve missed out on something that I now love to enjoy all because of fear.

Fear is a bigger obstacle than the obstacle itself.

In The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho he writes, “My heart is afraid that it will have to suffer,” the boy told the alchemist one night as they looked up at the moonless sky.” Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams.”

The last sentence of this quote always strikes me the most. Chasing a dream always seems so far-fetched and impossible. We make it seems as if going after the things you want and failing is bad and that we should settle for something “more practical” instead. On my journey as an entrepreneur and writer, there have been many pitfalls, long nights, and days where I doubted myself or my projects. But in the midst of all of that my heart was full of hope and ambition because I was going after something that I truly wanted.

In the film After Earth, there is a scene where Cypher Raige played by Will Smith is talking to his son Kitai, played by Wills son Jaden. He tells Kitai, “Fear is not real, fear can only exist in our thoughts of the future. A product of our imagination causing us to fear things that do not at present and may not ever exist.”

The funny thing is that about 98% of the things that I worry about or fear never actually end up happening. We spend so much of our lives in fear that it keeps us from living our lives to the fullest. I choose not to walk in fear. To ignore my imagination of the worst-case scenario and just go for it. I will not say that this is something that I have mastered and I still struggle with fear, but I have to remind myself daily that fear is a choice.

So the next time you’re afraid to get on that rollercoaster, just remember that fear is a choice. And who knows, you might end up discovering one of your passions like I did.



Hoping my words influence the next generation of dreamers.

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