The other side of fear

fear“Everything you want is on the other side of fear.”Jack Canfield

Let me tell you about fear. It’s poison. It’s poison for your mind. It makes you lose control, it makes you freeze, it makes you take the wrong decision. When you let fear take over, you’re just an echo of your former self. An empty shadow and nothing more.

But we’re all afraid, aren’t we? Even the brave are afraid. There’s no such thing as fearless. There’s always something to be afraid of. What will happen, what might happen, what we might lose, what we might never gain.

So… what is there to be had on the other side of fear?

The awful truth about life is that what doesn’t kill often makes you wish it did. There’s great sadness and pain in this world, and we all get our fair share. But, you see, eventually all those things that don’t kill us either make us stronger or weaker. After a while, when pain becomes but a memory, we have a choice.

We can either decide to become stronger or weaker. We can harden ourselves up or not. The choice is always ours.

But we’re afraid… even when the pain goes away, we’re afraid it might return. Even after heartbreaks heal, we’re afraid someone else will break our hearts again. We might never want to fall in love again. We might want to spend a lifetime behind closed doors, just to be sure.

That’s when we need to fight fear, we need to see what is it that we can find on the other side of fear.

All our dreams and expectations. All our ambitions. All the power and the courage and the determination and the discipline we could ever need. All that lies just on the other side of fear.

I’ve always wanted to go to the United States and forge a better future there. Ever since I was six, actually. I never even traveled there, mostly because I was afraid of the visa requirements. Or the fact that I’d fail. I just wanted to fight a sure battle, but no one could ever guarantee me that. No one ever will.

And I’ve filled the ocean that lies between Romania and the US with excuses, endless scenarios, and fear. I’ve thought about it, over and over again, and decided that it would be best to wait. Living in a foreign country, all by myself, seemed like too much. Just the thought that I’d need to go through a lot of trouble just to arrive at my destination seemed impossible.

I’ve never even been on a plane.

But…

There’s one thing about me that I never lost, one thing that I didn’t learn or mimic from others. I want things so badly that I’d be willing to do anything to get them. When I decide that it’s time to do so, I don’t let anything stand in my way.

I did the same for writing. I wrote on and off for 8 years before finally deciding that I’d better man up and write more and more stuff. And finish stuff. And get stuff published.

There are no impossible journeys in life. Only journeys we’re too afraid to even start.

Now I know that life’s all about being afraid and doing it anyways. In fact, fear should motivate me. It should drive me to act, to try my best, to try to solve problems.

I don’t want to spend a lifetime dreaming about an ideal future. I don’t want to wish for it to happen. I want to make it happen. Because no one else will do it for me.

And that makes all the difference.

The world is never against you. The world does not hate you.

You’re just alone. You and your dreams. And it’s entirely up to you to make them happen, one at a time, before it’s too late.

Because the most tragic thing that could ever happen to you is to realize that it’s too late.

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53 comments on “The other side of fear

  1. Fear, in my view, is the real root of all evil, both in ourselves, and with others. Fear is subject most don’t want to talk about. Excellent post.

  2. Norryn says:

    Thank you!! But what happens when you go ahead to find out what is beyond the ‘fear’ point and all of a sudden what you find ain’t worth the try?? Coz it happens to me, history repeats itself!!

  3. Juan Zung says:

    Well put. I couldn’t agree more, in theory at least, and in practice, I hope.

    I learned from somebody at some point that fear is a reminder. A bell telling us to pay attention and to act. Whether that act is to run, hide or move forward, well, that’s up to us.

  4. Its been a while been living in fear. Sometimes overcome it, sometimes it takes over that I completely lose control. Dont know the after stage yet, but is a good read.

    Take care

  5. Having been born into fear, I understand the control one can allow it and the consequences. Counter fear with forgiveness and open your heart to love. May sound corny but damn, it works.

    Understand too, that fear is a primal thing designed to offer protection. It can tie into our intuition, let us know when we truly are at risk.

    So yes, we need it to some degree, but the choice for all of us is how much? Do certain countries only know war and are therefore fearful of peace? What do they stand to lose if peace were successful, let’s say in the middle east.

    For many political regimes they think they’ll lose power, when in fact they don’t understand power.

    Everything requires an ebb and flow, a balance per sae.

    I hope you challenge yourself and cross the pond to North America, Christian.. I live in Canada. What I have come to accept however, is what happens on the other side of the world does and will affect me. It affects us all.

    Good luck!

    • Well, the Roman Empire extended that much because they were always afraid that they’re neighbors would attack them. At least in the early stages of their expansion.

      And, yes, everything about this life, this world, is just a balancing act.

  6. maurnas says:

    This is lovely and so wise. Thank you.

  7. clickmybic says:

    Well said. Damn well said!

  8. klindsay93 says:

    Very inspiring! Now go to America and live your dream!! :) K x

  9. Jack Sutter says:

    “Every fear is a desire.”
    ~Clive Barker

  10. Willy Nilly says:

    Nice post Cristian. Fear is in all things we don’t fully know or understand. I have read many times that Courage is not the absence of fear. Courage is what we do in spite of our fear. Plan for success and pursue it with Courage.

    • One of my favorite quotes, by Ambroise Redmoon, goes like this: “Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgement that some things are more important than fear.”

  11. “There are no impossible journeys in life. Only journeys we’re too afraid to even start.” This is so, so true – I wish you the best of luck in all your journeys. May we all have the courage to take that first step!

  12. Doesn’t this piece deserve an ovation?
    Wow!
    Very well written.
    No ambition is completely impossible, it’s only our fears that hold us back.
    It’s so beautiful to adopt the mindset of moving ahead anyway.
    Fear can either push us foward or keep us cringing.
    We’ve got to use it in our favour when ever it shows up.
    “We can do it”. That’s what we’ve always got to tell ourselves, and yes, we go ahead and do what must be done to bring fulfilment to our hearts.
    Lovely post, Christian.

    • It’s easier said that done, actually. Move on, move forward, never retreat, never surrender. Never give up. It’s easy to be enthusiastic, it’s easy to find ambition and courage and strength in those situations, but most of the time… you’re too bored, too tired, there’s always something better to do, it’s always easier to dream about doing something than actually doing it.

      It took me a long, long time to become even somewhat efficient and disciplined at writing. And, yes, I had to lose almost everything except my desire to write in order to understand how much I want it, how much I need it, and how much I love it.

  13. barn7777 says:

    Love the quote above (Jack C.)–good post!

  14. librarylady says:

    I like this. I’ve been letting my fears get the upper hand lately, and need to get a grip. Good reminder.

  15. damedo says:

    That is so true. I have been thinking a lot about the same thing. To be afraid is normal, but if we keep doing things as we always have done, we will keep getting what we have got so far. And if we want to change that, we need to do new things, no matter how scary they seem. And the world awaits on the other side of the fear.

    • We build a web of routines, and this makes us feel safe. We do the same things over and over again, and we know nothing too bad is going to happen. We want to be certain that tomorrow will come and go. Also, we have our comfort zones… we seldom want to venture outside, because we don’t know what could happen.

      • damedo says:

        Exactly. The thing that scares us the most is the unknown. But i feel that all the new chances and opporturnities are not found in the comfort zone, but only when we dare to explore.

  16. This is so true, Cristian. And well written, as always. Good luck and hope you hop on a plane and have a safe journey someday soon!

  17. cdog5 says:

    Cristian, you’ve written another fine, thoughtful post. Thank you!

  18. Well said. Thank you for this.

  19. leefeller says:

    Fear is a tool used by all sides in politics, religion and liquor sales.

  20. heybetterme says:

    Thank you for the inspiration!!

  21. Lukraakvars says:

    Such inspiration!! Thank you!

  22. toyinletstalkabout says:

    A great post. Love it.

  23. O Mâtză says:

    on the other side of fear is either self confidence or death. What ever fear you over come if you don’t die and survive it, you’ll feel strength in overcoming anything no matter the outcome.

  24. ‘There are no impossible journeys in life. Only journeys we’re too afraid to even start.’
    Great observation. This will be my motto for the week.

  25. It’s so true, Fear has two sides, one that stops you and the other that reminds you there might be something very important beyond the confine, something is worth it.
    And I know when you talk about “to want thing so badly…” …I experienced it 4 years ago (I faced fear and I become stronger fulfilling my dream) and now I need to recover the same enthusiasm and use fear as a inner strenght… Thank you for your ispiring words…

    Love from Venice!

    Ilaria

  26. Lee Durocher says:

    Amazing post! Fear is a killer of dreams and self-esteem. It keeps one from achieving their own greatness. Once it is overcome anything is possible. Thank you for such an excellent post.

  27. “I’ve always wanted to go to the United States and forge a better future there. Ever since I was six, actually. I never even traveled there, mostly because I was afraid of the visa requirements. Or the fact that I’d fail. I just wanted to fight a sure battle, but no one could ever guarantee me that. No one ever will.

    And I’ve filled the ocean that lies between Romania and the US with excuses, endless scenarios, and fear. I’ve thought about it, over and over again, and decided that it would be best to wait. Living in a foreign country, all by myself, seemed like too much. Just the thought that I’d need to go through a lot of trouble just to arrive at my destination seemed impossible.”

    My grandparents immigrated from near your area (Michelovce, Slovakia, and Polata in the Carpathians (not sure if that is Ukraine or Romania)). I always was impressed by their willingness to leave their homelands and go to a part of the world where they didn’t speak the language, know anyone, and had no job offerings. Not sure if I could do the same, it is a frightening concept.

  28. Dina says:

    Fear is the darkroom where we develop our negatives. FEAR=False Events Appearing Real. Like you, Cristian, I always wanted to live in another country. Just a little more than a month ago, I made that dream come true when I quit my job of 10 years, packed up my house–sold, donated or threw away so much stuff–and moved from Los Angeles to Dubai. I’m sitting in an empty, as in no furniture, living room & don’t have a job, but all’s good. To throw one more cliche at you: Just Do It. If that’s what you want, do it. There are many people who will help you with your visa. I wish you all the best in making your dream come true!

    • Thank you for this comment.

      And, yes, it really is as simple as that, isn’t it? Just do it. Don’t think, just do it. The more you think about it, the more reasons not to do it you will find, until you can’t remember the reasons why you want to do it.

      • Dina says:

        Nike makes millions off that phrase, but it’s a good one: Just Do It. Everything is only as complicated as we make it. Best to make things easy and live the dream, right? We’re all routing for you!

  29. ETM says:

    You’ve said what everyone else feels…very eloquently I must say! Thank you for your words…as you can see you have touched many with them!

  30. uniq3 says:

    Simply amazing. I’m at the fork in the road trying to figure out what I want to do with the rest of my life after college. Everyday, I become less afraid and take steps researching and applying for graduate school. Thank you for this inspiration it was much needed, and I will start writing “stuff” and getting “stuff published too lol My blog has now become a huge priority, hope you check it out sometime :-)

  31. Excellent post! I am re-blogging this because this message really does need to be shared. Everything you said is very true. I wish a dear friend of mine would read this and take it to heart. Again, wonderful post!

  32. What a motivating piece! I feel energized and inspired–thanks!

  33. carmenstav says:

    I can really relate to what you are saying. My parents and I emigrated from Romania to Canada when I was 3 years old.

  34. Venom says:

    This is golden. I have nothing more to say. Bless you.
    :)

  35. kunpie says:

    Well put! I’ve just started facing my fears. It has taken me 37 years to just start leaping into the unknown abyss that is life’s uncertainty.
    Caution and control don’t feed the soul.

  36. Beautifully written! You probably don’t mean it for characters, but applying your thoughts to them would certainly make them pop off the page to the reader.
    Fear is a constant companion which is not necessarily a bad thing. It helps to keep you focused and aware. One of my HS classmates and I went to nursing school. She worked only a few years because fear overtook her. I used fear to make me a better nurse. I was always studying so I would be prepared for any diagnosis or emergency.
    Don’t let the “What ifs” stop you from coming to America. List all the problems you can think of, then plan a solution for each one. I’d recommend coming south. I’ve lived up north, but I’ll take the South any day. We have a great little Writers’ Guild in my town and you’d be a wonderful asset.

  37. inspoetry says:

    Fear poisons as faith strengthens.

  38. Eudaemonia says:

    So true. Once you faced your fears and conquered it, you’ll discover there was nothing to fear in the first place. It still pays to be cautious of course :)

    This reminded me of the bene gesserit litany

    “I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.”

  39. I totally know how you feel. I was so afraid to move to Germany 3 years ago! I could not even speak the language when I got here. Thankfully most Germans are taught English in school…seriously though..thank you anyone that is German and reading this–for learning other languages aside from your own–if we crossed paths at anytime–you probably saved my life or my sanity. ;)

    I did not even know what to expect when I arrived. But it has been AMAZING! I have gotten to see the world being over here. Traveling to Greece, Croatia, Italy on the weekends, Montenegro, Slovenia, Austria, Czech Republic, dipping my toes in the beautiful clear waters of the Mediterranean and everywhere else. It has opened my eyes to new experiences, new cultures, a variety of languages, currency and history. All the fear was worth it in the end.

    You will never know, if you never try. Never let your fears be bigger than your dreams. That’s what my Mom always taught me. Now I am getting ready to move from Germany to New York for 2 years!! I will have the joy of experiencing reverse culture shock. C’mon you know you want to do it! Go for it! The worst thing that will happen is you will hate it and move back home.

    PS- cheapoair.com– I have found they always had the cheapest flights for me to get back and forth from Germany to Los Angeles. :)

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