The Importance of Choosing Fear

The Importance of Choosing Fear

How fear is not the end, but actually the beginning of more.

Who I was four years ago was onto something.

I was seventeen; I had never moved away from home – fear seemed to be coming at me from every angle with every second that I grew older.

Half of me was afraid to leave the comfort of home. The other half of me was afraid of what staying would look like. In the end, I did what so many high school graduates do: I moved away; I went to school.

I can vividly recall my arrival to Newberg, Oregon – to the place I would call home for one year. When it came time to say goodbye to my family, I couldn’t even watch them walk away. The door closed behind them, and I stood still in my box of a room – unknowingly on the other side of the door of fear.

Leading up to that moment in my life, I had experienced fear divided between the reality of staying in the familiarity of my hometown, and the reality of starting over in a place where the future was entirely ambiguous.

I am four years removed from that first Welcome Weekend (I would actually have three more welcome weekends during my undergraduate career – but I didn’t know this at the time). I’ve knocked on plenty of doors and walked through a handful of doorways to get to this point.

As I find myself in the midst of this post-undergraduate season, I am still coming face-to-face with fears that seem to always have two sides. Life deals heavily with choosing one’s fears. Certainly there are some things out of a person’s control, yet when it comes to pushing forward in any situation, the option to choose remains.

I’m learning that there is something to be said about choosing fear and choosing it with intent.

From the time I moved to Oregon for my first year of college, up to this current season of my life where I newly reside in Los Angeles, I have been required to make fear a friend as opposed to something that I either ignore or fall paralyzed to.

Until recently, I believed that fear was a sign of weakness. I looked at others and assumed that the happiness exuded through their pictures on social media indicated that they were simply unafraid, and therefore living life to the fullest. I desired to be unafraid and uninhibited in the ways that I assumed everyone else to be.

Here’s the thing, though: People are not fearless.

Here’s something else: Fear is not an indication of weakness or of failure. Levels of fear are not synonymous with a person’s level of maturity or character. And, I’m not at all suggesting that a life lived comfortably is a life lacking depth and experience. One person’s fear is not greater or less than someone else’s. At the end of the day, fear is fear -- which brings me to my ultimate lesson:

Fear is the point.

Fear is absolutely the point when it comes to moving, and growing, and healing, and chasing, and thriving.

If we were never afraid—if I wasn’t ever afraid—complacency wouldn’t be optional, and blind comfort would be inevitable.

If I’m being honest with my beliefs and opinions, I’d go so far as to say that on the opposite end of fear is not bravery, but complacency. I always believed that bravery was on the opposite, unreachable end, but it goes hand-in-hand with fear. In fact, it thrives off of fear.

People don’t scale mountains, fly planes, build skyscrapers, start businesses, travel places, write stories, serve others, stand out from crowds, and begin new chapters of life through being complacent.

I believe that people need to be affirmed that their fears are quite possibly indications of a right choice, of something bigger. People need to be reminded that fear is contingent upon the individual and cannot be categorized within an arena of right and wrong.

I believe that people should also be told to just do the scary thing anyway –

even if failure seems to be crouching behind the door –

even if success seems too far away –

even if the door will lead to seasons of loneliness and growing pains and sacrifice.

The point is to knock on the door or barge through it anyway.

Bravery is most authentic when fear appears to be at its greatest heights.

At seventeen, I nearly forfeited my dream of college because I believed fear to be evidence that college was the wrong choice. At twenty-two, I still have to combat the lies fear wants to fill me with.

The thing is that, although I will never not be afraid of something, I am coming to terms with the character of fear. I holdfast to the truth that life is full of doors leading to unknown chapters, and that fear is not always a foreshadow to something awful, nor is it a definition for who I am as a woman.

Rather, the right choice, the different choice, the choice that feels most foreign to life as you and I know it, is bound to be scary; though it is surely the choice that will lead to something no dream can come close to conjuring up.

In every scenario, I was onto something. The hope in me was onto the notion that there was more than just the pang that fear has to offer. I’ve learned that when fear tries to sell an experience as being too risky, the truth is that the experience is actually invaluable, and the adventure ahead incomprehensible.

Cover Image Credit: "The Film Stage - Your Spotlight On Cinema" - "Tree of Life 78" (Still taken from The Tree of Life, directed by Terrence Malick)

Popular Right Now

I Went To "The Bachelor" Auditions

And here's why you won’t be seeing me on TV.

It’s finally time to admit my guilty pleasure: I have always been a huge fan of The Bachelor.

I can readily admit that I’ve been a part of Bachelor fantasy leagues, watch parties, solo watching — you name it, I’ve gone the whole nine yards. While I will admit that the show can be incredibly trashy at times, something about it makes me want to watch it that much more. So when I found out that The Bachelor was holding auditions in Houston, I had to investigate.

While I never had the intention of actually auditioning, there was no way I would miss an opportunity to spend some time people watching and check out the filming location of one of my favorite TV shows.

The casting location of The Bachelor, The Downtown Aquarium in Houston, was less than two blocks away from my office. I assumed that I would easily be able to spot the audition line, secretly hoping that the endless line of people would beg the question: what fish could draw THAT big of a crowd?

As I trekked around the tanks full of aquatic creatures in my bright pink dress and heels (feeling somewhat silly for being in such nice clothes in an aquarium and being really proud of myself for somewhat looking the part), I realized that these auditions would be a lot harder to find than I thought.

Finally, I followed the scent of hairspray leading me up the elevator to the third floor of the aquarium.

The doors slid open. I found myself at the end of a large line of 20-something-year-old men and women and I could feel all eyes on me, their next competitor. I watched as one woman pulled out her travel sized hair curler, someone practiced answering interview questions with a companion, and a man (who was definitely a little too old to be the next bachelor) trying out his own pick-up lines on some of the women standing next to him.

I walked to the end of the line (trying to maintain my nonchalant attitude — I don’t want to find love on a TV show). As I looked around, I realized that one woman had not taken her eyes off of me. She batted her fake eyelashes and looked at her friend, mumbling something about the *grumble mumble* “girl in the pink dress.”

I felt a wave of insecurity as I looked down at my body, immediately beginning to recognize the minor flaws in my appearance.

The string hanging off my dress, the bruise on my ankle, the smudge of mascara I was sure I had on the left corner of my eye. I could feel myself begin to sweat. These women were all so gorgeous. Everyone’s hair was perfectly in place, their eyeliner was done flawlessly, and most of them looked like they had just walked off the runway. Obviously, I stuck out like a sore thumb.

I walked over to the couches and sat down. For someone who for the most part spent most of the two hours each Monday night mocking the cast, I was shocked by how much pressure and tension I felt in the room.

A cop, stationed outside the audition room, looked over at me. After a brief explanation that I was just there to watch, he smiled and offered me a tour around the audition space. I watched the lines of beautiful people walk in and out of the space, realizing that each and every one of these contestants to-be was fixated on their own flaws rather than actually worrying about “love.”

Being with all these people, I can see why it’s so easy to get sucked into the fantasy. Reality TV sells because it’s different than real life. And really, what girl wouldn’t like a rose?

Why was I so intimidated by these people? Reality TV is actually the biggest oxymoron. In real life, one person doesn’t get to call all the shots. Every night isn’t going to be in a helicopter looking over the south of France. A real relationship depends on more than the first impression.

The best part of being in a relationship is the reality. The best part about yourself isn’t your high heels. It’s not the perfect dress or the great pick-up lines. It’s being with the person that you can be real with. While I will always be a fan of The Bachelor franchise, this was a nice dose of reality. I think I’ll stick to my cheap sushi dates and getting caught in the rain.

But for anyone who wants to be on The Bachelor, let me just tell you: Your mom was right. There really are a lot of fish in the sea. Or at least at the aquarium.

Cover Image Credit: The Cut

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

11 Amazing TV Shows That Are Ending in 2019

All good things must come to an end.


It might just be the beginning of 2019 but there are many TV series wrapping up already. There are many breathtaking and original pilots around along with several reboots coming. This might be one of the greatest year for TV.

However, all good things must come to an end. Some series have been planned out and are going to be finished while others have been cut short. Sadly, here's a list of TV series to say goodbye to this year.

1. The Big Bang Theory (CBS)

Final Date: May

12 Seasons//279 episodes

2. Orange is the New Black (Netflix)

Final Date: End of 2019

7 seasons//91 episodes

3. Jane the Virgin (CW)

Final Date: Mid-late 2019

5 seasons//100 episodes

4. Games of Thrones (HBO)


Final Date: Summer

8 Seasons//73 episodes

5. Broad City (Comedy Central)

Comedy Central

Final Date: March

5 seasons//50 episodes



Final Date: Spring

7 seasons//67 episodes

7. Homeland (Showtime)


Final date: Summer

8 seasons//96 episodes

8. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (Netflix)

Final date: January 25

4 seasons//52 episodes

9. The Affair (Showtime)


Final Date: End of 2019

5 seasons//42 episodes

10. Friends From College (Netflix)

Final Date: End of 2019

2 seasons//16 episodes

11. Crashing (HBO)


Final Date: End of 2019

3 seasons//24 episodes

Related Content

Facebook Comments