This I Believe...On Becoming Fearless (and an explanation of absence from ChicagoNow as of late)

This I Believe...On Becoming Fearless (and an explanation of absence from ChicagoNow as of late)

(This is an essay I wrote recently for my Creative Nonfiction Writing class, which is incidentally the reason why I haven't had much time to post on here lately. I have been so busy with school in general, that writing on here has becoming difficult. I will try to post whenever I can, but until December my posts will be sporadic!)


This I Believe…On Becoming Fearless


When I first read Arianna Huffington’s 2006 book, On Becoming Fearless, it profoundly moved me. Ever since then, whenever I have been faced with a difficult or troubling scenario in life, I have taken out this worn little tome, signed by Arianna herself, and used the information within it to help me move on with my life. Since reading it, I myself have learned to become fearless, or at the least I believe I have learned to calm my fears and control them.


I believe that the subject of fears is something that needs to be addressed. Not a specific list of fears, because we are a vast culture and our fears are plentiful, but a study of the base meaning of the word:fear.

Fear (definition): Something that vexes us to our very core, frightens us or prevents us from living a full, truly fulfilling life, as the shadow of the fear looms before us like the strict darkness that comes after the sunset.

Fear does not have to be something conventionally frightening. It can be something that challenges us. Taking tests can be a fear. Getting kisses from your grandmother can be a fear. A real relationship can be a fear.

I recently plunged into a relationship with a wonderful girl and it has proved to be a beacon of hope in my life, but there are so many fears connected with any real relationship. It has only been a week, yet my fears are real as rain. Will she leave me? Is she feigning love? Does she not want to talk to me? Do I bother her too often? Finally, I silenced the runaway train inside my head and I went back to Madame Huffington’s book. It appears that these scenarios stem, not from the immediacy of the problems, but of my fear of the possibility that they may eventually be true.

To be truly happy in a relationship, I believe, you must learn to silence the fears, by any means necessary. Talk to your partner about your fears, if you must, and learn from each and every one of them. If something brings you joy into the relationship, rejoice in it. If something brings fear into your relationship, examine it and learn from the base and unsettling feeling of that fear. You cannot let your fears ruin any chance of happiness you may have with your loved one. There is too much at stake to let fear cancel out the good there is in your relationship.


Your fears, oddly, are what shape your life sometimes. We can only truly live our lives when we acknowledge the proverbial dark corners of a room that are our fears. Whether it is in love, life, work or friendship, we must observe our fears and see if they are based in reality. If your fears are ungrounded, you will find they have no anchor on your soul, and they will eventually float away. If they have basis in fact, then you tackle them head-on and eliminate them from your life, or learn to live with them.

Life is too short to let fears hold the reins. We simply must take the reins back and lives our lives one day at a time.

I have tried to live my life as fearlessly as possible. I have had many obstacles and many triumphs, but it is an ongoing battle. Day after day after day, I am constantly working to conquer or silence those fears that are constantly whispering in my ear, egging me on to fail and be afraid.

We all have to do this: silence those deafening fears and live our lives as fully and positively as possible.

Only then can we be truly fearless.

And, as always happens, I broke up with my girlfriend.

But, eh? What can ya do?

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