How Fear Almost Ruined My Life

This was the moment. Where champions are made and losers are defeated.

Next to me sat the prettiest girl I knew. OK, I didn’t really know her. I wish I knew her. The only thing I knew about her came from the fantasies in my mind. Thoughts of what she might be like.

In a nutshell, the fantasies in my mind told me she was my dream girl.

I knew I had to say something. Just something. Maybe a hi, maybe a hello, maybe a “What’s up, girl” like my favorite rappers did in their videos. OK maybe not that. But whatever. I was tired of having spent the last 12 weeks of the semester sitting next to her, without uttering a single world or syllable. Actually that’s not the truth, I sneezed once and she said bless you. I guess that counts as conversation, right? Lol just kidding. I’m not that pathetic.

But then I finally did it.

“Hey!” I said. Trying to disguise the fact that my nervous system was very nervous.

To my surprise, she didn’t tell me to buzz off.

Instead, she joyfully responded with a “hey” of her own.

Soon we got to talking and I put Mr. Cool Guy to rest and started acting like myself.

It worked. Thanks mom.

I would crack lame jokes. She would laugh.

I would tease her. She would playfully punch me.

It was going good. Too good. Something had to be wrong and something was in fact wrong. Today was the last day of the semester. For all I knew, I’d never see her again. That would be horrible. Damn. Damn. Damn. Make a move, dude. The little voice said inside my head.

So I did.

I asked her out for coffee. I don’t even drink coffee, but I thought that was the normal thing to do.

She said, “YES!”

I was ecstatic. I was on top of the world. I was above the moon.

But I never did take her out for coffee.

Because my name is Tej and I am a coward.

I set up the date, time, and location. Everything was in order.

But at the last second, I backed out. I flaked.

I texted her and made up some BS excuse.

Why? I don’t know, man. I don’t know. Well that’s a lie. It was because I was afraid of rejection. I was afraid she was going to dislike me. I was afraid I was going to fall from the top of the world.

So I cancelled on her.

And that is how I lost out on my dream girl.


I saw her months later, around town. She was hand in hand with some dude. She didn’t notice me, but I noticed her. I noticed the smile on her face and the only thought that crossed my mind during that moment and for the rest of the day was, “Damn, I could have been the reason for her smile.”

I have put up a lot of shots in life. Professionally and personally. Most failed, some succeeded. But it doesn’t matter because when the day comes to an end and the sun sets, I lie on my bed and the only shots I remember are the shots I passed up, I lose sleep over the chances I never took.

Whether it be the business ideas I never executed or the dates I never went on.

Success or failure doesn’t matter because if you tried, you won.

I didn’t try, therefore, I suffer.

Don’t be like me. Be better than me.

Kill fear and feel the freedom that lies on the other side.

Every single day you are passing on chances that have the potential to change your life.

You bite your lip and you continue walking as if it’s not important, as if you will get another chance, as if it holds no significance to the overall plot of your life. But you know like I know, that is a lie. A lie you tell yourself to feel better.

And it’s not working. Deep down inside, you are killing yourself slowly, but surely. Every time you pass on an opportunity and you let fear win, you die a little more inside.

Missed opportunities will have you on your knees at 80 years old begging God, life, or whoever for a second chance.

But there is no second chance. When you let an opportunity pass, it is gone forever. The course of your life is changed forever. You could have taken X and could have become Y, but now that’s not even an option. Gone with the wind.

I say all of that to say this…

Take the opportunities you have available to you. Do it for your future self.

Take a stand. When a chance appears and you feel the butterflies in your stomach, STOP. Don’t keep walking. STOP. Take a deep breath, count to three, and do it. Go for it.

Approach the VC and pitch him your idea. Approach the hot girl and try to get her digits.

Because success or failure is irrelevant. The only thing that is truly important is minimizing regrets.

If you live your life minimizing regrets, you will live an extraordinary life…because you will always act in spite of fear and doubt.

Extraordinary lives are created in moments full of fear and doubt.

I know this sounds all good in theory, but when fear shows its ugly face, it’s difficult to follow the advice in this article. I get it. I let fear win all the time.

But someday’s I win. Some days I beat fear. Those are the days that I will remember when I watch the movie of my life right before death because those days forever changed the course of my life.

The days I beat fear, I reminded myself of the following…

A day spent experiencing rejection is a hundred times better than a life spent wondering, “What If?”

I hope you remember that the next time your heart starts racing, palms get sweaty, and your stomach gets tied in knots.

I hope you remember that the next time your brain tries to feed you BS reasons regarding why you shouldn’t take action.

If you do, your life will be changed forever.

Peace and love.

Keep smiling, keep striving, keep shining.

PS. From April 27 and on, I will be posting at least 3-5 articles a week. Stay tuned. Thank you for being a supporter and reader. I truly appreciate it. There are tons of blogs out there that you can read so I really appreciate you taking the time out to read WTPOLA. Means the world. Enjoy your day.