Fear is a Choice – Choice is Yours

fear is a choice





Fear! A distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, or pain, anticipation of the possibility that something unpleasant will occur. Fear is a choice and the choice is yours.

Who among you wanted to do something, yet fear stopped you?

How many of you did it even though it was risky?

How did it feel? Wasn’t it fulfilling? Wasn’t it fascinating?

Friends, what we fear is often the possibility, dream or challenge in disguise. Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears. Fear is a choice, choice is yours.

First Dive - Facing the Fear

Like most people I have many fears. However, I did not let these fears stop me from doing what I love to do. I am a person with a lot of affection for adventure and my all-time favorite is Scuba diving. Although I was scared to rely on one little hose for oxygen, I did not let the fear stop me from experiencing it.

My first dive was in 2009, in Subic, Zambales, Philippines. I was the only Female Filipina in that class and most of them were guys from different countries. Our instructor was a PADI certified dive master. Before going to an open water, the instructor took me and other new divers to practice the basics needed to make sure we would be safe under water.

We practiced using our regulators, we tested our equipment and got used to the feeling of breathing underwater. Once we learned how to clear our masks, popping our ears and replacing our regulators, we hopped on to the boat and headed to the site to explore the bottom of the ocean.

As soon as we got there, the instructor showed us how to jump backward with our gear. When I first hit the water, and felt that I am going down with my heavy gear, I was terrified. The fear of sinking and the logic that I can’t breathe even though I had breathing gear was quite scary. That fear is an all-consuming vacuum of terror, something that forces me out of water and never to dive again.

Nevertheless, I faced that fear, cleared my mind and reminded myself of my purpose going to the ocean. I was there to witness the beauty of underworld. I followed my instructor, and the rest of the divers and I descended into the ocean. Before going deeper, we stopped at about 5 meters for few minutes to pop our ears and clear our mask. As we descended further and further, another world opened up. The site was stunning and I was amazed with the experience. All the fears I felt earlier were gone. Swimming with all those fishes was exhilarating. Indeed, fear is choice, choice is yours.

Second Dive - Choice is Yours to Make

After my first dive, I was in love with it and couldn’t wait to go back. After a few more reef dives I decided to bring my diving experience to the next level, a shipwreck diving. There are many World War II wrecks around Subic Bay. The one I liked the most was the USS New York, the first armored cruiser to enter U.S. Navy service. It was built in 1890’s used in WWI and II, with 8 guns still intact lying deep in the mud with a depth of 17-27 meters.

It is said to be the scariest and trickiest shipwreck site in the Philippines. Because of that I was thrilled to go deep and witness the breathtaking experience. It was scary knowing that there were few good divers that lost their lives in this wreck.

The visibility was low and the wreck being surrounded with the green algae made it more difficult. Floating in the luminous green water was very disorienting experience. I can’t imagine a more terrifying death than being stuck inside a pitch-dark wreck, disoriented and panicking as my air runs out. On the other hand, my love of diving and adventure are stronger than my fear. Fear is indeed a choice and the choice is yours.


Third Dive - Fear is a Choice

After diving in more thrilling sites like shipwrecks, coral reef got boring for me, even though the scenery was beautiful. The thrill of being scared became a part of my diving experience and if I don’t feel it, I didn’t like it. Wreck diving is a different type of diving, because you can see history as it was left behind, as well as the effect of nature taking over.

After a bit of research, I found out that Coron has a wide range of scuba diving sites. From hot volcanic lakes, caves, and coral reefs to World War II Japanese wrecks, that sunk in September 1944.

The first site was the Akitsushima 32-38 meters deep It was a fascinating wreck covered with corals and plenty of marine life. The ships were exciting to explore. Some were quite intact and because of the good visibility, I knew I was in a big shipwreck. Big Shark was swimming few feet from us, which was perfect for the thrill I was looking for, since I was always scared of sharks.

As I am rolling in the deep of the ocean’s floor, exploring ships and knowing the history that lies behind it, I told myself if I did not face my fear I wouldn’t see and experience the beauty of scuba diving. Yes, it is risky, but life without risk is life without living. Always remember that fear is a choice, choice is yours.

The Choice is Yours

Rolling in the deep and exploring the new world that we don’t see in our everyday lives is an experience of a lifetime. It was like a dream I don’t want to wake up from.

Always remember, fear is only as deep as our mind allows it. Next time you want to do something you love yet fear is stopping you, remember, life is either a daring adventure or nothing. Decide that you want it more than you are afraid of it. Risk and dangers are real but fear is a choice. The choice is yours. You either start living, or continue fearing. I faced my fear and lived my dreams. I made my choice.

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Crisly Todorovic

Crisly Todorovic

This Post Has 26 Comments

  1. jamiengrose

    I love this metaphor of diving right in to overcome your fears (in your case, you really did dive!). Thanks for the motivation!

    1. Crisly Zerrudo

      Thank you for your comment, indeed I conquered my fear by diving into it 😀

    1. Crisly Zerrudo

      Thank you

  2. Verskil

    This is such a great article. It was just recently I realised fear is just a thing of the mind and unless we feed into it, it has no real standing in our lives. I bought a plaque that reads ‘take a risk or lose the chance’ and I’ve followed through on it ever since.

    1. Crisly Zerrudo

      Thank you, you are right, fear is not real, it is us who made ourselves believe into it. I am glad to hear and thankful that you share this metaphor that you are following, it is powerful.

  3. John Mulindi

    Wow, such an inspiring post. To conquer fear, you face it directly.

    1. Crisly Zerrudo

      Whatever fear we may have, the only thing to conquer it is to dive into it 😆 and I literally did.

  4. wishuponadisney

    Great article, Life is full of choices, fear, to love, to run. We need to remember our actions are “choices”

    1. Crisly Zerrudo

      You are right. We always have a choice in everything that we face. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

  5. You can find fear in anything, but you just have to face it. I can see how scuba diving could be very terrifying, but it’s definitely worth it once you conquer the fear! Great post 🙂

    1. Crisly Zerrudo

      Indeed, it was a once in a lifetime experience.

  6. It is interesting. I have read several posts about fear today. Now I am wondering if the universe sees that I am in fear of something that has not yet been revealed to me.

    1. Crisly Zerrudo

      Everything happens for a reason they said. Maybe the universe is trying to tell you something, and how you could conquer the fear that is yet to be revealed to you.

  7. panushwari

    thank you so much for posting this! I am thinking of diving in Phuket and I’m absolutely terrified. This post makes it easier for me.

    1. Crisly Zerrudo

      You will enjoy it very much. Just don’t let your fear stop you. Diving instructor will be watching you to make sure of your safety. Please share with me your experience after you have done it, I am excited for you.

  8. Lo

    I have never seen this acronym before. I love it and this is such a great way to think about it. Everything great is on the other side of fear ❤

  9. Antonia Gorneo

    Wow!! This is amazing! Im still struggling to learn how to swim 😦 sad. I need to overcome my fear. Thanks for this!

    1. Crisly Zerrudo

      You will learn as long as you won’t think of fear 😉. Do you know that you don’t have to know how to swim if you want to go scuba diving?

  10. Reading through your experiences was indeed interesting. Each had their own story to tell.
    Yes, I agree to the adage that Fear, indeed is a choice. It can either hinder your progress by holding you back to nothing or can motivate you to test your limits and inspire for more.
    I myself am going through such a phase in my life.. 😊

  11. runawayanna

    Hi Crisly,

    great article, I love metaphor of diving into the fear. I’m actually a diving instructor and the metamorphosis I see in people after they manage to confront and conquer their fears is something I particularly enjoy. You only know your own strength when you faced and overcame your fears. It gives you special “power”.
    All the best!


    1. Crisly Zerrudo

      Hi Ann,
      Thank you for your comment, it’s great to have a diving instructor and a metamorphosis commenting on my metaphor and diving experience. True, we can only discover our strengths when we go through difficulties and overcome our fear. I am trying to live by the words face the things you fear the most and the death of fear is certain. This words are real.

  12. Aleese Hughes

    Wow! I love the analogies! This is definitely something I need to improve on in my own life, but things like this help!!!

  13. False Evidence Appearing Real is a fantastic acronym for FEAR. I have to admit that I’ve often let fear dictate the decisions I’ve made, but one thing I do to shore myself up is just say “Then do it scared…” — I have that pep talk with myself often and sometimes I listen, other times I don’t. I think it’s easy to get caught up in the fear of the unknown — but the times I have just jumped in are the times I’ve always experienced some major emotional growth! And besides, it feels good to look back and say “I did it scared, but I did it!” Great post, as always, Crisly! Honored to share the blogosphere with you!

  14. familytalksweekly

    I had a terrible fear that If I published my blog that everyone would make fun of me. I seriously didn’t press the publish button for a very long time, and even then I was so scared of the ridicule. But little by little I am being more and more secure in this fear. The fear of judgement and embarrassment is slowly fading.

  15. Ranganath

    Well written article. Fear will always bring us down. Best way to overcome fear is to face it 🙂

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