Feel the Fear and Do it Anyways

feel the fear and do it anyways


How many times have you imagined the worst possible scenarios for a sceanrio, only to see none of it come true?

I’m guilty of it. Most likely you are too.

Thinking like that is dangerous. It paralyzes us from even trying. The worst possible sceanrio is to not even try at all.

We have that inner voice telling us all the reasons we shouldn’t be doing it. We feel more safe in our comfort zone but not leaving our comfort zone means we will never grow as a person and experience new things.

Sometimes in life you just need to break through the resistance.

I know all too well living within the tiny comfort zone will slowly turn you into a person you don’t recognize anymore. It made me unhappy, stressed out, and bored with the monotony of life.

For myself in a span of two years I felt the fear and did it anyways three times. Did major things completely out of my comfort zone. Not only were all my fears unrealized, I landed safely and changed my life forever.


Moved to Taipei


In 2007 I decided to take a leave from my job to study Chinese overseas in Taipei, Taiwan. I have wanted to do that since I graduated college in 2000. However, living my life how I thought I should and being in a long term relationship prevented me.

The job got miserable and the relationship ended. I had my window of opportunity.

I had been there many times growing up but less when I got into college. I had doubts on whether I should study abroad or not. I had many poor reasons to just stay in my comfortable but boring life.

My fears were being there in the summer (crazy hot), the mosquitos, the classrooms not being cool enough, fitting in, and being homesick. In the end I decided to take a chance and go. I determined I would have been more miserable if I stayed. It was now or never. I needed a new direction in my life.

I planned to stay only three months. I ended up staying eighteen months. So much for not liking it. My fears were unrealized.


Finding Some Friends

By nature I’m an introvert. I’m the type that loves to stay at home most of the time. However I explored Taipei and the surrounding areas every weekend by myself. I loved the beauty of the hiking trails and the feeling of a busy city.

After three months of exploring the city on my own and staying home, I felt the urge to make new friends. I had my classmates but we never spent time outside of class.

I knew one way was find an organized activity.

I saw my opportunity with an ad at school about a kickboxing club that met twice a week. It was for all levels and focused on getting in shape instead of kicking each others’ head in.

Started by a twenty-something former competitive kickboxer from Denmark named Anders. Practices were held outdoors at night at a huge public plaza. I saw pictures on Facebook of practices and weekend gatherings. This was what I wanted. This was my opportunity.

It wasn’t that easy for me.

Fear held me back. I wanted to meet new people but coming into an established group scared me. How would I be accepted? Would I even like these people? What will they think of me?

I put off the idea of going for six long months. I was dating a girl so it delayed my desire to go but it came back in the summer of 2008.

Finally on the day I was going to finally attend, my inner voice kept telling me why I shouldn’t go. It would have been so easy to just stay home another night. It was even raining a little but I knew despite practicing in an outdoor venue, they had places to train when raining. Rain wasn’t an excuse.

I had to push through all fears and resistance because I wanted to go so badly.

I decided to go but could turn around if I changed my mind. Just getting on the subway to go more than I had done previously!

Once I arrived there, I could see a small group of people at the meeting area in the distance. I kept walking slowly towards them surveying the situation. As I got closer, I was spotted. Too late to turn around now.

What happened? Did they ridicule me? Were they assholes? Did I become a human punching bag? All my fears never came true. The little voice that tried to stop me was flat out wrong. Everyone in the group was great. Most were foreigners from places like USA, Italy, Canada, Czech Republic, and even some locals.

For months I went twice a week. I became part of the group. I loved it. I went rain or shine. I was the most intense workouts I’ve ever had to this day!!

I had some of my best nights out ever with them. Experiences I still think. I may have to share the “7-11 beer run” one day. Even when looking back at this picture, I had so many amazing memories. My fears were unrealized.


A dance, kiss, and living in Sydney

Which leads to one night in the city. It was a night of dinner and then a club. I don’t go to clubs back home. Never. They’re loud. They’re smokey and I thought I didn’t like to dance.

In the 8 years since I graduated college, I went to a club…zero times.

Now I’m in Taipei. I’m feeing great. My confidence is sky high. This was the second time I had gone to a club with them. The first time? Insanely fun and I danced. I ended up not caring how I thought others would perceive me. Plus some drinks definitely helped. For me, that’s getting out of my comfort zone!

The second night I met a girl who knew a kickboxing friend of mine. He introduced us. Little did I know at that time she found me cute. However I tried to make small talk with her but she seemed to brush me off. However I never got a “bitchy” vibe from her. So I made sure to keep flirting with her. We flirted all throughout the night. At the end of the night we danced and had an amazing kiss.

She expected that to be it because she was leaving in a month to move to Sydney, Australia. I found this out when I called her a few days later.

She planned on studying English and working there for a year or more. Of course she didn’t plan on meeting anyone before she left. I didn’t expect to have a serious relationship either since I live in Florida. This would never work out right? Nonetheless we spent time that month getting to know each other. The more we learned about each other the closer we got.

A month later when she left for Sydney, she doubted we would see each other again. I had much more confidence. While she was gone we kept in touch daily.

There was something about her that I had never felt before with anyone I met. This feeling drove me crazy and I kept thinking to myself that I’ve never thought about a girl this much ever.

The idea was discussed about me visiting her. After figuring out the best time, the idea of just staying there for a few months came up. The thought of living in Sydney sounded exciting but what was I going to do about my apartment? School? What would I tell my family? I spend many days thinking whether or not I should go. Time was running out. I had to decide quick. My heart leaned towards Sydney but my mind told me to not take a chance. Do the safe thing and stay.

I decided to take a leap of faith. Though I still liked Taipei and going to class, she was more important. I went with my gut feeling of what I wanted to do and stopped listening to the reasons why I shouldn’t do it.

I left before that semester was over. I went to Sydney in November 2008 and lived with her for three months. We lived together in a tiny studio apartment. For two people that had known each other for just two months, we got along amazingly well. No fights. No awkward living moments. Pretty amazing.

If you told me five years ago I would live in Sydney for three months with a girl I met in Taipei, I would have told you that you are absolutely out of your mind. 

We fell in love.

I came back to Taipei in late January 2009 to pack up my stuff to get ready to finally go back to Florida. I didn’t want to but I felt maybe it was time.


What ever happened to her?

Just a few days after arriving back in Jacksonville, I was talking to her on the phone. She was at the travel agency looking for a ticket back to Taipei because she couldn’t find a job after school finished. She was ready to go back home. Well how about coming to Jacksonville? She already had a US visa. Next thing we know, I booked a ticket for her and saw her less than a week later. Crazy huh?

Since then we’ve spent time here and spent time there and in between doing the long distance thing. It’s tough but I believe we’re closer because of it.

Because I broke through my comfort zone from going to Taipei, to joining the kickboxing club, to spontaneously going to Sydney, it changed my life. She’s now my fiance and truly the person I want to spend the rest of my life with.

The last time I put a picture of us, many seemed to really enjoy it (especially JK Allen). Thanks to everyone who said awesome things about it.

I’ll share one more to prove that good things do happen when you do things you’re afraid to do.

 Benny and Eleanor

Have you ever felt so much fear and resistance for doing something and then you did it?

How did it turn out?

Have you done something lately out of your comfort zone? 


Photo by Duncan Creamer

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  • Oh man this is one of the things I constantly struggle with. I love to be in my comfort zone (who doesn’t) and breaking out is always an exhausting adventure.

    Most recently I competed in my first CrossFit competition. I’ve been putting that off for a year b/c you never know what you’ve gotten yourself into until the day of the event (it’s a surprise). The strength I gained just from showing up was enough to help me crack some other barriers too!

    Great post Benny

    • Benny

      Our comfort zones are so nice and can easily keep us there if we don’t wake up and do something about it. It’s too easy to stay inside our bubble.

      That’s awesome you competed in that competition. I’ve read a little about Crossfit and see that so many people are doing it. I know of another blogger who’s big into it. I bet you got so much out of training for that competition. That’s awesome man!

      Must be a great feeling! Keep it up and thanks for sharing Deacon! Oh and thanks for the heads up on my blog earlier today.

  • Awesome post Benny! And great story.

    I posted something a while ago about fear…but it was on a smaller scale for me.

    It was about the time I went canyoning in Interlaken. Once you’re in the canyon, you either make your way down or you stay there (or pay an insane bill when they have to send a helicopter out to fetch you).

    It involved jumping off of small cliffs into tiny pools of water in order to make your way all the way down the canyon. But you HAD to. You had to just jump in.

    In the end it was one of the most exhilarating and memorable things I’ve ever done. I’m glad I let went down into the canyon.

    • Benny

      Wow Eugene, I just imagined having to jump off those small cliffs into pools of water. I don’t know if I could do that but if I had to then that’s a different story. Getting a helicopter to come get you was definitely out of the question. That’s awesome it was so memorable for you and that you did it.

      Glad you felt the fear and did it anyways! Thanks for sharing Eugene.

  • I agree Benny, awesome post. Thank you so much for sharing that with us. Wow, you really have gotten out of your comfort zone my friend. I mean moving to Taipei! If that isn’t outside your comfort zone I don’t know what is. But look at all the opportunities that were presented to you and now you met the person you want to spend the rest of your life with. I love that!

    The only thing I ever did that got me outside my comfort zone was coming online and making my way after spending over 31 years doing the same type of work. It know, it’s just crazy! Who does that! Trust me, in the past I would have never considered it. Never! I just hate that I waited this long but I guess it’s what I needed to do in order to get to where I am now.

    Congrats on the engagement and LOVE the photo. That’s just beautiful and you guys make a great couple. When’s the big day?

    • Benny

      You definitely are a great example of getting out of your comfort zone. I’ve told you many times building a great life now especially after 31 years in the corporate world is amazing! Such an inspiration.

      Thanks for the nice compliment on the photo! That’s one of my favorite photos. Well they’re all my favorite but I love that one. The big day is sometime in October but no specific date. I’ll definitely mention it on the blog!! So stay tuned my friend!

  • I haven’t just yet done it… I’ve been putting off going to a meetup group in my area for the past 6 months. I was planning to start the new year off by going in Jan. It’s now July! I’ve RSVP’d for it so I guess I took my first step. Just gotta follow through.

    Thanks for sharing a wonderful and personal story. I really got a lot out of it.

    Congrats and cheers!

    • Benny

      Hey Alan, I know it’s scary to go to a meetup group for the first time but if you think what the worst case scenario would be, it won’t be even close to that. RSVPing is a great first step! You’ve gotta feel the fear and do it anyways. Think of regret for not going. You don’t want to live a life of regret do you? No.

      If you need a kick in the butt, or someone to make sure you go, send me an email through my contact form. I’ll be glad to help make sure you go!

      Thanks for sharing Alan.

      • Thanks for the encouragement Benny. Really appreciate it!

  • I heard it said, “a positive outcome is just as likely as a negative outcome” and this was a statement I repeated to myself every day I was unemployed. Actually in my experience a positive outcome is usually more likely than a negative outcome if my attitude is positive and my motivation is Thoughtful, Honest, Intelligent, Necessary and Kind (THINK).

    Of course there have been a few times when my worst fear came true and you know what, my worst fear wasn’t nearly as bad as my anticipation of it. In fact, my worst fear wasn’t that bad at all.

    Many years ago I was in a woman’s support group and after many discussions of meeting outside the group I decided to take the initiative and plan a gathering at my house. I cleaned and prepared a variety of beverages and food and no one came.

    Not one person showed up or called to say they weren’t coming. It was my worst fear that no one would show up and it happened. I was surprised to discover it wasn’t actually so bad. I sat and enjoyed my clean apartment and the delicious food and drink I prepared and I popped in one of my favorite movies for a relaxing afternoon.

    At our next regular meeting everyone asked me how the gathering went and they were all shocked to find out no one else showed. Each individual shared with me her worst fear had been that she wasn’t really welcome and she was only invited out of politeness or that she would show up and no one would talk to her.

    Each member’s fear kept her from attending, which in turn made my worst fear for that situation a reality.

    After we dicussed the situation we all had a good laugh and I was glad to learn that my “worst” fear may not be as bad as I think it will be. I also learned that giving in to my fears will not create happiness in my life, only more fear.

    Now when I have fear I remind myself that a positive outcome is just (or more) likely than a negative outcome and the root of my FEAR is Forgetting Everything’s All Right.

  • Awww, Benny, what a gorgeous couple you are! I love that story.

    Great minds think alike once again as I also posted today on the subject of fear – but more like what happens when things show up for you rather than about taking chances.

    Best wishes and can’t wait to see the wedding photos 🙂

    • Benny

      Thanks Julie!! I told that story to a friend and she said I had to write a blog post about it! So I found a way to share my story in a way that it would inspire others.

      I’ll definitely check out your post then. It’s a hot topic because fear gets in the way of so many things we want to accomplish.

      Thanks for sharing Julie!

  • wow you flew you australia for a girl that you just met two months prior??? This sounds like the setup for a bad chick flick. But everything actually worked out great for you!

    I felt a lot of fear making my first ebook and niche site. But then I said screw it, I’m just going to try to do it anyway. Hauled ass for a solid 2 months writing and learning how to use wordpress. I don’t think I managed my ebook sales process very well and I made sososo many mistakes, but the learning experience was wonderful and it turned me on to the excitement of internet businesses and product creation. Two of my current passions that I never would have realized if I hadn’t stepped outside my comfort zone.

    • Benny

      Hahahaha…you’re right it does sound like a bad chick flick or just a bad idea! But I went with my gut feeling. It was more than a gut feeling. It was the craziest feeling so I felt like I should go. i’m glad it did work out too. 🙂

      That’s awesome you wrote and put out an ebook! I’ve been learning about that process and the best advice is to just put out something small. Your first product isn’t going to be perfect. Mostly likely it’ll be far from it but you’ll learn so much about the process. So in the future when you’re ready for another ebook, you’ll have that experience under your belt.

      That’s great you discovered your two passions that way!! I’m happy to hear that. I’m working on a free ebook now and it’s been fun working on that.

      Thanks so much for sharing Paul!

  • You know how nuts you are for doing that long distance stuff?
    I thought I was the only one who was crazy enough to try to pull that off. But I’m so glad you made it happen.

    Fear sucks. Life begins when you walk right through it. Once you did that, the power of momentum takes over and then great things happen.

    You’re proof.

    • Benny

      Hey Matt,

      I definitely know how crazy it is. Before I was in a 4 year long distance relationship but she lives only 2.5 hours away in Orlando. That was tough. After that I said to myself no more long distance relationships. Then I find a girl that lives 24 hours away by plane…hahaha.

      But it’s been worth it. When two people are meant to be together they’ll do whatever it takes. So are you saying you are/were in a long distance relationship?

      Fear does suck but I read on your blog post today that you’re doing exercises to battle your fears. What you did was awesome. I’ll be leaving a comment there for sure!

      • Yeah I was in a long-distance one and I’ll write about it sometime on my blog. It really gave me perspective.

        But you’re living proof that you could say that you didn’t want long-distance ever again but when two people match up really well, then those logistics can go out the door with lots of hard work.

        Looking forward to it.

        • Benny

          Hey Matt,

          If I wasn’t serious about her I wouldn’t have spent over $1000 on a plane ticket every time to go see her. Nor paid for her plane ticket when she came to the US. Nor spent the past 2.5 years doing that.

          It’s funny I told an old friend we were doing long distance and she complained recently that her boyfriend lived an hour away and she thought that was far! I said I wished Eleanor only lived an hour away. We would love that!

          Look forward to reading your perspective about a LD relationship one day.

  • Benny,
    I absolutely love seeing the pictures of you and your fiancee together. It’s the perfect touch to your stories which seem like farytales because they always have a happy ending.

    You are spot on about fearing the fear and doing it anyways. even if you fail, the experience and having the guts to go for it is amazing. I’m so glad you share these stories with us because they truly are inspiring. confirmation for me atleast that doing what doesn’t seem practical or safe can be just in our heads and that we should step outside our comfort zone more often..


    • Benny

      Hey Annie,

      Doing things that scare us can actually turn out to be fun in the end. I remember this roller coaster in Japan, when I went with my ex-gf. I like roller coasters but not the really high ones or the really steep ones. This one look like it had it all. The seats would flip you over. Basically doing crazy stuff. I waited in the long line with her and kept thinking if I should bail at the end and wait for her to ride it by herself. In the end I rode it. After that long climb up and that first drop, I had this amazing feeling rush through my body and instantly thought “best roller coaster ever”. Just from that first drop and how it felt. I got off it and wanted to ride it again. It was the best roller coaster I’d ever been on.

      If I had been to afraid to try, I would have never been able to experience that.

      Thanks for leaving a comment! I know you’re busying hustling these days. 🙂

  • The comfort zone is a difficult thing to escape.

    I once left a 11 year career I was thriving in because I wanted to try something different. I remember the powerful emotions I felt on my last day. I was scared because the job and company was all I ever knew.

    As scary as it was, I don’t regret it. The experience taught me a lot about how important it is to challenge ourselves to leave the comfort zone.

    I admire your courage for taking the leap and traveling overseas. It’s something I’ve thought about doing for a long time. This post shows that anyone can do something like that regardless of the fear that goes along with it.

    • Benny

      Hey Dave,

      Nice to meet you! Thanks for sharing.

      Traveling overseas I know not only changed my life but has changed lives of many other bloggers I’ve come across. You should definitely try if you get the chance.

      What you did, leaving an 11 year career, definitely takes more courage in my opinion. It’s definitely scary. Reminds me of being in school for 14+ years in a environment where everything is structured and now we’re off into the real world where we have to figure out what’s next for us. That’s hard for many people. It was for me because I like structure.

      Thanks so much for sharing!

  • So pleased Benny that you found yourself in Sydney – my hometown and just down the road from where I now live – on the Gold Coast – the ultimate love story – would make an awesome book and can’t wait for the movie!

    • Benny

      Hey Peter!

      We loved Sydney. We lived in the Paddington area and loved it there. Loved the feel of that area. The huge park nearby where I could go running. So easy to take the bus into the city or over to Bondi beach. The summer time there is gorgeous. Sunny but not too hot like here in Florida. Just typing these words brings back all those feelings of being there. We were just talking about going back soon. I told her let’s try for next year (fingers crossed)! Next time I’d like to go to Cairns to swim the Great Barrier reef.

      A book and a movie sounds like a great idea! Just have to get started on writing that. 🙂

      Thanks Peter for commenting!

  • Liv C

    OMG – LOVE the picture. She’s beautiful and you’re adorable together.

    I love the story. Isn’t it amazing how many great things are waiting for us behind the thinnest walls?

    It’s a goofy/nerdy analogy, but it reminds me of the train station in Harry Potter. You know how you can only go between the real world and the magic world by running at a brick wall at full speed? And then suddenly you’re on the other side? It’s kind of like that.

    Good post! 🙂

    • Hi Liv!

      That is a great analogy! So many great things are behind brick walls. We can’t see through them obviously but in some situations have to think that the other side is much better.

      Thanks for the compliment on the photo!!

  • Wow, awesome man! That’s great you did all that and most importantly met her! Wouldn’t have happened if you didn’t do it. Way to go!

    • Benny

      Hey Sam!

      Yes I’m so glad I went. Not only did I meet her but I had such an amazing time living in Taipei. So many wonderful things happened.

      Enjoyed reading about your trip to Hawaii!

      • Cool dude. Question, why dont you think the Yakeize Lifestyle vertical has taken off? I would think Lifestyle bloggers who like to travel would love to earn an extra $1,000+/month on their sites no?

        • I’m not sure Sam. Yeah I’m sure most people would love to earn a $1000 extra a month. I’m sure you’ll get the lifestyle part going!

  • Hi Benny..
    Great Man thanks for encouragement….:P
    TH@ts not mean I am going to fly in air.But I try to enjoy my life like your disscussed.

  • Fantastic story Benny. Man – that was a great read. It was just filled with warmness and confidence. Confidence that was set free by overcoming fear.

    Great picture. Can I just see them all? I love those man. Book me and Courtney a flight to Taipei ASAP!

    Every time I start a new job I have a little fear tucked within me. When I’ve moved on to new jobs, I’ve done so after making a name for myself at my previous job. I put in the work to establish certain freedoms; such as not being stuck working a typical 9-5 work day. So moving on to a new job means that I have to put in the work in building up the brand and making a name for myself. I actually started a new job last month so I’m in that phase now!

    Great post Benny. Very inspirational.

    …did I mention that I love the picture!


    • Benny

      Did you love the picture? I didn’t quite understand if you did! 🙂

      Thanks for sharing JK. We all have fear when doing something new. Some come in with big fear and some just a little like you. I know in your new job you’re going to build up the brand and make a name for yourself. You’ve done it before so you know it’s possible.

      As for the rest, are you on FB? If so friend my personal account on FB and you can see all 40 pics!

      • I’m not on FB man. But I’m on Google Plus!

  • Hi Benny,

    So I love a good love story and proof that following your heart leads to amazing things. I think it takes a lot of bravery to go to Sydney the way you did. I am sure you had a lot of people telling you that you are crazy, etc, but you went for it and will be thankful you did for the rest of your life!
    Sometimes I think it’s those crazy ideas that keep us interested in what we are doing and believing in ourselves.
    I was wondering how you and your fiancee met and now I know! BTW, that is a great picture! You both look so happy together xoxo

    • Benny

      I told myself I was crazy for doing that! But I had this feeling it was the right choice. Another commenter, Paul, said going to Sydney to live with a girl I just met sounds like a bad chick flick! Hahaha. I said it just sounds like a bad idea. But I had to do it or else I would have regretted it.

      When we think about how we met, we think it’s a pretty cool story. The longer part of the story is that after we danced and kissed, she was going to leave with her friends. I heard she was leaving so I went outside of the club so I could see her before she left. Well my friend (the one that introduced us) was out there too so we all talked. Eleanor wondered why I didn’t ask for her phone number!! I honestly didn’t know why either. I told her I could have gotten it from my friend. So they were leaving. We went back inside.

      Little did I know they were walking away from the club and Eleanor kept thinking about going back. She didn’t expect to see me ever again. She wanted just one more kiss. So she bugged her friends to go back with her. She went back inside the club but couldn’t find me. It’s a tiny club so I don’t know why she couldn’t. So she left. Later I went outside again and saw her friends standing at the corner. I was surprised they were still there. They said Eleanor came back to look for me and just left in a cab. So they gave me her phone number and I called her real quick.

      That Monday I sent her a simple text that said “You just popped in my head. Now get out.” She said she about fell out of her chair cause she was so excited to hear from me. The following weekend I spent the day with her and her friends. That night we got dropped off to catch the subway back home. We ended up just walking and talking. We made our way to that huge public plaza where I ended up having kickboxing classes. We stayed up all night until the sun came up just talking. The rest is history. 🙂

  • This is an amazing story Benny.

    I could identify with your experiences, which is partly why I love reading your blogs. How personal and intimate you get with your stories. Don’t let that go.

    Every scary situation I’ve coaxed myself to engage in – fear of not being able to handle it – surprise! I handled. I’m still here and better for it.

    Now it’s time to take the next leap. Lately I’ve been bouncing of the walls I’ve limited my life to. It’s time to take action.

    I find you will always find reasons not to do something. There is always going to be some means of rationalization. You just have to do it!

    This was one of the most captivating posts I’ve read in a while Benny! Take care.

    • Benny

      Thanks Chris for saying that. It means a lot to me.

      Have you read “The War of Art” by Steven Pressfield? I just read it last week. I think you’d like it. It’s about breaking through resistance.

      You’re right that most of the time our fears never come true in the end! We do always have a reason to NOT do something. The more important it is to use the more we find reasons to not do it. Instead it must be done!

      Thanks for coming by and sharing Chris!

  • I’m glad you could overcome your fear and have such amazing adventures. It’s so inspiring to hear stories like this.

    I felt a lot of anxiety before my first whitewater rafting trip. I almost backed out, but I knew I would never forgive myself. And I’m so glad I did it because it was an amazing experience. I felt fear before my first time rockclimbing too. You just have to work through it.

    Sometimes I think that sometimes fear is just a way of telling you that you’re going in the right direction. It’s like you said, you only grow outside of your comfort zone. And to do that means facing your fears. I couldn’t agree more.

    • Benny

      Steve, you’ve made a great point that I read in a book called “The War of Art”. Have you read it? The author said “Fear is good. Like self doubt, fear is an indicator. Fear tells us what we have to do.” So maybe you have read his work cause you have a simliar attitude.

      Thanks Steve for sharing your experience!

  • That’s awesome Benny, you took upon a great risk, and life worked out for the better. Very inspiring post and thanks so much for sharing such a solid experience. Taking chances is what it’s all about.

    • Thanks Vitaly! Yes I’m so glad I did. I can’t believe I almost didn’t do those things.

      I’m glad you enjoyed the post.

      Thanks for your comment!

  • I like your stories of triumphs and tribulations and hopping over the fear hurdle.

    Some of the best things in life are worth fighting for.

    > focused on getting in shape instead of kicking each others’ head in
    Sounds like you lucked out. My kickboxing training was the latter … and the only people we feared were other people in our own class 🙂

    • Hey JD!

      I don’t think I could handle the class if there was sparring. Seemed like you had to toughen up to take that kickboxing class.

      Thanks for your comment again! Hope you’re having a great weekend!

  • Fear really can hold us back, it’s tough sometimes but pushing through feels great once we get over the hurdles. I’m glad you go to take those trips and meet your fiance. That’s a great picture of you guys – congrats! -Sydney

    • Benny

      Sometimes our biggest reward comes when we face our biggest fears. I’m glad I did all those things and kinda feel dumb I had those fears because all the things I worried about never became a big problem.

      Thanks Sydney!!

  • True dat. All of dat. But do you still fear risk? Even after you’ve seen such a positive outcome? I do. And as I get older, I think it becomes harder to push past it.

    When I was younger, like you, I moved to a country where I knew no one. I wanted a job change and a geography change, so I sent out resumes and portfolios to all of the advertising agencies in Mexico, packed my bags and went. I was terrified. I was twenty four.

    I checked into a hotel and called the first agency on my list, Alazraki & Associadades. The president responded with “we’ve been waiting for your call.” They didn’t have job, but they had a project similar to one on my resume, and needed immediate help. (BTW-this is where that electronic billboard we talked about came into play!) 🙂

    I finished the project, went to a language school for a few weeks, then checked back into the hotel. This time I started my calls at the end of the alphabet, Young & Rubicam. The president responded with “we’ve been waiting for your call.” Alazraki had talked me up in the community while I was away. Y&R did have a job. A job I enjoyed for years, and where I made fabulous, lifelong friends.

    It’s when you face your fears that you get the biggest return. I’ve seen this again and again in my life. However, I feel that the older I get, the more resistant I am to facing the fear. Despite the track record. Have you seen this??

    • Benny

      Hey Kathy!

      Yes I do still fear risk. But I read something really interesting in a book called “The War of Art”. He said, “Fear is good. Like self-doubt, fear is an indicator. Fear tells us what we have to do. The more fear we feel about a specific enterprise, the more certain we can be that that enterprise is more important to us and to the growth of our soul. That’s why we feel so much resistance. If it meant nothing to us, there’d be no resistance.”

      That’s a huge risk you took when you were younger. Glad to hear it turned out well despite the crazy billboard. Just thinking about it now I haven’t seen that the older we get the harder it is to face the fear. Could it be that when we’re younger we see this whole future ahead of us so we know there’s more room for error? But as we get older, it’s harder because we’re not young anymore. I’ll have to think more about that.

      Thanks for sharing Kathy!

  • This sounds like something that should be in a movie. I read this so slowly taking every single detail in. It is truly amazing what love ca go through. You two could have given up, but you both didn’t
    . It is such a touching story!

    And, that is a magnificent photo! I truly love it.


    • Benny

      That’s the best comment I’ve gotten. Thanks so much. I read your comment a few times already. I’m really glad you enjoyed it. Just happy our story touches other people!

      As for the movies? I might have to write that screenplay myself one day. 🙂

      Thank you so much Gabi!!

  • Cher Shives

    Fears are one of our fears in life…All we have to do is face it and conquer…Thanks a lot for the inspiration!!!

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  • Wow, Inspirational story Benny. You took a risk a reaped one of the greatest rewards. I hope you and your fiance’ continue on your journey together, and create many more memories and not fall back into your safety comfort zones.

    • Benny

      Thank you so much for your kind words! I took huge risks for myself at the time and it paid off so well for me. In the end most of the time what we fear will happen if we take a certain action, won’t happen. We always imagine the worst possible scenario.

      We will definitely keep creating great memories forever.

      Thanks so much for your comment!

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  • Benny, I learned so much about you here 🙂 LOVE.IT!!

    And you two are gorgeous!!! So are you in Jacksonville now?

    • Benny

      Thanks Brankica!! We love that the pics turned out way better than we imagined. 🙂

  • Remco

    Nice article, we have some similarities. Martail arts also helped me years ago to get more out of my comfort zone, and each day i get lots of opportunities to practice to get more busy living.


    Ps. Came by through Pat Flynn’s site

    • Benny

      Hi Remco,

      Thank you for coming from Pat’s site. He’s a great guy and was surprised for the mention!

      I’m glad martial arts has helped you find more confidence. Kickboxing got me into the best shape of my life and ave me so much confidence. I”m so thankful to have done it.

      Thanks for sharing Remco!

  • Lea G

    Whoa! I would love to do that! That’s what you call face your fear! It’s not everyday that you can do that

    • Thanks Lea!! I’m so glad I did face the fear and did it!

      Hope you’ll come across situations like that and do that too!

      Thanks for commenting!

  • Right now I am feeling really sappy. Tough guys should never feel this way right!? Apparently I need to get out of my comfort zone as well.

    Great post.


    • Hey Jae,

      It’s okay to feel sappy! I do more often than I’d like to admit. 🙂

      Thanks for reading, your comment, and the RT!

  • This is great content friend. I’ve really enjoyed reading it. One thing is for sure, the word F.E.A.R is an acronym for:

    F = False
    E = Evidence
    A = Appearing
    R = Real

    i.e. False Evidence Appearing Real.
    Sometimes, there is nothing like fear, it’s just the thing you made up on your mind. I’m highly inspired to conquer fear and succeed.

    • Thank you Michael for the acronym. It’s very appropriate and so true!

  • Ok, so I FINALLY made it over here after reading the post on Pat’s blog. Just wanted to tell you that this is what I needed to hear. Fear is indeed crippling, and if we were to just get over our fears, we could experience so much more to life.

    Awesome stuff.

    btw, Congratulations on finding yourself a beautiful partner 😉

    • Hey Leslie!

      Thanks for coming by. Congrats on getting mentioned in Pat’s post too. I’ve got to listen to your podcast that he mentions! Sounds really good.

      Thanks for the kind words about my partner! I’m a lucky guy for sure.

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  • Amazing stories. You could make a movie around those three chapters! Beautiful picture, you guys look like a great couple. Keep inspiring others!

    • Thanks so much Buck! You’re not the first to think it’s a great story for the big screen. I’d love to write a screenplay one day and this might be that idea. 🙂

      I will keep inspiring others. You do the same! Thanks for commenting.

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  • Awesome, fear is was cripples us from succeeding.

    I used to have a fear of dancing, now I don’t give a damn and get all the ladies! Haha j/k 🙁

    • Hey Brian! I used to fear dancing so much! I envied people who could dance well! Now I enjoy it. I’m not a pro but I can let loose and have some fun.

      Thanks for reading and leaving a comment. I enjoy meeting new people here!

  • Cal

    Awesome man! Do you still jump? Looks like a Hop N Pop? Dude, this is crazy. Our stories are so similar!


    • Actually Cal that’s not me! I don’t want to lie and say “Oh yeah, I still jump”. LOL. It’s a photo from Flickr.com. Sums up what I wanted to say in the post. My fiance skydived and actually today said we should do it. I’ve heard nothing but amazing things about skydiving but i can’t get over that fear of jumping out of a plane!

  • I like adventures. My first adventure was going to Beijing by train by myself when I was just 18. This was the first time I left my hometown. Everything was cool. However, I was told so many times to protect my wallet from thieves that I didn’t enjoy the trip at all for fearing encountering thieves.

    • Adventure is cool for sure but yes you do have to protect yourself.

      I notice the link to your webpage is an e-commerce site? Is that yours?

  • Tom

    Living the life. You guy are perfect for each other. Sky diving is definitely dangerous but you only live once so why not take the chance.

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  • Benny,

    Amazing story once again, with great advice.

    I can totally understand where you’re coming from when you say that there is always that voice inside our heads that constantly tell us to do what our hearts want us and tell us to do. It’s kind of a little voice devil, one that when we choose to listen to most of the time, even though we know we’ll regret choosing to immediately after.

    I personally faced a similar problem to your kickboxing story. When I first enrolled in my University, we were all faced with the many activities from which we could choose from.

    Having never danced in my entire life before, I’ve always wanted to pick up a dance, and be able to move my body to a beat, without looking ridiculous or being ridiculed at. And there was this orientation day when all of us were supposed to walk around the various club/sports booths to sign up for them, and I kept pacing up and down around the dance booths, but never found the courage to sign up for one of them.

    I actually left the school that day and headed home, I remember that It was raining. But the thought of me being a coward and not daring to sign up for a dance club was bugging me at the back of my mind, and finally, I told myself to do an about turn, head back to school, to sign up with one of the dance clubs. Now, I’m happily dancing Salsa and I don’t regret my decision ever since.

    All of us are always faced with problems like this, but like you said, more often than not, we’re the ones who are holding ourselves back. We’re the ones with the voices in our heads telling ourselves not to go out of our comfort zone, not to try something we’ve never tried, for the fear of being embarrassed or what not.

    I can totally relate to your story, and am so glad that you made the three big decisions that have helped shaped your life so far. Thank you for sharing this story Benny!

    • Thanks for sharing the story about signing up for salsa! That’s gotta be a great feeling. I’m sure you’re thinking now, “What was I so scared about before?” Those voices think they know what is right, but more often they are wrong. We have to shut them up if we really want to take risks that will make us the most happy in life.

      Are you looking to try other styles of dancing now?

      Thank you for reading my story!

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  • This is a lovely story, Benny!

    • Thanks so much Ollie!

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  • May

    Hi Benny , wow! Thank you for this post! I told myself I must leave this once last comment in the year of Rabbit before the beautiful Dragon arrives. Your article inspired and also gentle reminded me that we just need that extra tinge of “dragon courage” sometimes to follow our gut feeling. ” good things do happen when you do things you’re afraid to do” – really really love this phrase! There was also this one reader who commented and shared her story on fear that nobody turned up at her party , only to find out the next day the reason behind it. It’s really amazing! am now venturing to speak to strangers, outside my comfort zone in Singapore to KL malaysia. Lots of fear and panic buttons , but as we broke the ice gradually, things got really smoother and unexpected friendships formed. Life is much larger and deeper than what it seems on the surface. It’s like a tip of an ice berg. It may look like just a tip that Titanic knocked onto but who knows actually it lies. Huge mountain under the water . Thank u for the inspiring post once again. Learnt many tips here. Am so happy for you N Elanor. WHen fate comes knocking, we can’t stop it. best wishes to you in 2012 dragon year !

    • Thanks so much May. That was a great comment! First of all, happy new year to you! Life is definitely about getting out of our comfort zone. It’s too boring if we always stay there. That’s why I don’t understand when people don’t travel outside of their home country. There are so many great places to see in the world! Life is definitely much deeper than what we see. I like that sentence! Thanks May for your comment!

  • Mehul

    Hi, Benny, I want a little favor from your side. Can you mail me the stunning picture of you and your fiance that is at the bottom of the post. I would like to place it somewhere I can see it daily and remind myself of what it is that I really want. May god bless both of you. my mail id is : mehulpithadia @ yahoo . com. I hope you will mail the gorgeous pic of yours.

    • Hi Mehul, glad you love the picture. What you can do that will be easier is to just save a copy to your computer. Right click on the photo and save it your computer. That’ll be the best way to get a copy of that photo. Glad you like the pic! I hope you find what you want soon.

  • awww, it’s nice to read the back story of your relationship…one of the 1st posts I ever read when I started reading your blog was the one about you getting married.

    Anyway, I’m so deathly afraid, deeply/deathly/obnoxiously afraid of some of the things I’m trying to do right now. It’s good to read other stories of fear in transition and following dreams, etc. It does up the normal factor of the fear I’m feeling. It’s just amazing to me how intense it is…how much I HATE the idea of putting a lot of effort and work into something that may not solve the problems I thought it would.

    thanks for your honesty here. much appreciated.

    • Thanks for reading a little more about me. I enjoy telling the story how we met cause it’s a good one.

      Hope you can find a way to overcome those fears you’re having. I hope it’s not so bad that it paralyzes you. It is tough to put in a lot of work and effort and get the result you didn’t imagine. I hope you find a way!