Doubt and fear

I had many moments of pain and doubt. Becoming a best-selling author was a long journey and I faced many setbacks along the way.

For instance, I had a rough time with my second book The Alchemist. It was first published by a small publishing house and even though it sold well, at the end of the first year, the publisher decided to give me back the rights since, according to his words, “he could make more money in the stock exchange”.

At the time I decided to leave Rio with my wife and we spent 40 days in the Mojave dessert. I needed to heal myself from this and when I came I decided to keep on struggling.

I realized that despite the fear and the bruises of life, one has to keep on fighting for one’s dream.

As Borges said in his writings “there no other virtue than being brave”.

And one has to understand that braveness is not the absence of fear but rather the strength to keep on going forward despite the fear.

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  1. Betty says:

    I just want to say I am so grateful to you for all the insipiration you brought in my life. I have read The Alchemist when I was really young because I liked reading everything (a passion for it) then I landed on it again in January and since then I am your greatest disciple. I just finished The manual, the worrior of light, Brinda and now I am busy with The Pilgrimage. I have started two books that are inspired by you but they are all manuscript for now. I want to learn from you basically be one of your discples.

  2. Marta Moreira says:

    Querido Sr.Paulo Coelho

    Quando me sinto sem rumo, confusa e com o mundo nas minhas costas; leio tudo o que tenho seu.. desde livros, revistas e na internet! Encontro sempre uma palavra de consolo, conforto e ajuda! Vejo-o como a minha voz interior .. Obrigada por fazer tí£o bem a este nosso mundo. Com os melhores cumprimentos e adoraí§í£o

    Marta Moreira.

  3. Dear Paulo,

    When you said that routine is lethal, I started feeling so sorry for myself, in the past years, I lived in a routine. On that same week, I was lucky that some friends invited me to spend the weekend in a place with lots of pine trees and dragonflies.

    Then I suddenly thought, ‘The trees make a difference just by being trees, they give comfort and joy to a weary heart, the trees don’t even have a routine, they just stay where they are! So how much more for me?’

    As the van carrying us sped past the pine trees on our way back home, I look out the window and told myself, ‘but I am not a tree’

    I hope that one day, I’ll make a difference in this world, you said I can sell my time but can never buy it back, that’s true. And now I realize that I just sold years of my life to a routine…

    1. Monica says:

      You are certainly right. l’m in the middle of chaos every single day. l’m trapped and don’t know what to do. Fear is the factor here. l’d like to quit my job and start my life the way l want it to be, but l’m terrified by being unemployed again. Have you ever felt that way?

      God bless you!!!

  4. H says:

    We often don’t realise how brave the people around us are because we don’t know what fears they have overcome to be with us. We all fear different things, so sometimes bravery is the smallest action in one person’s life but a huge mountain climb in another person’s life. Some of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do have looked easy. Some of the easiest things I’ve ever done have looked hard.

    Paulo is a constant inspiration. He’s like my personal trainer in the fight the good fight race against myself.

    (Hope that makes sense!)

  5. Olga says:

    No sé en Brasil pero aquí­ cuando tenemos hambre decimos que tenemos un tigre.

  6. Shreya says:

    Well Said Sir! :))

  7. karen says:

    At times, someone will tell me that I am brave and then they will confess to me the fears that keep them from following a desire or wish. It seems often that we don’t realize that fear is a natural part of life or that those that keep following their dreams are afraid, too.

    Thank you for sharing your story and that which is human in all of us.
    blessings from karen

  8. Damien says:

    this helps me when i am afraid…

    I will lift up mine eyes unto the mountains:
    from whence shall my help come?

    My help cometh from the Lord,
    who made heaven and earth.

    He will not suffer thy foot to be moved;
    He that keepeth thee will not slumber.

    He that keepeth Israel doth neither slumber nor sleep.

    the Lord is thy keeper;
    the Lord is thy shade upon thy right hand.

    The sun shall not smite thee by day,
    nor the moon by night.

    the Lord shall keep thee from all evil;
    He shall keep thy soul.

    the Lord shall guard thy going out and thy coming in,
    from this time forth and for ever.

  9. HECTOR says:


  10. Flavia says:

    Obrigada! Muitas vezes só encontro consolo e alento em suas palavras!
    Ps: eu tenho a primeira edií§í£o do soque Iara q comprei “por acaso” e mudou minha vida!

  11. Pernilla says:

    Thank you, I really needed those words today.

  12. nadina boun says:

    I love it, this is great advice, thank you.
    I am in the pro ess of publishing poems rather than a book but I am constatntly beimg held back by my own fear of failure and rejection.
    Thank you so much. This really helped.
    Ps: I also enjoy reading all the other daily posts but my favorite is the post from Medieval Chivalry.

  13. nagualero says:

    beautiful words dear Paulo :-)

  14. Meghan says:

    As always, your words of wisdom are inspiring. I’m glad you never gave up – The Alchemist is a life-changing tale for all of your readers.

  15. Ashish says:

    I want to live my dreams…at least one of them. I try to stack everything on 1 of the dream fulfillment. that when this happen I can do all these at least..I have completely trusted and given myself to my heavenly father but how long will i have to wait…? Bible says everything has its own time. I can’t be Abraham who lived 600yrs bt trying to be faithful like him. :( sometimes i feel that am i being selfish to think and concentrate on my dreams which i have been given from my childhood.
    Nothing makes me happy, exciting or get going ..right now. praying to move the mountains of anxiety and fear but i can’t control the time. My heart and mind not at peace. The peace God has already given us…John 14:27

  16. Kati says:

    Thank you very much Mr Coelho for your inspiring confession. It only proves that it is worth fighting for the things you believe in.

  17. CG says:

    “going forward despite the fear”
    Thanks, Paulo.
    I’m trying to go on. Sometimes very slowly.
    Being brave sometimes isn’t easy.
    Fear is sitting deep within.

  18. Kealan says:

    I’m glad. In relation to my other message I started reading through the ‘project’ and there are only a few very minor mistakes.

    I am wondering since I am using an older MS word program if it is causing some problems for me…

    Doubt not, Fear not (for I am with you).

  19. Mark says:

    You are manifest
    Because the Wholiness needs
    Someone just like you

  20. Thank you very much for this. Yes braveness is not the absence of fear.

  21. hope says:

    hats off to you daer Paul, You inspire us always…the words are mightier than sword

  22. C. says:

    Is the desert calling you back soon? Would love to meet the man behind your eyes.

  23. Deepa says:

    Thanks Paulo for sharing your first hand experience. To inspire someone to be like you would be the greatest legacy you can leave behind. I hope to have the same level of spiritual awareness as you someday, Paulo. And i hope i can create some profound writtings like you. Hope to meet you someday in India

  24. Lorian says:

    Read them when I was so down with work. Like it’s meant to be read by all of us who think of giving up.

    Thank you for the non-stop inspiration, Paulo!

    *going out to be brave now*

  25. katie says:

    “I realized that despite the fear and the bruises of life, one has to keep on fighting for one’s dream.”

    Working with the PC-blog again & again, I have been thinking about what has changed since I joined the discussing. I remember, one of my first questions was about what one can do when having a writing blog.

    The book is not finished yet; & I still think (of course) that I am too slow! but I have also learned that the time that is passing is as important as the product at the end.

    fighting for the dream is important because it presents a part of oneself.
    fighting for a dream is important because it shows that one acknowledges oneself & takes oneself seriously.

    I took a lot of time the last 2 years for the dream. not just its progress has been important, but also how I have changed since then.

    of course the fear & doubt come always up. & I have realized that they get very well fed by “outsiders” who just think their opinion is the right one.

    of course, a dream just does not live in a vacuum. I currently learn to go back to reality :o).

    but even putting aside everything for some time to accommodate the real life in my environment & what it ask for, I am now bouncing back to the dream in a natural way: free time shows up, or being better organized, some more clear ideas what to add. & the importance for ME (!) to work on it. yes, the continuity of being there for a dream can teach a lot.

    I think, Paulo, your picking up the topics of fear, doubt, dream again & again with a different focus, just have helped me over time, to accept the concepts that they are part of life & one needs to deal with it.

  26. Zara says:

    This is quite motivating! We had the same thoughts about being brave to face life, generally speaking. Being brave is not really the absence of fear but continuing life, to still pursue your dreams despite the fear that come along the way.

  27. Fear…I just wonder why others are so lucky to be feared…while its a struggle for me to face my fears…

  28. Heart says:

    Oh yes. I sat the other day and did an inventory of times in my life where I was included and times in my life I was excluded. Of course many times it is a little bit of both. The funny thing is to keep moving forward. Today, I overheard a lady calling up her dad to tell him Happy Birthday, and all of a sudden a tear was running down my chin, thinking about how much I miss my own dad, who passed away a few years ago. I know he would have loved to share much of what I appreciate about my own life now, and at least I can think he somehow share it in spirit, and still would be intrigued by his daughter! I told the phone lady, a thing I’ve said several times before. My dad gave me the most important thing in life; humor. Rest his precious soul.