“Life expands in direct proportion to one’s courage.”

-Anaïs Nin.

Fear shows up in different forms and the physical sensation of it is easy to recognize: Shaky legs when you are standing at the edge of a cliff and sweaty hands before delivering an important speech.

Yet, here is a more subtle form of fear, a voice in your head, a story that you are telling yourself, which is much harder to identify.

Typically, fear doesn’t just show say I am scared. That would be too easy. More likely, it will appear in form of a story. One that soothes you and makes you feel comfortable. The voice that tries to convince you that moving forward and facing important changes is really not that important right now.

Wherever your biggest fear is hidden, it’s often also the source of your biggest desire. Whenever someone tells me what it is they really don’t want to do (I really don’t like getting up in front of people, I am not a good singer, I am a really quiet person, etc.), I dare them. Sure enough, when talking about the topic, it’s often where they light up the most.

I am listing a few ‘sound bites’ of fear below. Feel free to add your own.


Fear in Business:

This has to be perfect before I can get it out.

I don’t like my job but it’s better than not having one.

I have to have a really good business plan before I can start my own venture.

Somebody much smarter than me should do this.

Good clients are hard to find.

Money really is not that important to me.

I am not sure that I can do this.

I don’t deserve it.

I need a partner if I really want to be successful.

Who am I to have a big business?

My job is not that challenging anymore but I am happy about the regular paycheck.


Fear in Relationships:

It’s hard to find a good man / woman.

The only thing women are interested in is money.

The only thing men want is sex.

First, I have to lose weight and then I can have a relationship.

I don’t think there is the right person out there for me.

If I ask for what I want in my relationship, it will fall apart.

It’s not worth the trouble.

Having kids is too much work.

If I end this relationship I may never find a good partner again.

I am not good looking enough to deserve a great man / woman.


Fear in Life:

I don’t have many friends and that’s OK.

I rather don’t stir up any trouble.

I can’t afford it.

If I don’t do what others expect of me I will end up all alone.

My life is nice and quiet.

I think my life will be much easier once I …

If I say what I really think nobody will like me.


Related Post:

What to Do When Fear Overwhelms You


Photo Source: Death to the Stock Photo