post written by: Marc Chernoff

5 Ways to Step Forward When You’re Scared to Death


5 Ways to Step Forward When You’re Scared to Death

“Do one thing every day that scares you.”
―Eleanor Roosevelt

Fear is the most powerful single factor that deprives you of being able to achieve your full potential.  You experience it most often as a result of your own thoughts and emotional visions, rather than actual real world causes.  In other words, you become fearful of a fantasy – something that doesn’t exist.

Fear is a cloaked enemy that whispers negative thoughts into your mind, body and soul.  It tries to convince you that you will not succeed and that you cannot achieve your full potential.  These thoughts are lies.

The road you are traveling may be a bit scary at times, but don’t lose faith.  Don’t listen to your fears and the fears of those around you.  Don’t let old setbacks work their way into your present thinking.  And most of all, don’t give up on what’s important to you.

It’s fine to feel a bit uncomfortable.  It’s okay if you don’t know exactly what’s going to happen next, or how much you can handle.  As long as you gradually step forward you will learn what you need to know.  You will let go of the scary things that ‘might happen’ and start to see all the great realities unfolding around you.

This is your life and it’s an open road.  Grab the wheel with both hands and keep steering yourself around all the unnecessary fears and uncertainties as they arise.  Here’s how…

1.  Envision and declare what you want.

Regardless of fear or actual real world barriers, whenever you want to achieve something, you have to envision it and declare it.  You have to keep your eyes open and focused specifically on what you want.  It’s simply impossible to hit a target you haven’t declared, or get anywhere worthwhile with your eyes closed and your vision blurred.

The first step is realizing that what you want to achieve is already a big part of who you are.  You may be a novice just beginning a great journey, or you may be a veteran who hasn’t yet realized her dream.  Either way, the fact that you haven’t attained your desired result yet doesn’t make you any less of a force to be reckoned with.

In other words, if you want to run a marathon, you are a marathon runner.  You just need to run.  If you want to be a writer, you are a writer.  You just need to write.  Etc.  It’s only ever a matter of training, studying and practicing.

Whatever it is you want to do, envision it and declare it out loud:  “I am going to _______.”  Read 1,000 Little Things Happy, Successful People Do Differently.

And then start doing it.

2.  Know the consequence staying where you are.

What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything?

It wouldn’t be.  Life is movement.  Inaction based on fear not only stops you from achieving, it stops you from living.

Your future depends on what you do today.  The fear of failure, or whatever, can be daunting, but it’s nowhere near as bad as the realization of looking back on great opportunities you never took.  Don’t be satisfied with telling stories others have lived.  Write your own story, your way.

3.  Believe.

What you believe either weakens you or makes you stronger.  If you want to give yourself the best gift you could ever receive, believe in yourself.

The foundation of the success you desire is not based on being in a certain place, at a certain level of achievement, or a combination of external factors; it is simply a mindset.  Success is an attitude that comes from powerful beliefs and empowering thoughts.  What you think and believe about your life directly determines how you feel, what actions you take, and what you ultimately achieve.

Believing takes practice, but it also makes the impossible possible.  Is it worth the effort?  Absolutely!  Read The Success Principles.

4.  Take it slow, but GO!

Yes, take a step, and another.  Keep going!  Achievement involves lots of doing.  What you achieve is based on what you believe AND what you act upon, not just what you believe.  You’ve got to take your beliefs and put persistent effort into them.

There is no progress without action.  What is not started today is never finished by tomorrow.  Some of the greatest ideas and dreams die young.  Why?  Because the genius behind the idea or dream fails to GO forward with it – they think about it, but never DO anything about it.

Just remember, no action always results in a 100% failure rate.  So get into action now and begin moving in the right direction.  After you get started every step thereafter gets easier and easier, until what once had seemed light years away is suddenly standing right in front of you.  Read The Power of Habit.

5.  Accept that failure is possible and necessary.

As Winston Churchill once said, “Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.”

Failure is necessary.  On the path toward success you may encounter many failures, but YOU are NOT a failure.  Failures are simply stepping stones that slowly uncover the correct path forward, one slippery step at a time.  You can’t get anywhere without these steps.

So don’t wake up at eighty years of age sighing over what you should have tried but didn’t because you were scared to fail.  Just do it and be willing to fail and learn along the way.  Very few people get it right on the first shot.  In fact, most people fail to get it right on the first twenty shots.  If what you did today didn’t turn out as you had hoped, tomorrow is a new opportunity to try again and build upon what you’ve learned.

And remember, in the end the greatest thing about your journey is not so much where you stand at any given time, as it is about what direction you’re moving…

Closing Thoughts

Don’t be afraid of facing your fears.  They’re not as scary as you think, and they’re not here to stop you.  They’re here to let you know that what you want is worth fighting for.

Your turn…

What has fear stopped you from doing?  What’s one fear that you know is holding you back?  Please let us know by leaving a comment below.

Photo by: Alessandro Pautasso

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77 Comments

  • Hey everyone, it’s Marc. Just wanted to make a quick announcement:

    Angel and I just released the official 11 hour Audio Book for 1,000 Little Things Happy, Successful People Do Differently. And we also have a limited time bundle of our eBook, audio book, and bonus material on sale for a big discount. If you’ve thought about supporting our work (which supports this site’s growth), now’s your chance. Please CLICK HERE to check it out!

  • This is a big one for me. My biggest obstacle is my fear. I am so amazed at how I talk myself out of almost everything I want and am capable of achieve simply because I’m afraid to take on small doses of risk. I need to start trusting my gut, I know.

    Thank you for this inspiring reminder.

  • I did not leave my old job on good terms and I need my former supervisor to sign off on an application to allow me get another license. I emailed him, but he did not respond. Fear is preventing me from calling him and confronting him and asking him for what I need. Even if he still doesn’t sign it, I want to know in my heart that I did everything I needed to do.

  • Fear an anxiety have stopped me from turning my part part time job into a full time job (even though the money/business is there) for the last 2 years. This reminder is just the motivation I needed.

    Stand by for good news…

  • Amazing post!

  • Fear, as Dev said, is all too often the one emotion that prevents us from going the whole way. Yes we may implement most of the plan, at least the bits that are not so scary but when it gets to the last part, perhaps speaking to a live audience, that fatal statement makes its presence felt - “I could never do that.”

    The best way to overcome fear is to embrace it and breakthrough with little steps in the right direction, regardless of how small each step is.

  • Fear has prevented me from leaving my husband of 21 years, because am financially dependant on him and worry too much how people will see me after my seperation. I wish I had the guts…

  • Fear; even the word is scary. I fear a lot of things. Was even agoraphobic a few years back and didn’t go more than a block for a few months. It’s a long road but I’m getting there.

    Thanks for the fabulous post, as always they are VERY motivating. :)

  • Thanks so much for this. I know that my insecurities (basically fear) keep holding me back. This post is timely and exactly what I need.

  • Write your own story - your way!! I am getting clearer and clearer that what I do today creates the future that I am living into. After being widowed and then in a unkind relationship I caught myself thinking that I’ll never have a relationship that will nurture and grow my soul. STOP! Caught myself at that game. Start again - let’s run a new picture and then take steps each day that will allow me to create the relationship that will resonate with my soul. Maybe he is reading this right now???!!!

  • This is exactly what I needed today.
    so THANK YOU!

  • Wonderful and very pertinent post for me. Since my early 20’s I’ve suffered with anxiety attacks. I chose not to medicate but to try to understand this to be, albeit scary, a natural part of who I am with hopes to gain control of my attacks naturally. Now that I am in my late 30’s I still suffer from them and looking back on the last 15 years of my life, I realize how much my fear of an attack has held me back. I avoided visiting friends and family out of state with a strong fear of traveling. I avoid certain highways in fear of having a debilitating anxiety attack while on them, which tends to become a self fulfilling prophecy.

    I hope to continue my fight with some of the words written within this post ringing louder in my mind than the voices of fear. I hope that they propel me through those paralyzing fearful times so that in another 15 years I don’t look back and see those defeats the way I see them now.

  • I deny that I have fear. If I say I am happy with everything then I don’t have to face anything. Avoidance at it’s best. I have had my game face on for so long I can’t tell when I am authentic or not.

  • Sometimes I can’t believe the timing of some of these articles.

    I lost my job last fall at age 43, one where I made a lot of money but also caused way too much stress and did not make me happy at all. I have been struggling ever since with what I want to be “when I grow up”. I have always wanted to paint murals and children’s furniture but my fear has kept me paralized my entire adult life to move forward with working for myself and doing what I love.

    I have a friend who is encouraging me to move forward, but it is my fear of failure that continues to make me question myself. This article is just the kick in the butt I needed today…it’s getting printed and hung in my studio for a daily reminder to start kicking my fears instead!

    Thank you!

  • Congratulations on the new audio book sale, Marc!

    I used to be afraid of so many things, but then I now find myself to be incredibly fearless. Not 100%, but fear definitely motivates me.

    A lot of things that really gets my heart pumping with anxiety usually end up driving me. A lot of it is exactly from what you said. I realize that if I do nothing, I’ll stagnate so there is no point in giving into the fear.

  • I struggle with simply starting to be productive every morning, and this gave me the push I needed. Thank you.

  • Excellent!
    When I am fearful about learning or doing something new, I tell myself, “I am open to the experience.” I also love Dr. Wayne Dyer quote “Fear = False evidence appearing real.”

  • Fear has kept me stuck in a city where there is lttle to no economic growth. However, since I fear the unknown, I’m unhappy with my present.

  • I have little fear when it comes to my company or my relationships. But I do have one pesty little “secret” fear - a fear of flying. I use to travel a lot. But one bad panic attack on a flight home from Europe, and asking me to get on a plane is like asking me to do a double back flip off the Eiffel Tower. The movie French Kiss inspired me to get back onto a plane many years ago. One simple line by Kevin Klein “You’re not living!” got me on a plane to Sweden. But for many years inbetween, my fear has kept me grounded. Now my family wants to go on beach holiday next Xmas. =| I definitely WANT to go. But I am truthfully scared as hell.

    Thank you for this blog post this morning. It has reminded me that I need to ignore that “enemy whispering those negative thoughts into my head.”

  • Yes, This is a BIGGIE for me. I faced a major fear last week with the possibility that failure may occur and I did it anyway… and I lived to tell about it! I was fine and all is good!

    It was awesome! I am ready for the next step! Thank you for the motivation Marc and Angel.

  • Fear can be pretty motivating when it isn’t paralyzing. I can cheer myself on right up until my big toe is encroaching on the line of real forward action… then… I look behind me and start to question whether or not I am “up to” whatever it is that has pushed me forward. Dropping that fear for 10 minutes to jump over the line is so scary… but even if I fail, I find a little more confidence in myself that I jumped at all.

  • I have started my own Youtube channel and wanted to make creative videos ever since, but something has stopped me from continuing to create content. Maybe fear of nonconstructive feedback and that I won’t get out of it as much as I want to. My first few videos have shown me the power to positively influence people and it feels heartwarming and incredible that I can inspire others. As long as I value and love what I create, hopefully others do too. I will do it. =)

  • I don’t know that I believe in myself anymore, I find a reason to fear around every corner. I will save this article and read it until I can believe it and hopefully move forward.

  • Marc,

    You’re absolutely right.

    Fear is often the one thing holding people back from success. Yet, most of our fears just aren’t real. We’ve simply imagined things to be (more often than not) worse than they really are.

    I especially love point #2. It’s scary trying anything for the first time. I certainly felt that way when I first started my business. However, I always like to ask myself what I would miss out if I did NOT try it. Quite often, my potential regret of NOT doing something is worse but my fear of doing it.

    In the end, I think we regret the most in life not the things we did, but rather the things we could have done but did not do.

  • I recently purchased your audio book. I listen to it in my car on the way to and from work. It is helping me become a better person. Thank you.

  • I have OCD and Post Trama Stress Disorder. How do I move forward? I need guidance.

  • Wow, as Denise said, I can’t believe the timing of some of these articles! I too sometimes allow fear to whisper negative thoughts. Today I refuse to listen! I am a confident, competent person who lost her job two years ago. I am anxious that my current temporary work assignment will end, and I will once again be searching for work at 55 years or age! However, if this should happen, I will embrace the change as a new opportunity, and I will use the experience and skills that I have gained to excel in my next fabulous assignment! Thank you so much for all that you do!

  • Great article. I just moved to a new city, completely alone, to take a better job. Leaving all my friends and family and a better climate behind and living in a place where I know nobody has me waking up on weekends paralyzed with fear of being alone with myself. I am 43 years old and am struggling with just putting one foot in front of the other. It would be a mistake for me financially to run back home right now. I realize from this article that its fear that has me frozen and I am determined to change that by changing my thinking.

  • I read a lot of these but this is the first time I’ve written. I think it has made me realize that a lot of the things I’m unhappy about have their root in fear. Fear of looking stupid. Fear of what other people will think. I like the idea of stating what I want and then making a plan of baby steps to get there. I just have to decide first what it is I want…

  • Hi Marc,
    I have definitely led my life, up to this point, being very fearful. Fear of change, fear of new, fear of different, fear of taking risks.
    I am wondering how a person can change a mindset that has been a part of their upbringing and environment for the whole life?
    When you have been continuously exposed to a fearful attitude as portrayed by your parents - how do you break that cycle?
    Aren’t we all a product of our environment until we break free and find ourselves?
    Thanks for this today. I am trying to move towards feeling more adventurous, passionate and less fearful.
    This site is very inspiring and evokes feelings and thoughts of positivity. Thank you.

  • Fear has stopped me for the last 30 years to become who I really wanted to be. Finally in the last two years I have started coming out of my shell and am pursuing my dreams. It’s not easy - it’s not a perfect straight path. I’m still scared, but have to keep putting one foot in front of another.
    Sunday morning I will mark another checkbox next to a bucketlist item - a Half-Marathon race.

    Marc & Angel - love the posts - read each one - love each one - I get so much out of them, even when I don’t comment. Thank you for your insights!

  • marilyn bonacorso
    April 10th, 2013 at 12:28 pm

    Another great one, again thank you!

  • This is an inspiring article. It has just empowered me to do more great things in my life. I like this one ” Success is an attitude that comes from powerful beliefs and empowering thoughts” … what I think and believe determines how I feel. It means my life depends on my thoughts and actions. I will keep to them. Thank you Marc and Angel.

  • Marc, I think about the person who told you that you are not a good enough writer, and what might have not happened if you’d been shut down by fears of “not being good enough”.

    I celebrate what has come of your willingness to forge forward.

  • Fear is a big factor as well as uncertainty in my life right now. I got accepted into an amazing grad school program but I will have to take out 100% loans for everything: tuition, rent, food, supplies.. And over the span of two years will amass $150,000.00 in debt without interest added on top of that. I don’t know if I should take the risk or stay where I am and go a different route.

  • We all have fears… I have been hurt physically, emotionally and spiritually but the wonderful experiences I have had would not be so sweet if I didn’t take the risks. When someone says “do you want to try…?” Say yes… Be a collector of experiences!

  • I fear that if I take that step and devote myself fully to my passion, then I will not be able to fulfill commitments that I have made to my employer, my kids, my husband. So when I get close to doing something really amazing, I back off.

  • I love this blog. Two visionaries with amazing advice on the truthfulness of life’s twists and turns. As a student, I’m currently taking my summer off work to complete some big dreams. Some that include travel, writing a book, learning to row, and writing a blog(started). I’ll be honest, I thought I was losing everything by not working. But looking at the bigger picture, I have nothing to lose.

    It’s nice to read your posts everyday and take a step back and see that everything isn’t as scary as we make it out to be.

    Thanks for the daily reminder! — Benny

  • First off, Rachel, you will never overcome those fears if you don’t first have faith in the unknown and take the first steps to change. Start with something small.

    My fear is not in dying, its in having never lived.

    I fear others opinions too much. I fear the bigger risks that lead to larger failures. I fear surrender because it means accepting a level of vulnerability that has been trampled again and again. I fear not living up to my potential, whatever that might be. I fear letting God down, as he has blessed me with so much and I’ve yet to take full advantage of those gifts.

    I fear the unknown, yet it seems it always turns out better than the here and now.

    I fear that my negative beliefs of not ’successfully’ completing a task will continually keep me feeling like a failure, when the fact that I’ve tried and persevered against all odds has proven my resolve against adversity.

    I fear that I’m selling myself short of what I am capable of and worth, according to God.

    I fear that as society is continually dumbed down by controlling governments and systems, that there will be no one left in the world that is willing or able to intellectually stand for truth, justice, and liberty for all.

  • This post is just what I needed today. Fear stops me dead in my tracks, paralyzes me, and keeps me from taking action. I know just taking action, little baby steps even, that fear can slowly be diminished and my anxieties have a chance to chill out! I struggle with negative thoughts. I work hard to replace them with positive thoughts in order for me to feel “ok”.
    Thanks for this post, I’ll be referring to it often for strength to take action to abolish my fears…!
    Keep up the great work. I absolutely love your posts!

  • Wowza! Good reading and so true. I am impressed by all the comments and vulnerability that has been expressed. That alone shows how folks have stepped out of their fear, even if only for a moment after reading this article. Having a trusted person to talk with can help with some, usually a therapist or counselor, they help put the thoughts and feelings out of you, so you can look at them objectively and hopefully work through them, not easy and sometimes emotionally painful, but so is fear.

    And, for me, it is that fear of rejection, that one bites.

  • Love this post! I fear most everything, and doubt myself in all I do. However, I have made 2013 the “Year of Living Fearlessly” and doing things that I never thought I could do. I’m now taking acting classes, learning to play the ukulele, and just putting myself out there. And it’s amazing that the more I do, the less hold FEAR has over me. Be brave!

  • Dear Marc and Angel,
    Another amazing post. Your website has really changed my thinking and as a result, my life. No. 1 really resonated with me. I did that. I envisioned something, a project, and I was brave and decided to dream big. And when I had decided on an end goal, I started to work towards it. It took a year, and I took a few months off from working on it, but it’s come to fruition and means an entire lifestyle change. It’s a dream come true, literally, but I made it come true, and that fact amazes me. So I know it can be done. And now that it’s achieved, I know that I must start to dream again, and maybe dream bigger the next time. It’s a little daunting, because I know it’s not easy, it involves a lot of hard work, but at least this time, I have the knowledge that it DOES work, if you work. Thanks again

  • This was a very philosophical post.

    Fear has stopped me from creating a workshop and or online program. I know this sounds crazy, but it takes a lot of time to create workshop, promote it, etc., especially when you’re doing everything yourself. I sincerely want to help people, but what if I put the time and effort into creating a workshop and then it flops?

    The same goes for my children’s picture book. I’ve queried a few literary agents and received rejection letters so I am seriously considering self-publishing my book series. But again, what if I do all the work and it flops?

    I know that Joe Vitale would say, “Stop what iffing down and start what iffing up? What if your workshop and seminars were a success and helped millions of people? What if your children’s picture book series was a success? Not only would you have brought awareness about the importance of adopting a pet from an animal shelter, but you have encouraged kids to read too.

    Perhaps it’s time for me to get over the fear and do it anyway. Perhaps it times for me to recruit my family because I need a lot of help. I can’t do everything by myself.

  • I can’t explain how your words have affected my life and outlook. I’m also not sure what I find more inspiring, your blog today about fear or the comment from so many who are also inspired and share, so openly, their own experiences. I’ve always had a problem with letting my own fear of failure or rejection stop me from being my best self. I am worthy and I am amazing, especially when I work past the fear and inner negative speak. I always loved the quote; “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure”. (M. Williamson) I also know that I am on to something amazing because I lost the best relationship I ever had of 14 years because I was afraid I was not good enough. With this experience and your teachings, I’m certain that I will never let the most important opportunities in my life pass me by again! Thanks for the pep talk!

  • @Angela: That’s wonderful to hear. Thank you so much for supporting our work.

    @Rachel: Thank you for being open and honest. Some fears can be overcome by simply taking baby steps and continually putting one foot in front of the other. But in some cases, where severe depression or trauma exist, it can’t hurt to seek professional help. Perhaps in your case a counselor who specializes in OCD and PTS would be appropriate. Angel and I have a few friends who have overcome similar issues and they swear by the medical attention they received.

    @Patty: Tape the last sentence of your comment on your mirror so you see it every day. That is the attitude to have! Go get ‘em!

    @Vicky: Thank you for joining the conversation. First baby step… check! =)

    @Katie: Congratulations! Angel just ran her first half-marathon February. You’re going to do AMAZING!

    @Jasmine: You just made me smile. I’m so happy I didn’t listen to the doubters. We wouldn’t be communicating here today. =)

    @All: It’s so enlightening and inspiring to see you all express your fears through your personal stories. This truly is the first step to overcoming the average fear. When you declare them openly, you begin to see yourself as being in control. You being defining your fears, not the other way around.

    It’s so wonderful that so many of you are already putting a positive spin on it with your next actionable step to conquering that fear. Thinking this way puts you in the driver’s seat. If you haven’t done so already, read the comments; success stories are right here among us. As @M said “I faced a major fear last week with the possibility that failure may occur and I did it anyway… and I lived to talk about it! I was fine and all good!” – That’s powerful stuff. =)

    Angel and I will check back later to read some more of what you have to say. As always, thanks for filling our lives with your unique brilliance.

  • What an amazing outlook on life and the goals you wish to achieve. Thank you for sharing, this has most definitely put me in a different mindset for achieving my goals.

  • I’ve always feared looking stupid in the eyes of others. It’s a fear that’s held me back often, as is the fear of failure.

  • Hey Marc,

    I love that quote!

    “Do one thing every day that scares you.”

    I feel like we have to take this seriously, and do what Ms. Eleanor has said, despite the fears, and while taking into account the related risks and consequences…

    I know each one of us has the hidden drive to succeed and overcome fear and failure.

    Like for example, say you’re a beginning investor… you are both thrilled and scared to step up and make your bet… it’d be less risk if you calculate the risk, and learn the basics of trading rather than to just jump in, blindfolded, as most individuals would do.

    *** What has fear stopped myself from doing?

    Launching more sites more often. I am now more focused, and that fear is history.

    *** What’s one fear that I know is holding me back?

    I believe still the fear of failure is the major one… it still hides in the subconscious. And it pops out when you’re the least expecting it. I just find the drive to shut it down, or use it in my own advantage, like for e.g. to “prove it wrong” :)

    Hope it helps!

  • I don’t usually comment, in fact I’ve never commented, but your posts, in particular this one, are amazing! It’s really helped me today THANKS!!

  • My father fears everything, my mother fears nothing and cannot understand the emotion of fear. She thinks that we are the ones “lacking”, somehow “sick” because of this, while I know that she is the one who is lacking because she does not feel this normal human emotion.

    Meanwhile, I have the legacy of carrying not only my fear but hers (unexpressed) as well. And I am not a youngster, I’m almost 60. I have been thru panic attacks, agoraphobia, anxiety. But I also managed to bring two wonderful children in the world and raise them practically as a single mom. So you can get over this.

    Still learning every day though. Fear never goes away, but it can be dealt with.

  • Very wise words in a well written post. Fear is our great protector but all too often it overpowers us, we have to find a way of getting passed it. Getting beyond fear expands the comfort zone, and you do get to the point that you wonder what you were scared about. Get positive inputs every day and shut out the negativity around you.

  • Fear rules my marriage, my work and my social life. I cannot find a way to embrace it, conquer it or make it back down. Counseling has not helped.

    Declaring a goal only makes you more of a target in my experience. And trying to find help, support, or advice is daunting. Hope is a marketing term for a mathematical improbability. Discover your dream, write it down, make your plans and stay under cover. And remember this, strangers are more apt to help you than your loved ones.

    Not getting too religious, but Jesus states 256 times “Do not be afraid.” That is all I cling to now.

  • @Allan Nielsen: So well stated. I’m in 100% agreement with everything you said. And yes, it does help.

    @diana: Thanks for sharing your story. Life is indeed a continuous learning experience. The challenges our closest relationships place on us can be confusing at times, but that’s part of living. It sounds like you’re doing quite well for yourself. =)

    @Sally: Spot on!

    @David Rapp: I’m sorry to hear you’re struggling. Just know that fear can be overcome as long as you maintain the attitude you declared in the last line of you comment. Stay strong. No fear.

  • Number 3 really hit home for me. I have a fear of change in my life but what I need to keep remembering is that staying where I am in life could be just as scary as change itself.

  • Fear is something that used to control my life. I grew up in an alcoholic house and fear was the overriding influence of my existence. What-if’s ruled my life; I was paralyzed by them. I found a program that helped rid me of this and give me a path towards truly living. Fear robs you of living in the present. What-if’s and doubt are the ghosts that fear causes. I found a simple solution…Faith. To me it started with the faith of a Higher Power, God, who can be Anything we want it to be. I started taking small steps and saying a mantra over and over again: “Faith will always overcome Fear”. Faith doesn’t just include “God”, it also includes Yourself, others and all aspects of life. I realized that I had no control over things that happen, only over myself and my thoughts and actions. I can chose to accept and surrender to life’s challenges and learn from them. This is not a bad thing, it does not mean to accept things that are unacceptable or hurtful. It means to face reality and find a way to live your life within your true spiritual self. Look to Yourself and ask and answer those important questions about who you are , and who you want to be. Don’t let others decide for you, simply because you are too afraid to try.

  • I have my driver’s license yet I am scared to buy a car and drive. I have owned a car and drove sporadically. I have missed out on a lot of opportunities such as a better job.

  • Fear of having dreams and goals being too intimidating. Like when I get on the right path, I feel like it’s going to be too much for me to handle..

  • The foundation of my procrastination is based in fear. “Do I have enough data to take action on?” is something I’ve asked myself dozens of times, unsure of if pushing forward too early would hinder my efforts.

    Tips #4 and #5 are what were able to help me push past that flaw; letting me step forward with more courage and less data.

  • This spoke to my heart. I am divorced after 35 years of marriage and lots of hurt and lies. I am trying to get the courage to date again. Thanks for helping me to think about who I used to be and what I need to focus on. I really want to change my life.

  • Sometimes you just have to ask yourself… what is the worst that can happen? Also when the worst does happen… it should be a relief…cause then you don’t have the anxiety of worrying about it.

  • I have a lot of fear. I’m 35 and still I don’t have a stable job because I’m afraid to fail in an interview. I want to go abroad to seek a greener pasture but i’m afraid to fall into a trap with a bad employer. All of these issues stop me in making a move. Thank you so much for the inspiration. All the best.

  • I suffer from social anxiety, and it has stopped me from doing all the things I really want. I am a big fan of your site, it gives me the inspiration I need to push myself forward, and it is helping me overcome my biggest fear slowly but surely.

  • Fear of people. Difficult to even step out of house. How to meet and greet if a known one is seen. Practising decency, but oversmart bragging guys disappoint. Not able to go for jogging or a walk due to this.
    Not able to make friends or contain them. Not having charming persona that can attract hurts. Trusted ones betrayed and brought tears. Bad friends, jealous officemates, ignoring seniors, my own sadness or poor self esteem and growing fears … lack of sleep poor time mngt increasing responsibilities and tasks… things are simply not coming in line..

  • Fear that trusting will result in embarrasment, pain, and emotional trama.

  • I am afraid to quit my management job and become a personal trainer :)

  • I used to be afraid of success. Now I believe I deserve it :)

  • Hi all!

    It’s nice to read your posts, it makes me feel I am not the only one facing this emotion as a challenge. I am 40 now and finally found the focus to follow my heart and do what really inspires me. I did not think of it anymore as an unrealistic dream but as a choice where no one should tell me if it’s good or not. I just felt I am halfway my life and I should take action or I would become sad of not trying what makes me happy! That really woke me up!
    For the first time in my life I could hold on to that focus without being swept away by fear or guilt. Not even the feeling of failure can bring me down. I am actually doing all what i need to achieve my dream job - and life. Some inspiring friends who did it also showed me the proof that it is possible if u only hold on. It’s a way of life!

    I am single and don’t have lots of good friends or family, but the honest few are enough. Cause I see clearly I only create my life, as an artist does create…and if I am responsible for it I can just learn from my mistakes…so there is only hope.

    Good luck to u all out there !!

  • This is such a brilliant website and understand what fear means to me. I have been divorced for 10 years and have faced so many unknowns, I have overcome many of my fears and I’m so happy being single. My next adventure is to go on holiday to India with my daughter next year. I shall carry on reading your site to reinforce the skills I have learned.

  • Marc and Angel, your posts so often speak right to me. It’s like you read my thoughts then blog about it. I have been afraid of so many things I don’t know where to start. When I was young I wouldn’t try out for sports or anything where people would see me for fear they would laugh at me or talk bad about me. I did try out for cheer-leading when I was in middle school. I thought I was good but I wasn’t picked and it’s the last thing I remember trying to do.

    I got better as I got in my 20s. I even was a speaker and announcer on stage in front of hundreds of people when I was 23. At 25 I married the love of my life, had 3 kids with him then after only 7 short years of marriage he was unfaithful and I didn’t even think to try and forgive him. It’s been a real rocky road ever since. I am now almost 60 years old. I’ve been remarried several times plus had quite a few other relationships and it just doesn’t work out for me. I am real afraid to fully trust anyone. I also have a big problem showing gratitude. I feel it but have trouble showing it. I don’t know why I’m afraid to show it. Could you write about it sometime? I will get better. Your website helps me so much. Thanks for what you do for others.

  • I feel like I need to print this out and read it daily. Especially #2, that was a good push to encourage me to keep on keeping on.

    Every so often, especially as of late, I think about a version of #2 & 5 that I read in the comments of one of my favorite blogs, Captain Awkward, the part within the asterisks particularly (emphasis mine):

    “It’s pretty common to feel anxious about leaving even a bad relationship, job, or living situation because of the possibility that whatever alternative(s) you’re considering may turn out badly. Unlike someone for whom life has only ever been rosy, you have no difficulty picturing bad outcomes! ****But bear in mind, where you are now is already sucky! That’s a known thing, and it is not going to spontaneously change itself for the better.****

    Which means you are choosing between Option A (staying put) which is guaranteed to be unpleasant and has no upside potential to become wonderful, and Option B, which will probably have at least a few bumpy (or at least wobbly) bits as you find your feet and may even need to evolve into Options C and then D or E or whatever before you find just the right combo of job and living situation BUT which will probably still be better right off the bat than living with a physically and emotionally abusive parent who deliberately undermines your confidence so making any kind of life yourself will always seem really daunting, AND which has the upside potential of leading you to actual happiness.”

  • Fear of leaving my marriage due to economic conditions. I love my home, my neighbors and friends, and my community. If I leave I won’t be able to afford to live here. I am in my mid 60s with no pension due to being a stay-at-home Mom of 3 kids with special needs. I am starting to have health problems (not severe) and am terrified of not being able to have the finances and health care that I need. I am miserable in with my husband but don’t know if it would be worse if I left. I did live alone years ago and loved it…have no fear of actually being alone…just the finances.

  • Thank you for such an inspiring post Marc and Angel. #9 spoke volumes to me. For me it was my parents and family who hurt me time and time again. With myself always jumping through hoops; trying to prove my worth to them. Wanting to be accepted by them and included in the family unit. I have suffered constant rejection from them since early childhood and has continued my entire life. My mother even called me evil once. I am 43 years old now. Trying repeatedly to be accepted by someone who doesn’t like you is like constantly throwing yourself under a bus. It really, really hurts. It wasn’t until last year that I decided to accept that my parents, my family will never like me or accept me. I should note that I have never done drugs, or stolen anything,been to jail, been promiscuous, unemployed, don’t abuse alcohol etc. So their behavior was always confusing for me and it’s hard to understand the reason for their rejection. It has been such a relief to walk away and take away the power they had to hurt me. They can’t hurt me anymore because I have walked away from them.

    All this had set the tone for my life so far. With low self-esteem I had been seeking approval and acceptance from outside myself. I just wanted to be included. I just wanted a family. I had given others the power to tell me if I am good enough and when they took that away; it crushed me. I still wasn’t ‘good enough’. The universe has answered me repeatedly by putting this painful lesson in my path until I learned. I believe now that I have heard and understood this lesson. Self-acceptance is still an issue but I am no longer trying to find it externally. I am a work in progress.

  • Marc and Angel! You blow me away on a daily basis! All too often the fear that we feel and struggle with is not even our own- it is the fear that our loved ones push upon us and pretend is concern. I was in a five year relationship with a man whose fear almost strangled my love of travel. I ended things with him despite my fear of never being loved again, and three months later- I am living MY dream of traveling through Asia (Korea and Japan) and teaching English as a Second Language to fund my experiences. This is MY life and if I am not afraid of it, how can I let the fears of others influence my decisions? The answer is- I can’t. Thank you both for all that you do!

  • This is really helpful for me right now, I’m on my way to the airport and I’m terrified of flying. But I need to go home to see my family, and I really need to believe that I can get on the plane. So thanks for the positive read :)

  • I’m so thankful for this post. It helped.

  • I am 28 years old and I’m foreign. I have an undergraduate in mining and mettalurgical engineering, a master’s at mining engineer, and a master’s in mineral and energy economics. I’m coming from a fairly wealthy family and I always had what I wanted. Now I am doing my PhD in the US. And for the first time of my life I am afraid. I am afraid that I am not as smart as other people and that keeps me back from taking my qual exams (even though I have better grades than most of the PhD students and I graduated 4th from my undergrad). And I am afraid of the future. I can’t imagine how it is to not have someone taking care of your bills, I am afraid that I won’t be able to maintain the same level of life, I am afraid that I won’t be as successful as my father (cardiologist). I am just so comfortable here and now. And now I am stuck.. not advancing with my PhD and with a life full of potential. I’ve heard that the first step is to realize that you are afraid. Well, I am scared to death. I hope this article will be the beginning of overcoming my fears.. thank you

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