post written by: Marc Chernoff

7 Things Fear has Stolen from You


7 Things Fear has Stolen from You

Courage doesn’t mean you don’t get afraid;
courage means you don’t let fear stop you.

Everything you want is on the other side of fear.  Don’t ever hesitate to give yourself a chance to be everything you are capable of being.

Although fear can feel overwhelming, and defeats more people than any other force in the world, it’s not as powerful as it seems.  Fear is only as deep as your mind allows.  You are still in control.  The key is to acknowledge your fear and directly address it.  You must step right up and confront it face to face.  This tactic robs fear of its power, instead of fear robbing YOU of…

1.  Your true path and purpose.

Fear of being different…

Don’t be fooled by what others say, especially when they try to tell you what is right for you.  Listen and then draw your own conclusions.  What is your intuition telling you?

There is not a clear path that everyone should follow.  Your greatest fear should not be of failure, but of succeeding in life at all the wrong things.  Choose a path that fits YOU.  Those who follow the crowd usually get lost in it.  Challenge yourself to ask with each and every step, and each focus point that consumes your energy: “Does this thing I’m doing right now truly serve me and those I care about in the next few minutes, few months, and few years?”

Whatever you settle on, just make sure you don’t gain the whole world by losing your soul and purpose in the process.  (Read The Road Less Traveled.)

2.  Self-respect.

Fear of not being good enough…

Don’t be too hard on yourself.  There are plenty of people willing to do that for you.  Do your best and surrender the rest.  Tell yourself, “I am doing the best I can with what I have in this moment.  That is all I can ever expect of anyone, including me.”  Love yourself and be proud of everything you do, even your mistakes, because your mistakes mean you’re trying.

If you feel like others are not treating you with love and respect, check your price tag.  Perhaps you subconsciously marked yourself down.  Because it’s YOU who tells others what you’re worth by showing them what you are willing to accept for your time and attention.  So get off the clearance rack.  If you don’t value and respect yourself, wholeheartedly, no one else will either.

3.  Your ability to make concrete decisions.

Fear of commitment…

You cannot live your life at the mercy of chance.  You cannot stumble along with a map marked only with the places you fear, or the places you know you don’t want to revisit.  You cannot remain trapped, endlessly, in a state where you are unable to ask for directions, even though you’re terribly lost, because you don’t know your destination.

You have to commit to goals that speak to you.  You have to stand up, look at yourself in the mirror, and say, “It isn’t good enough for me to know only what I DON’T want in life.  I need to decide what I DO want.”  (Angel and I discuss this in more detail in the “Goals and Success” chapter of 1,000 Little Things Happy, Successful People Do Differently.)

4.  Priceless opportunities and life experiences.

Fear of change and discomfort…

As Thich Nhat Hanh so perfectly said, “People have a hard time letting go of their suffering.  Out of a fear of the unknown, they prefer suffering that is familiar.”

In many cases you stay stuck in your old routines for no other reason than that they are familiar to you.  In other words, you’re afraid of change and the unknown.  You continually put your dreams and goals off until tomorrow, and you pass on great opportunities simply because they have the potential to lead you out of your comfort zone.

You start using excuses to justify your lack of backbone:  “Someday when I have more money,” or “when I’m older,” or the over-abused “I’ll get to it as soon as I have more time.”  This is a vicious cycle that leads to a deeply unsatisfying life – a way of thinking that eventually sends you to your grave with immense regret.  Regret that you didn’t follow your heart.  Regret that you always put everyone else’s needs before your own.  Regret that you didn’t do what you could have done when you had the chance.

5.  General happiness and peace of mind.

Fear of facing inner truths…

If you keep looking for happiness outside yourself, you will never find it.  Happiness is found from within.  What you seek is not somewhere else at some other time; what you seek is here and now, within you.  The more you look for it outside yourself, the more it hides from you.

Relax, remember the source of your deepest desires, and allow yourself to know their fulfillment.  A choice, not circumstances, determines happiness.  Each morning when you open your eyes, say to yourself:  “I, not external people or events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today.  It’s up to me.  Yesterday is gone and tomorrow hasn’t come yet.  I only have today and I’m going to be happy in it.”  (Read The Untethered Soul.)

6.  Your willingness to love, truly and purely.

Fear of not being loved in return…

Although it is nice when gestures of love are returned, true love is one-way traffic.  It’s a pure flow of giving and expecting nothing in return.  Anything else is a contract.  Notice how whenever you allow love to flow you are always clear, calm and strong.  It is only when the thought arises, “What have they given me in return?” that there is confusion and resentment.  Ego transacts, love transforms.  Life is too short for all these meticulous contracts and transactions.

Look out for yourself by focusing your love in a direction that feels right to you, but once you decide to love, remain clear, remain bright, and remain strong.  Love without expectation.  Don’t let fear get in your way.  When the love you give is true, the people worthy of your love will gradually reveal themselves over time.

7.  The right company.

Fear of being alone…

Sadly, no matter how much love you give, some relationships simply aren’t meant to be.  You can try your hardest, you can do everything and say everything, but sometimes people just aren’t worth stressing over anymore, and they aren’t worth worrying about.  It’s important to know when to distance yourself from someone who only hurts you and brings you down.  When you give your love to someone, truly and purely without expectation, and it’s never good enough for them, there’s a good chance you’re giving your love to the wrong person.

The bottom line is that long-term relationships should help you, not hurt you.  Spend time with nice people who are smart, driven and like-minded.  And remember, good relationships are a sacred bond – a circle of trust.  Both parties must be 100% on board.  If and when the time comes to let a relationship go, don’t be hostile.  Simply thank the relationships that don’t work out for you, because they just made room for the ones that will.

Next steps…

Your biggest fears are completely dependent on you for their survival.  Every new day is another chance to change your life, and it’s way too short to let fear interfere.  Today, focus your conscious mind on things you desire, not things you fear.  Doing so can bring your dreams to life.

Your turn…

What has fear stolen from you?  What has it stopped you from doing, being, or achieving?  Leave a comment below and share your thoughts with the community.

Photo by: Stuart Anthony

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65 Comments

  • Hi Marc, it’s Sasha from Jamaica. All I can say is THANK YOU!

  • Fear has stopped me from many things, including a career that I longed for.

    I recently purchased your eBook and audio book bundle. I listen to the audio book it in my car on the way to and from work, and I read a small, random passage from your book before I close my eyes at night. It is helping me get over some of the fears you have described here. Thank you.

  • Fear, specifically, fear of being insulted publicly, has stolen my social life, my self esteem, my ability to go outdoors. It needs to stop!!!

  • I’ve always feared looking stupid in the eyes of others. It’s a fear that’s held me back quite often in the past, but one I’m slowly learning to cope with.

    @Angie - I read a few paragraphs or quotes from Marc and Angel’s book every night too. Sometimes my wife and I read aloud to each other. Great reminders for dealing with fear and social anxiety.

    @CharleneExtreme - Like I said, I have dealt with similar fears. Honestly, for me it’s been about reading books and articles, and then putting what I read into action - small steps, working on my self-confidence, and working with close friends and family in social settings. It takes time to grasp, but rarely is anyone judging you… it’s you judging you.

  • I spent most of my early life in fear of nearly everything. I was born very shy and somewhat fearful, then my parents were overprotective, encouraging my fear.

    It’s only in the last few years that I feel I’ve really blossomed and let go of most of my fears.

    14 years ago, for my 30th birthday, I decided to begin a tradition of doing something that REALLY scares me every year. It’s amazing how this once-a-year project has helped me grow.

  • *Sigh*

    You’ve done it again Marc! I am speechless after reading my fears here. One more is ‘fear of doing it wrong’. This is the fear that stops me from doing any new thing for my life like the one that you’ve discussed in #3. Deciding and sticking with the own decisions seems too hard for me most of the time. In fact, I’m the one who’s mostly living a life of chances right now :/

  • Hi Marc, just want to say that I also read your blog every night before going to bed because it helps me find the happiness within! Thank you!

    Also, I think I have let fear take control of my opinions and its something I’m working on in public settings.

    P.S I have shown progress as I see myself getting better at it in Interviews and group settings.

  • Thanks Marc, for this wonderful post.

    Sasha, I love your name.

  • This is a really great post on fear. I especially love the line “Your greatest fear should not be of failure, but of succeeding in life at all the wrong things.” Wow! This is the trap I have fallen into in the past. Trying to assuage my inner desires by telling myself I am being successful at what I am doing, because that was easier than facing the fear stepping out of my comfort zone to do what I really wanted to do.

  • Fab post on the fears we all deal with. Loved reading it… full of really good advice.

  • This post deeply resonated with me. Fear is something we all struggle with in our own way.

  • Living in fear of rejection in asking for what I want, today’s nugget of knowledge surely resonated - tired of suffering in silence…

    Thich Nhat Hanh so perfectly said, “People have a hard time letting go of their suffering. Out of a fear of the unknown, they prefer suffering that is familiar.” Great quote.

  • I found you on StumbleUpon awhile back. Your posts have been a source of inspiration and motivation beyond all I have known. Thank you Marc and thank you Angel.

  • Fear for me is in #2 & #4. Since this post was written on my birthday, this is a sign. I read all of the points, but really do have a hard time applying them to ME in my particular situation. I enjoy reading all of your posts, and yes, I am taking bits and pieces of your advice, and the advice of all of the people, and taking one day at a time.

    Thank you again and again.

  • Thank you! Needed this one today.

  • Powerful advice. This is one I will keep and refer back to often. Thank you!

  • #4- I recognize myself in that one. Ouch! I’m at a crossroads in my business and I’m terrified–most of it is irrational, negative self-talk–about taking the next step. Thank you for the push. I will work on it!

    #6 is completely and utterly profound. And so true!

  • This one’s for me. I do it all for others and am slowly getting “it” - that I neglect myself and wonder why my daughter does not respect me and care about me. Thank you Marc and Angel. I need to save this one and work on my fear.

  • Marc & Angel, you are AWESOME!! This morning I asked some questions that I was looking answers for…and today…you gave them to me! :) I had a lot of doubt of myself and my worth. #2 spoke clearly to me and for that, I am very thankful!!

  • Fear has stopped me from following my dreams and being successful! Great post thanks for sharing.

  • Amazing post as usual! And perfectly timed…as usual :-)

  • Very powerful. Spoke to my soul on many points. I really needed to hear this! Thank you!

  • Fear is probably the biggest reason people have of not achieving what they want in life. Fear of failure, rejection, even fear of success.

    As you say, often times we need to just take the bull by the horns and make that conscious decision to change and move ahead toward our dreams.

    When we let fear stop us, we’re letting go of our dreams!

    Blessings to all,
    Mary Jane :)

  • Fear has robbed me of quite a lot, most of which you covered so well here. Here are some others:

    Golden Opportunities: Fear makes any opportunity look scarier than what you already have in place. SO you default to stay the same without further exploration.

    To Exceed Expectations: If you are afraid to meet the expectations (i.e. dissappoint) of someone else, than you won’t bother to try. If you are afraid to dissappoint yourself, you won’t try. This often happens because its been part of your past. And then your fear of failure overrides your potential gain or success. Fear wins by default. But if you keep trying, absorbing the failures, success comes closer…even if you cannot see it or feel it. People quit because of what they fear, not because of data, information, logic…knowledge.

    Clear Communication: You start playing mind reader, and stop asking questions or broaching touchy subjects becasue you know it will upset the other person. I do this all the time. So I avoid the topic, stay silent, or work around the issue by myself…excluding the other person altogether. Its my biggest weakness and most profound fear in my marriage. Only very recently have I gotten the courage to just say it and let the chips fall where they may, 18 years into the relationship. Don’t make my mistake.

  • Time. Sacred, precious time. Time to have all the things that do align with our goals, dreams, hopes and wishes. Wringing hands over the “what if’s” and “but’s” eats away at the soul and clock.

  • Thanks for the guidance Marc and Angel. Fear has made me lose so much in life.

  • Last night I dreamed about my health. I am and have been for most of my life a seriously overweight person. At various times in my life I have struggled with, ignored, denied, and been dragged down by this part of me. A large part of this struggle, I have begun to realize, has been ruled by fear. A traumatic childhood left me with a lifetime’s worth of things to work through. Before I went to bed last night I was watching a monologue by Craig Ferguson about him not wanting to pick on people in his comedy who were vulnerable because of emotional or physical issues. He talked about his daily struggle with alcoholism after 15 years of sobriety.

    When I woke up today, I turned 39 years old and somewhat wiser. Sitting with my family at the kitchen table, eating the birthday breakfast they had made me, it suddenly dawned on me that I was going to be dealing with my desire to self medicate using food for the rest of my life. As I sat there, trying not to cry into my coffee, I saw that overcoming my plethora of fears surrounding body image, food, self esteem and health was going to be the battle literally, for my life. Thank you for your words of needed wisdom and encouragement everyone.

  • Your daily inspirations you have guided me to a decision that a week ago I was unwilling to do. I see them as a sign and and confirmation to what I’ve been mulling over in my head. I chose my self-respect and family over someone’s ego and disrespect.

  • My greatest fear is to be alone. It has prevented me from discovering myself. Every now and then, when fear allows, I get a peak at my true self and I realize what an amazing, creative, compassionate, enduring spirit I am. Your words have opened a door to my heart and love is pouring in. Thank you

  • #3 definitely. For a full month, while I was wallowing in fear and insecurity, I couldn’t make a decision on anything, which is way out of character for me. When I finally got sick of wallowing and forced myself to let it go, things became clear and started falling into place so I could make decisions again.

    Great post!

  • What an awesome post! Personally speaking, all points you have made resonate with me as throughout my adult life I have experienced them all to some degree, some more so than others. #4 in particular was a big one for me, I was satisfied with staying in my comfort zone - this way I didn’t have to worry about what others thought, didn’t have to worry so much about failure, didn’t take any risks or capitalize on any good opportunities. When I hit 40 (call it a mid-life crisis) I felt empty and dissatisfied with my life in general. With the help of a friend who recognized my unhappiness (and he recognized this even though I was always outwardly upbeat and generally positive) I opted into a 5 day PD seminar - changed everything!!

    Life truly begins when you get out of your comfort zone, take some risks, be happy with and love yourself and who you are and go after what is passionate to you! I haven’t looked back since. It’s amazingly true that if you love and look after yourself first, everything good just follows! Thanks again for sharing these words of wisdom, cheers!!

  • Thanks, Marc. What a great post. When I was younger I accomplished a lot due to not having fear of things. As I’ve grown older, I started developing fears, some because of bad experiences, but others for no logical reason. #3 hit me right between the eyes! I am working to get out of the prison I create by being fearful. It is not easy to break free, but I’m often told I’m persistent, so this is a way my persistence can pay off. Setting goals gives me some relief, as my desire to reach my goal makes me lose some of the fear of failure.

  • Today, I realized that I was guilty of all my issues and my failures because I was fearful and insecure. I am married to a wonderful man and I failed to believe it. I have unjustly blamed him for all the wrong parts in this marriage, but a lot of it was me. I began searching for answers and how to fix my thinking. Thank you the posting this advice. I feel better already and am better able to move forward now. I can forgive me, I just hope he can.

  • @Shola, I love your name!

    Isn’t it amazing how WE give fear so much power over our minds?
    Wishing us all laser sharp focus and power as we move through whatever fears have been blocking our growth.

  • I have a fear of love not being reciprocated. It has stopped me from showing my own love, for fear it won’t be returned or will be rejected. I don’t know why I feel this way when with someone who spends so much time with me. Fear has made me think ridiculous thoughts, and has made me jeopardize a relationship with someone that I truly love. Now we fight and argue all the time and I’m afraid it’s too late to salvage what we could have had, had I been courageous enough to express myself.

  • Fear has stopped me from so much living I’m afraid of something bad happening to my kids Going to far away from home, trying new things, moving to a new city, just lost so many people this year in death I’m afraid of everything lately…

  • I really needed this post. Thanks much. I’ve been thinking of a way out of my present situation of monotony and comfort zone. These are dynamic reminders…

  • I have found the place that feeds my Spirit, in Maui. My goal is to move there to teach. I get opinions from et al about how expensive……and on and on. I have been staying true to my intention but do get little naggings at times. It feel right; it feels happy and serene; not wildly giddy. My work right now is to save enough to get there; get a small place but when I slide back financially; I find myself in doubt.Your writing has renewed me to be true to myself and my dreams and give it to my Higher Power.

  • I loved a woman who had all 7 symptoms to the extreme. She had on a few occasions shown me she could fight fear. Then in a split second she would do an “about-face” and run. She ran away and made up false accusations about me. The pain inside hurt tremendously, but in the end it was a good thing for me. I now have an amazing woman who truly understands LOVE and is quite fearless.. Except for jumping out of a plane in which I’m kinda working on that. lol

    I say face Fear!

  • I think fear is more common than any other feeling. Every person no matter how successful or unsuccessful feels fear regularly. The only difference is successful people recognize their fear and act despite it.

    Over the years I have worked on overcoming fear in my life. I have gotten better and better at it, but it still gets the best of me in certain aspects of life. The good news is the more I continue to confront fear head-on in specific parts of my life, the more it will trickle into other parts of my life.

    Here’s to a life of taking bold steps towards fear.

  • Do something that scares you every day.- teddy Roosevelt. That is how I have not let fear control me- by using his quote as my mantra. Speak to someone new, make a joke you’re not sure is funny, flirt with someone! When you feel fear’s tension, commit to doing something. I’m an actor and I’ve had a thick shell to come out of, but no matter how shy and deflated I feel, I keep telling myself I’m an adventurer, and daring is my middle name!

  • Quite motivating. For a long time I was overweight and too scared to go to the gym. Happily I started eating better instead which worked even through my fear of being judged at the gym and now I am much healthier and that fear has gone.

  • I’ve never heard of anyone expressing this specific fear until I read the comments by your readers. It is the fear of starting something because you think someone will judge you when you expose yourself and of course in relation to that, the possibility of failure. What’s even more odd is I don’t think I’ve ever “voiced” this fear to anyone until today. I feel like it kept me from not only trying new things, but sometimes even pre-supposed failure in things I had to take on because I would inevitably procrastinate at doing them for fear of failure!

  • I had a great fear of rejection, this only brought me more rejection, more hurt and more pain, what you fear the most you get. Let it go. Be free

  • I think fear is about to take something away from me. I have just been told I am going to be promoted at work and I’m really worried. I have done this once before and did pretty good at it, unfortunately it stole a lot of my time away from the people I care about. Ultimately I left the job. I love my current profession, and I have a smile on my face every day I come to work. But with this new job I worry it will be the same as last time. I’m trying hard to face it and allow myself to see its a different scenario however.

    This post really helped me today because i need to stop worrying about tomorrow or the next phase so much and just start working it out day to day.

    You guys are amazing! Thank you for all you do, helping everyone get through times in there life is an awesome feat. Keep it up !

  • Sometimes shyness can lead to fear of meeting new friends that share commonalities with you . I will gather the courage in me and even offer a smile to the stranger I would like to meet. Working on that right now.

  • If you try your hardest to give a person your pure love and attention, and expect nothing in return HOW can you get stressed out by the fact they didn’t love you back the same way? You didn’t expect anything, did you?
    This honestly the thing I struggle the most with.
    Advice, anyone?

  • Fear has stolen from me the life I really wanted to live, and I worry that its now too late to have that life.

  • Dear Marc and Angel,

    I have recently qualified as a new teacher in England and I have joined a new school. The literacy of levels in this school is poorly. I fear that these students will not leave with a good enough grade. The department I am in, is not very supportive and asking for help may come across as incompetent. I want to do right by these children but I have little time. I am always stressed, I have no time for my family or my partner. I am asking for some suggestions to help manage my time appropriately and to focus on the positives rather than the negatives. This is starting to make me feel miserable and I am only in the fourth week of my term. Please help!

  • Wow! This is great post, it works me out of fear and towards a better mindset….. Kudos to you guys…. Love you, and thank you for what you do.

  • Fear stole tears from my eyes … It stopped me from living my life to the fullest, but I am learning, and thanks to that everything happens for a reason I think.

  • Fear shows us where the best opportunities are in life.

  • WOW! This article is sooooooooo wonderful. It seems that every time I have an issue or problem, I get your articles in my email and it always seems to address what is going on with my life and my problems at the EXACT time. Marc and Angel really are angels!!

    I let fear steal a lot. But it you know, you have to fight thru it people. Let me tell you, I let my boss, a real ass put fear in me and NEVER again because you cannot give a person control over your life. I just recently lost my mother and my boss was not understanding about me taking LEGAL time off to be with her. I was on Family Medical Leave Act and she was in end stage heart failure. She was a fighter to the end and told me she loved me when she couldn’t even eat or swallow or barely talk.

    My boss wanted me at work even though I was on legal leave and he never let me forget it. Well, karma is a bitch so we’ll leave it at that. However, there were days I actually went into the office to appease him because of fear. God, I wish I hadn’t had that fear because fear is an illusion -either yours or someone elses’s based on THEIR ISSUES and fear.

    Well, I have no fear now. Maybe it was my mom’s passing, but if he tries to give me crap about being off on leave for her passing I won’t hold back this time.

    It’s hard to control fear. It’s real hard. But you know, fear isn’t anything but an illusion we create -don’t let it take up priceless real estate in your head and print out this article. I did!!

    God bless you all and thank you Marc and Angel for such a worthy website. 99% of the ones out there aren’t worth a damn but yours IS!

  • @Angie and Dev: Thank you so much for supporting our work. I’m so happy our book is helping you.

    @CharleneExtreme: Declaring this is the first step. Now take action. Just pick one area of your life where you know fear lives and address a small piece of it today.

    @Christy King: It’s great to hear you’re doing better. Angel and I try to do something similar. Once a week we try something new, and once a month we try something new that forces us to operate outside of our comfort zone.

    @Naheed Naim: Be brave my friend. You can stick to it. You are plenty strong enough. Good luck to you.

    @Emilio: I’m so happy to hear our words are helping you. And congrats on the improvements.

    @Keith and liberty4ev: I’ve been right there with you many times. If I can do it, I know you can too. It really is a matter of taking that first step outside your comfort zone. Good luck.

    @Betsy: Happy birthday!

    @Mary Jane Allen: Well stated!

    @David Rapp: Excellent additions. Exceeding expectations and along with the fear of not being good enough was a big one for me many years ago.

    @Tania: Yep. When fear stops you from making a decision, life passes you by.

    @Nici: Thank you for sharing your story. You are a brave soul for doing so. Honestly, you need to start one new healthy habit today, do it for 30 days, and then add another for 30 days, etc. I would start with taking a 2-mile walk every single morning. Do that for 30 days. Then add a low calorie, healthy lunch into the mix – like one Cliff’s Builders Bar, an Apple, and a glass of water. Best of luck to you.

    @Dean Sutherland: Wow! That’s quite an incredible story of triumph. It sounds like your friend is a godsend. Congrats on turning things around in your life.

    @All: Thank you so much for sharing all your lovely stories, remarks, and insightful bits of wisdom. Your words continue to inspire me to write. (I’ve got to run at the moment, but I will jump back on here tomorrow and respond to the rest of your comments.)

  • Love it. Definitely linking to this one. -JR

  • @Stan: One step at a time. It’s sounds like you’re doing fine.

    @Ruby: Communication – make sure you and your husband are on the same page. Talk things out. It sounds like you may have let a lot bottle up inside. Best wishes to you.

    @Rachel: Please read these two articles: http://www.marcandangel.com/2013/08/04/6-reasons-your-relationship-is-suffering/ and http://www.marcandangel.com/2013/09/12/10-things-happy-couples-do-differently/ - Take the advice in these articles that apply to your situation and start making baby steps in the right direction. It’s not too late if you are prepared to make changes, and prepared to communicate with your partner. I wish you the best.

    @Cindy: You can’t let fear rule you like this. You have to let go: http://www.marcandangel.com/2013/09/02/5-things-you-should-know-about-letting-go/

    @Nancy McKee: Sounds like a beautiful, worthwhile journey. Go for it!

    @Glen: I love your attitude! Thanks for sharing your story.

    @Caitlin: Great motto!

    @Anya: We are all in this together. Welcome to the community.

    @Rosie: Love is always risk. The key is to love wholeheartedly, without expectation. Over time, if you come to the conclusion that the love is not returned to you, it is time to take steps in the direction that feels right to you.

    @MJ: It’s NOT too late! Read: http://www.marcandangel.com/2013/04/07/6-reasons-you-arent-dead-yet/

    @Susan: I think our book may help you. Also, this article: http://www.marcandangel.com/2012/01/22/12-things-successful-people-do-differently/

    @Emi: Thank you for sharing with us. And thanks so much for the kindness.

    @All: A big thanks to all of you, as always, for continuing to inspire us.

  • So here, right now (esp. 1, 2, 3). I needed this. Praying for courage for us all to do what we should. Thank you.

  • Marc, thank you so much for posting these! I love this site, I find so many priceless life tips here. I know these can be applied in general in everyone’s lives but this helped me specifically deal with an emotionally abusive relationship I got out of recently. It was my longest, most significant relationship lasting almost four years. Your points on finding your true purpose and letting go of suffering in order to capture those priceless life experiences was great. I have been struggling a lot with self-respect and happiness and these helped lift me up again. I also know how to deal with the conclusion of my last relationship better. I am ready to make room for someone who will love me more purely and for who I am. Thank you, thank you!

  • I loved this post! Very relevant to where I’m at right now. Thank you!

  • I’m #4 all the way. I do bad behavior, even when I don’t want to, because it’s what i know.

    I’m going to stop that.

    This was VERY well written…as you can imagine, i’ve read tons and tons of motivational-type articles…

  • As always, phenomenal post! I’m so grateful.

    I’ve let fear control my entire adult life. I have also sacrificed my own self and only focused on others’ happiness out of fear of leaving my comfort zone, fear of disappointing others by not committing to taking care of their needs, fear of rejection if I didn’t take a leadership role in something someone else needed. In not facing my fears, I’ve been untrue to my SELF.

    I have suffered for the majority of my adult life because I have “what if’d” myself to the limit. “What if this happens? I’d better stay where I am — or, I’ll think about it tomorrow.” I have no kids, so I haven’t shared this trait with offspring (my mom is EXACTLY the same way about fears and comfort zone…so is my only sister….I’ve just started to realize it — and I’m sharing your wisdom with my mom and sister, too….) PLEASE be a role model and don’t allow your kids to fall into this fear trap because they see you stuck in it. They are counting on you to help them succeed!

    Thich Nhat Hanh’s quote, “people have a hard time letting go of their suffering. Out of a fear of the unknown, they prefer suffering that is familiar” is just so appropriate.

    Again, thank you for yet another great post. I’m taking baby steps (conquering fears and changing my life), and I REFUSE to let fear keep me down any longer, darn it!!! :) Good luck, everybody. We’ll make it through this!

  • Fear has taken my whole life away. I am feeling quite depressed at this stage, knowing how much I have lost through fear of my husband’s anger and bullying. I was so looking forward to inheriting my childhood home and the moment we got it he promptly sold it. Out of fear and shock I was unable to speak that that was not what I wanted. From many years he has the ability to paralyze and numb me into abject silence. How pathetic is that?

  • Marc, superb article. I was dealing today with my arch nemesis and desiring to manoeuvre forward. Occasionally, I will type my quandary into the Google browser and lo and behold your commentary miraculously appeared. I took your advice and went forward.

    Thanks
    Marc

  • Thank you so much. No 4 does it for me. Always waiting for the right moment to do something and that moment never really comes, and by the time you realize it 10 years will have passed standing in one spot not having achieved anything in life.

  • I have started asking myself daily. Is this the life my mother would have wanted me to lead? Is this what I would want my daughters to do in my situation? What kind of an example am I setting for children and grandchildren. I am on my 3rd marriage. In my 50’s and in a marriage that has lasted 12 years and we were together 5 years before. We don’t live together and have not except for occasional trial periods that did not work. At this point I don’t want to be around him. But I can’t bring myself to end it. I feel stuck and unable to take the next step.

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