53 of the Best Quotes On Fear

I offer you these quotes as a gift of encouragement. If there is something you fear today let them guide you in the direction of your dreams!
1. Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears. ~Les Brown

2. The first and great commandment is: Don't let them scare you. ~Elmer Davis

3. I have accepted fear as a part of life – specifically the fear of change…. I have gone ahead despite the pounding in the heart that says: turn back.  ~Erica Jong

4. Do not let your fears choose your destiny. ~ Unknown

5. Fear is never a reason for quitting; it is only an excuse. ~Norman Vincent Peale 

6. Ultimately we know deeply that the other side of every fear is freedom. ~Mary Ferguson

7. Where fear is, happiness is not. ~Seneca

8. Fear is a habit, so is self-pity, defeat, anxiety, despair, hopelessness and resignation. You can eliminate all of these negative habits with two simple resolves," I can! and I will!" 

9. Do what you fear most and you control fear. Tom Hopkins

10. Procrastination is the fear of success. People procrastinate because they are afraid of the success that they know will result if they move ahead now. Because success is heavy, carries a responsibility with it, it is much easier to procrastinate and live on the 'someday I'll' philosophy. Denis Waitley


11. Fear is faith that it won't work out. 

12. There are four ways you can handle fear. You can go over it, under it, or around it. But if you are ever to put fear behind you, you must walk straight through it. Once you put fear behind you. Leave it  there. ~Donna Favors

13. Fear can keep us up all night long, but faith makes one fine pillow.


14. Confront your fears, list them, get to know them, and only then will you be able to put them aside and move ahead. ~Jerry Gille

15. Fear isn't an excuse to come to a standstill. It's the impetus to step up and strike. ~Arthur Ashe

16. Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy. ~Dale Carnegie

17. To be a star, you must shine your own light, follow your path, and don't worry about the darkness, for that is when the stars shine brightest.

18. Always do what you are afraid to do. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

19. You can conquer almost any fear if you will only make up your mind to do so. For remember, fear doesn't exist anywhere except in the mind. ~Dale Carnegie

20. Thinking will not overcome fear but action will. ~W. Clement Stone

21. Do the thing you fear to do and keep on doing it…that is the quickest and surest way ever yet discovered to conquer fear."

22. The key to change….is to let go of fear. ~Rosanne Cash

23. Somebody should tell us…right at the start of our lives…that we are dying. Then we might live to the limit, every minute of every day. Do it! I say. Whatever you want to do, do it now! There are only so many tomorrows. ~Michael Landon

24. Fear is a darkroom where negatives develop.  ~Usman B. Asif

25. Feed your faith and your fears will starve to death.  ~Author Unknown

26. A cheerful frame of mind, reinforced by relaxation… is the medicine that puts all ghosts of fear on the run.  ~George Matthew Adams

27. To fear is one thing.  To let fear grab you by the tail and swing you around is another.  ~Katherine Paterson

28. He has not learned the lesson of life who does not every day surmount a fear.  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

29. Many of our fears are tissue-paper-thin, and a single courageous step would carry us clear through them.  ~Brendan Francis

30. Panic at the thought of doing a thing is a challenge to do it.  ~Henry S. Haskins

31. Obstacles are like wild animals.  They are cowards but they will bluff you if they can.  If they see you are afraid of them… they are liable to spring upon you; but if you look them squarely in the eye, they will slink out of sight.  ~Orison Swett Marden

32. I've got more energy now than when I was younger because I know exactly what I want to do. ~George Balanchine

33. You block your dream when you allow your fear to grow bigger than your faith.  ~Mary Manin Morrissey

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

35. Taking a new step, uttering a new word, is what people fear most. ~Dostoyevsky

36. I am kind of paranoid in reverse. I suspect people of plotting to make me happy. ~J.D. Salinger

37. I was never afraid of failure, for I would sooner fail than not be among the best. ~John Keats

38. Go back a little to leap further. John Clarke

39. I was never afraid of failure, for I would sooner fail than not be among the best. ~John Keats

40. I failed my way to success.~Thomas Edison

 41. To use fear as the friend it is, we must retrain and reprogram ourselves. We must persistently and convincingly tell ourselves that the fear is here–with its gift of energy and heightened awareness–so we can do our best and learn the most in the new situation. ~Peter Williams

42. "Fearless" is living in spite of those things that scare you to death. ~Taylor Swift

43. I must not fear.

Fear is the mind-killer.

Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.

I will face my fear.

I will permit it to pass over me and through me.

And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.

Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.

Only I will remain. ~Frank Herbert

44. Start a huge, foolish project like Noah. It makes absolutely no difference what people think of you. ~Rumi

45. To live in the world of creation—to get into it and stay in it–to frequent it and haunt it…to think intently and fruitfully, to woo combinations and inspirations into being by a depth and continuity of attention and meditation–this is the only thing. ~Henry James

46. Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is  more important than fear. ~Ambrose Redmoon

47. We are all of us failures–at least, the best of us are. ~James Barrie

48. Where ever fear shadows…. that always means there is a light shining somewhere. ~Jonathan Santos

49. That feeling isn't fear, it's just telling you to MOVE !! ~Rancid

50. The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one. ~ E Hubbard
51. Decide that you want it more than you are afraid of it. ~ Bill Cosby
52. A mind focused on doubt and fear cannot focus on the journey to victory. ~ Mike Jones

53. Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy. ~Dale Carnegie 

If you need to make a change and fear is holding your back, ask yourself these 3 questions:

What is the best outcome that can happen?

What is the worst outcome that can possibly happen?

What is the result of remaining the same?

My friend Steve Aitchison has a post today, "How Far Off Are You From Reaching Your Dreams," stop by and check it out!

 Please share any thoughts with us below.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Andrew Olson August 5, 2011, 11:41 am

    Powerful! I think my favorite is the one by Rumi: “Start a huge, foolish project like Noah. It makes absolutely no difference what people think of you.”

    That tackless this issue right at the source. Fear is almost always in regards to what other people think of you… specifically when you’re doing something new, big, uncertain, or audacious. Think about starting one of those projects with no one else watching, it doesn’t seem so scary anymore, does it? Understand that it REALLY doesn’t matter what other people think of you and you’re 90% away from fear. Thanks again, Tess. Great list.

    • Tess August 5, 2011, 2:38 pm

      Yes so let’s see what foolish thing do we want to do??? And I like the idea of ‘nobody is watching.’ We’re not that important! Have a great weekend.

  • Patti Foy | Lightspirited Being August 5, 2011, 12:42 pm

    Oh, Tess, I love this!

    I think my favorite is the opening quote, the “reality of fear”. It makes it crystal clear how often we leave our fears unexamined. So often, when we take the time (and it doesn’t even take much time in most cases) to investigate and look them in the eye, they’re much less insidious. And then it’s just a matter of weighing the real pros and cons and making a conscious choice.

    Thank you!

  • Tess August 5, 2011, 2:39 pm

    Yes isn’t that the truth. I need to make a decision about the weekend. I’m going to go weigh the pros and cons right now!

  • Justin | Mazzastick August 5, 2011, 4:06 pm

    The one about procrastination is one that I have a bad habit of doing sometimes. It’s the fear of success/ more responsibilty that can cause us to slow down our efforts.

    Oh well, I better stop procrastinating then.

    • Tess August 5, 2011, 6:36 pm

      I think it’s true the bigger the fear, the more I procrastinate! I’ll join you in stopping the nonsense!

  • Angela Artemis/Poweredbyintuition August 5, 2011, 5:53 pm

    Great collection of quotes Tess.
    May favorite quote that I use to motivate myself is: Feel the fear and do it anyway!
    Thanks for introducing me to so many new ones.

    • Tess August 5, 2011, 6:37 pm

      Yes that is a great one. Susanne Jeffers sure made a name for herself with that book! I’m feelin’ it!

  • Cathy | Treatment Talk August 5, 2011, 9:20 pm

    I like “I failed my way to success.” Michael Jordan says something along the same lines. Our fear of failure can be crippling. Great list of quotes, Tess!!

    • Tess August 6, 2011, 5:49 am

      Hi Cathy,
      Michael Jordan was big at the same time my daughter played basketball at U of C.
      She had a huge poster of him in her bedroom. He inspired me as well. How could he not…even though I can’t throw a basketball.

  • Suzie Cheel August 5, 2011, 10:18 pm

    Love this collection Tess- especially no 6 as when we move through fear we do move into freedom 🙂

  • Tess August 6, 2011, 5:49 am

    Talk about building our own bars!!! Love you and happy you’re back to blogging.

  • Amy Putkonen August 6, 2011, 8:44 am

    Hi Tess,

    Loved your list. Everyone feels fear. Courage is the act of feeling it and walking into it instead of walking (or running) away. I like how you think. I would like to think that I tend to walk into it, but I guess it depends. Ask me that when a bee is flying around me and I’m freaking out and I may not say that! lol… But put me on a rope that swings down a couple hundred feet into the water and I am right there! lol… We all have our baggage!

    • Tess August 15, 2011, 9:06 pm

      Yeah there is not making sense out of fear…a bee or water, it makes no difference. It’s all about he story in our head! Thanks for stopping by.

  • Megan Bord August 6, 2011, 9:20 am

    Oh Tess, that Dennis Waitley quote was my favorite! I’ve recently been overcoming procrastination with the help of a subliminal programming track I found on iTunes. It’s incredible – when I listen to it, I get this really antsy energy all of a sudden and HAVE TO GET STUFF DONE.
    That quote really hammers home the reasons “why” I might have procrastinated in the first place, though.
    Thank you!

  • Joe @ Shake off the Grind August 6, 2011, 11:25 am

    Thanks for the inspiring post! I love quotes so thanks for putting this collection together. One that stands out to me and that I have had experience with is, “Thinking will not overcome fear but action will.” ~W. Clement Stone… I used to over analyze things and once I started just taking action and going for it, my boundaries and comfort zone sky rocketed. I need to remember this more as I feel I have been a little stagnant with pushing forward lately. Thanks for the reminder!

  • pea August 6, 2011, 2:41 pm

    Tess I have OCD which is continuous fears and revolving anxiety. This idea ‘nobody is watching. We’re not that important!’ is something I use particularly when I’ve re-edited a post I’ve written for the 180th time. I find it really helpful – (if only for a minute or so!)
    Nice collection of things to really make you think as ever.

  • Sandra I Always Well Within August 6, 2011, 3:39 pm

    Strong medicine, as always! Oh, Erika Jong knows it so well when she speaks of the pounding of the heart. This is my favorite:

    “Start a huge, foolish project like Noah. It makes absolutely no difference what people think of you.” ~Rumi

    I’m going to be thinking about that huge foolish project! Thanks.

  • Joy August 7, 2011, 1:18 am

    Hi Tess,
    I love them all, each has such a different perspective, just like fear isn’t always present in the same manner..
    The *best* part about this article is when we acknowledge fear and talk about it openly, it loses it’s power to inhibit and instead motivates us in creating..:)

  • sheilaburke August 7, 2011, 4:53 am

    Love this! I guess it’s true, there’s nothing to fear, but fear itself.

  • Melody | Deliberate Receiving August 7, 2011, 9:26 am

    Hi Tess,
    What a wonderful roundup of quotes. One thing I continuously focus on: People who have achieved truly incredible things always tell us the same thing: they felt just as much fear as everyone else. They just didn’t let it stop them. I’m going to print out the opening quote (I even love the font!) and put it on my bulletin board where I can look at it every day. 🙂


  • Betsy at Zen Mama August 7, 2011, 9:31 am

    Love this collection of quotes. I’ve realized that fear is what stops most of us from doing just about everything! I’m amazed at what I’ve realized I’m afraid of. Even silly things like making a certain phone call. When you can let go of fear you can do anything! Thanks for the inspiration!!

  • John Sherry August 8, 2011, 7:53 am

    Tess, I fear you’ve just created something quite momentous here. You’ve shown fear to simply be a shadow in the night that disappears when we shine a light on it. The light of our confident self-realisation. Fear is only ourselves hidden from life. When we come alive it dies!

  • Emily August 8, 2011, 9:43 am

    Tess, you could have stopped with the first few quotes at the beginning and still had an awesome post!

    Piggybacking on what Melody said…some people can shake off fear a lot more easily than others and not dwell on it, which makes it easier to go after what they want. Those who tend to dwell on their fears – and therefore hinder them from making the kind of progress they wish for – would do well to try to get the root of the issue.

  • Aileen | Kaizen Vision August 8, 2011, 3:08 pm

    Fear is a funny thing – the more we pay attention to it, the more we fuel it and grow it into something massive.
    I loved reading these quotes – just recently I’ve been changing all my fear based thoughts and it’s been a mind blowing experience. I see these quotes in a new light and I see fear completely different than before.
    Life and our dreams are too beautiful to lose out on because of fear.

    This post kicks fear out of the darkness – into the light – and reminds us to see it for what it is and not let it take the power

  • Amanda @ 36broadway August 8, 2011, 4:00 pm

    My favorite:
    35. Taking a new step, uttering a new word, is what people fear most. ~Dostoyevsky

    I am guilty of this! The first step of something new, big, and scary is the most terrifying.
    I can even feel fear trash talking and trying to hold me back from taking big steps with my energy bars, which is a passion worth exploring. So silly!
    Thanks as always, Tess, for the powerful words!

  • Marci | Liberating Choices August 8, 2011, 6:57 pm

    I think #27 is my favorite! Fear we will have, but to let it take a hold and grip on our life and path is another thing entirely.

  • Nella August 10, 2011, 6:45 am

    Nice quotes…the longer I read the more I get convinced that I can defeat fear if I only am aware of it.

  • Galen Pearl August 10, 2011, 5:21 pm

    My favorite is #36, the JD Salinger quote. That went in my file! I memorized #43 years ago and I use it! Great quotes!

  • Peggy Nolan August 11, 2011, 10:35 am

    I need to print this entire list and give it to my bonus daughter.

    We were just talking about #16 “Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.” ~Dale Carnegie

    Thanks Tess – this is AWESOME!


  • Jean Gogolin August 11, 2011, 12:20 pm

    Great stuff! I keep thinking Eleanor Roosevelt had a good one too, but I can’t remember what it was. Google time.

  • Walter August 22, 2011, 6:51 pm

    You’ve got me thinking with these quotes Tess. I think fear is an essential emotion for our survival but the problem is its overuse without us being aware of it. We need to recognize this fact and tell ourselves always that most of our fears are just illusions of our minds. 🙂

  • nightowl69 March 22, 2012, 10:39 pm

    This post is old but had to chime in. Why you all tell yourselves it’s going to be ok, I’ll be living in reality accepting my fears. Sure, for some situations fear needs to take the back seat. But what if you simply don’t want to do something you think you should? I think their is a difference between facing your fears and stupidity. I don’t like to keep my window open at night for fear of being raped or robbed. I am not going to open it and face my fear, and, ..get raped. That’s just stupid. Or how about the fear of in-laws because they try to ruin your marriage and talk bad about you? Sure, face that fear, hang out with said in-law, and what you fear is TRUE? Another fine example, I was afraid to go to an outdoor event for fear of over-heating and ruining everyones day, I went anyway and sure enough it was miserable, hot, sweaty, and I had to sit down every 5minutes. It ruined everyones day not to mention I was humiliated and embarassed in front of my family. When is fear, simply just wisdom? If you know better than to do something, trust yourself! God knows you cannot trust anyone these days, why be a fool too?

    • michael docker May 19, 2013, 5:28 pm

      These quotes are not about doing things that are obviously a bad idea, they are about inspiring you do do something you know you should. Or dreamed you could try. They’re about spending you time trying to better your self, I would never ask anyone to do something that will definatly cause them harm, but as an outdoors activity instructor I see children facing fears everyday and seeing the benifits faster than you’d believe. “I don’t ask you to change your ways, only to open your mind”. =]

  • michael docker May 19, 2013, 5:21 pm

    My favorite fear quote is tattooed on my arm, so I wake up every day and see it. “Courage is not the absence of fear, it is the presence of fear and the will to overcome it” as far as I care, “never a truer word was spoken” I don’t even know where it comes from, but its brilliance.

  • Charles Roche July 24, 2013, 7:17 pm

    I have tried to view your BOLD LIF site several times. When I close that huge pop up on the homepage the screen where it was is left a big white blocking the content down to the fold. You should have a look at it. If I am not alone you are losing traffic.
    Charles R.

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