Don't Let Fear Hold You Back

Don’t Let Fear Get In Your Way

Fear is a powerful, primitive response that is supposed to alert you to a threat. That threat can be physical, psychological and even imagined. Unmanaged fear is an underlying cause of stress and anxiety, but the good news is that it can be addressed and used positively.

There is a huge range of fears. There are healthy fears of real dangers. It’s developmentally appropriate for example, for young children to have a certain level of fear around people they don’t know. It’s also realistic for you to feel a level of fear doing something new that’s potentially dangerous. At the other end of the scale, there is a multitude of mental health conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), social anxiety disorders, and phobias. These diagnosed disorders all have elements of fear at their core.

Don't Let Fear Get In Your WayFear responses are very individual. Some kinds of fear can be enjoyable and even seen as necessary to some people. Being scared by watching a scary movie or terrifying yourself on the Tower of Doom at an amusement park are sought after experiences for many people. Extreme sportspeople and adventurers even crave the adrenalin and excitement that comes with activities that create fear.

Other people seek to avoid fear wherever possible. This can be limiting because there is likely to be a level of fear whenever you move outside your comfort zone and try something new.



An old acronym you may have heard of to describe fear is: False Evidence Appearing Real. This can be a useful way of looking at phobias and other conditions where fears are unrealistic. But it’s not an effective way of looking at legitimate fears.

If you’re fearful because you’re investing your life savings in a new business venture, that’s a realistic fear. Many new businesses don’t survive. If you’re fearful about an exam, that’s legitimate because if you fail you may have to repeat a unit of study or not be able to work in the field that you want to.


FEARAn effective way of dealing with this kind of fear is: Face it, Evaluate, Take Action, Re-evaluate.

Face it

Fears that aren’t faced don’t go aware they fester. It’s far better to face a fear. Acknowledge it as rationally and realistically as you can.


When Roosevelt said to the American people during the depression, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself,” he was talking about people rushing to the banks to withdraw their money. He went on to say: “nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.”

Before taking action it’s important to remember that when you’re feeling afraid you may not be thinking clearly. Evaluating your fears and options before taking action is a valuable investment of time. Get feedback from people you trust to make sure that your perceptions are logical.


Action needs to be reasonable, realistic. Don’t make bad decisions just to ease your fear if what you’re doing is legitimately scary. Fears can be managed by thoughts and actions. Keep your thoughts optimistically realistic, make the best choices you can and take the best actions you can to achieve the result you want.


Life is a constantly changing landscape. Decisions and actions need to be regularly reviewed to make sure that they’re still valid and meet the needs of all concerned.

Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway

Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway is a book by the late Susan Jeffers. Jeffers claims that the underlying cause of fear is a lack of belief in your ability to cope with a certain situation or outcome. She says that only by doing the things you’re afraid of can you overcome your fears. In the process, you will build your capabilities and your confidence.

Are Your Fears Stressing You?

Free Stress QuizFind out by taking our quick Free Stress Quiz.


As always if you have any questions, comments or feedback we would love to hear from you in the comments below. Your comments help others by your sharing and they also help this post to rank in Google where people can find it amongst all the online noise. So if this is something you think is valuable please take the time to leave a comment below before you go.

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  1. So many things can be a huge challenge to man and of all of these the one that is most serious is that one that comes from within and then you’ll have to deal with it and its really difficult to get over with. For me fear has been a very great hindrance for many people and they should learn to understand that fear isn’t good 

    1. Thanks Justin, and it’s very important to understand fear and how to address it effectively.

  2. Fear can really limit us from achieving and doing a lot of things. What you shared here is really great to see and I value i very much. What you have shared here as tips is really great and very helpful. Thumbs up to you for sharing it here. I tend to try and ignore my fears. I can see now that’s probably not a good idea so I’m going to try out some of your idea. Thanks.

  3. Love this post, love your acronyms and love your way if writing. Yes, fear is essential to us as it is one of those things that help us deal mostly with our phobias. That you can even discuss about what it means and how we can deal.with fear is good. I agree that facing it head on is the most important point here. Nice post!

    1. Hi Suz, thanks for your encouraging words. So appreciated 🙂 I will say however that phobias are extreme fear and need to be faced and dealt with as any fear does, if in different ways. 

  4. It is very true that fear hinders one from achieving your goals and dreams. This can go on for a very long time if not taken care of. I love you explanation of fear and the instances you used are nice. This is really thoughtful post and it’ll be of help to a lot of people struggling with fear at the moment during Covid-19. 

  5. lately, things have been happening that bother me during the day. the situation in the world is very unfavorable at the moment and it only increases my anxiety. I try to be positive and not let it break me. I don’t know how others deal with their fears but I find it very difficult. Sometimes it’s not bad to talk to an expert and that can mean a lot.

    1. Thanks for your comment. It might be a good idea to sign up for our stress quiz to see how you cope with stress.

  6. Deb, thanks for this overview of fear. I have struggled with fear for many years, but I’m only now realizing this. I was afraid of failure and being rejected and not feeling good enough. I love the acronyms that you present here, that is new to me. Your article is honest and uplifting, thanks for sharing.

    I’m going to face my fears and do what scares me half to death. Thanks for the inspiration!

    1. Thanks Garin, I appreciate your kind comments and hope I’ve been helpful 🙂

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