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73 Inspirational Quotes on Fear [Updated for 2019]

Fear.

Sometimes it’s a very helpful thing that keeps us from harm.

But many times it’s an inner voice and barrier that keeps us stuck.

That keeps us from getting what we want and becoming who we honestly deep down want to be.

Learning to handle fear and overcome it – even if that’s sometimes just for 10 or 30 seconds so you can take an important action – ­is critical to living your life fully.

So in this article I’d like to share timeless and time-tested wisdom from the people that walked this earth long before us (and from a few that are still here with us).

Here are 73 thought-provoking, practically helpful and motivating quotes on fear.

[NOTE: This used to be a much shorter and more unstructured blog post that has somehow only become more popular in the past 11 years since I first created it. It is has now been updated with 51 additional quotes and received some well-needed polishing.]

Trending Video: The 21 Best Quotes of All Time

 

“People living deeply have no fear of death.”
— Anais Nin

“When a resolute young fellow steps up to the great bully, the world, and takes him boldly by the beard, he is often surprised to find it comes off in his hand, and that it was only tied on to scare away the timid adventurers.”
— Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Fear is the main source of superstition, and one of the main sources of cruelty. To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom.”
— Bertrand Russell

“Fears are educated into us, and can, if we wish, be educated out.”
— Karl Augustus Menninger

“Too many people are thinking of security instead of opportunity. They seem to be more afraid of life than death.”
— James F. Byrnes

Fear Quote By Rudyard Kipling

“Of all the liars in the world, sometimes the worst are our own fears.”
— Rudyard Kipling

“Curiosity will conquer fear even more than bravery will.”
— James Stephens

“Ignorance is the parent of fear.”
— Herman Melville

“Fear: False Evidence Appearing Real.”
— Unknown

“I am not afraid of tomorrow, for I have seen yesterday and I love today.”
— William Allen White

Fear Quote from Isa Upanishad, Hindu Scripture

“Who sees all beings in his own self, and his own self in all beings, loses all fear.”
— Isa Upanishad, Hindu Scripture

“We are more often frightened than hurt; and we suffer more from imagination than from reality.”
— Seneca

“Do the thing you fear and the death of fear is certain.”’
— Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Where no hope is left, is left no fear.”
— Milton

“Laughter is poison to fear.”
— George R.R. Martin

“Fear is only as deep as the mind allows.”
— Japanese Proverb

Fear Quote By Dale Carnegie

“Instead of worrying about what people say of you, why not spend time trying to accomplish something they will admire.”
— Dale Carnegie

“One of the greatest discoveries a man makes, one of his great surprises, is to find he can do what he was afraid he couldn’t do.”
— Henry Ford

“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”
— Franklin D. Roosevelt

“Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. The fearful are caught as often as the bold.”
— Helen Keller

“You can discover what your enemy fears most by observing the means he uses to frighten you.”
— Eric Hoffer

“Fear makes us feel our humanity.”
— Benjamin Disraeli

“To overcome fear, here’s all you have to do: realize the fear is there, and do the action you fear anyway.”
— Peter McWilliams

“If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself, but to your estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.”
— Marcus Aurelius

“Fear is the lengthened shadow of ignorance.”
— Arnold Glasow

Fear Quote By Anais Nin

“Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.”
— Anais Nin

“Fear defeats more people than any other one thing in the world.”
— Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Fear is pain arising from the anticipation of evil.”
— Aristotle

“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.”
— Dale Carnegie

“I have learned over the years that when one’s mind is made up, this diminishes fear; knowing what must be done does away with fear.”
— Rosa Parks

“Keep your fears to yourself but share your courage with others.”
— Robert Louis Stevenson

“The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek.”
— Joseph Campbell

Fear Quote By William Shakespeare

“In time we hate that which we often fear.”
— William Shakespeare

“Fear is the needle that pierces us that it may carry a thread to bind us to heaven.”
— James Hastings

“When I hear music, I fear no danger. I am invulnerable. I see no foe. I am related to the earliest times, and to the latest.”
— Henry David Thoreau

“Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything – all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important.”
— Steve Jobs

“Of all forms of caution, caution in love is perhaps the most fatal to true happiness.”
— Bertrand Russell

“Everything you want is on the other side of fear.”
— Jack Canfield

Fear Quote By Aeschylus

“There are times when fear is good.  It must keep its watchful place at the heart's controls.”
— Aeschylus

“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”
— Nelson Mandela

“There are very few monsters who warrant the fear we have of them.”
— Andre Gide

“The way you overcome shyness is to become so wrapped up in something that you forget to be afraid.”
— Lady Bird Johnson

“Don’t fear failure so much that you refuse to try new things. The saddest summary of a life contains three descriptions: could have, might have, and should have.”
— Louis E. Boone

“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

“We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.”
— Plato

Fear Quote By Shirley Maclaine

“Fear makes strangers of people who would be friends.”
— Shirley Maclaine

“In skating over thin ice our safety is in our speed.”
— Ralph Waldo Emerson

“If you’re not willing to risk, you cannot grow. If you cannot grow, you cannot be your best. If you cannot be your best, you cannot be happy. If you cannot be happy, what else is there?”
— Les Brown

“The best way out is always through.”
— Robert Frost

“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

“It is not death that a man should fear, but he should fear never beginning to live.”
— Marcus Aurelius

“Don't fear, just live right.”
— Neal A. Maxwell

“Fear of self is the greatest of all terrors, the deepest of all dread, the commonest of all mistakes. From it grows failure. Because of it, life is a mockery. Out of it comes despair.”
— David Seasbury

“Fear is a darkroom where negatives develop.”
— Usman B. Asif

Fear Quote By Confucius

“If you look into your own heart, and you find nothing wrong there, what is there to worry about? What is there to fear?”
— Confucius

“Never be afraid to try something new. Remember, amateurs built the ark, professionals built the Titanic.”
— Unknown

“The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown.”
— H. P. Lovecraft

“Feed your faith and your fears will starve to death.”
— Unknown

“To dare is to lose one’s footing momentarily. To not dare is to lose oneself.”
— Soren Kierkegaard

“Find out what you're afraid of and go live there.”
— Chuck Palahniuk

“No power so effectually robs the mind of all its powers of acting and reasoning as fear.”
— Edmund Burke

“Fears are stories we tell ourselves.”
— Unknown

Fear Quote By Ruth Gendler

“Fear has a large shadow, but he himself is small.”
— Ruth Gendler

“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

“There are several good protections against temptation, but the surest is cowardice.”
— Mark Twain

“Try a thing you haven’t done three times. Once, to get over the fear of doing it. Twice, to learn how to do it. And a third time to figure out whether you like it or not.”
— Virgil Thomson

“Fear has two meanings: ‘Forget Everything And Run’ or ‘Face Everything And Rise.’ The choice is yours.”
— Zig Ziglar

“Living with fear stops us taking risks, and if you don’t go out on the branch, you’re never going to get the best fruit.”
— Sarah Parish

“Anything I've ever done that ultimately was worthwhile… initially scared me to death.”
— Betty Bender

“The enemy is fear. We think it is hate; but, it is fear.”
— Gandhi

Fear Quote By John C. Maxwell

“The greatest mistake we make is living in constant fear that we will make one.”
— John C. Maxwell

“Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.”
— Marie Curie

 “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

What is your favorite quote on fear? Feel free to share the best one(s) you have found in this article or in your life in the comments section below.

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Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Thanks for the post Henrik! May I add my own quote? I´ve been thinking about it for a while and after reading your blog today I finally posted it on my own. I honestly think: Fear of failure is evolution´s bottleneck.

  • thanks for the great post.

    Sometimes fear can come in a funny way.
    I have fear for cats. But I managed to use
    visualization to get rid of my fear for cats.
    I have updated my story at my Blog.

  • One of my favorites: “We have nothing to fear . . . but fear itself!” Good post.

  • The enemy is fear. We think it is hate; but, it is fear.
    Gandhi

    I’ve never heard of that one before from Gandhi but WOW, what an unbelievably powerful message!

  • rick

    Fear is a message. Do not dismiss it outright! Neither let fear dismiss judgement. Weigh all evidence in the balance, then act.

    me.

  • I’m a bit late with this comment, since the original post was a few months ago! At any rate, here is my favorite quote about fear:

    “Courage is not the absence of fear, but the realization that there is something greater than fear.”
    – Ambrose Redmoon

  • Great quotes! Here is one that I like:
    Of all the people I have ever known, those who have pursued their dreams and failed have lived a much more fulfilling life than those who have put their dreams on a shelf for fear of failure. ~Author Unknown

  • Yep, another great post. I was expecting to see “Feel the Fear but Do it Anyway” or maybe that phrase is trademarked!

  • William

    I’m a little afraid of quotes about fear, but your blog helped me face that. thank you!

  • brooke

    heyy i have the fear of throwing my full in cheerleading…does anyone have a quote for tht

  • great quotes!!!
    thanks,
    rg.

  • shah_h7

    Nice post Henrik!

    I really like these quotes, especially:

    “The enemy is fear. We think it is hate; but, it is fear.”
    Gandhi

    I also found another great quote here:

    http://reclaimhappiness.com/blog/?p=223

    Thanks!!

  • Excellent! There are always two voices sounding in our ear: the voice of fear, and the voice of confidence. One is the clamor of the senses, the other is the whispering of the higher self. Charles B. Newcomb

  • Saffron

    Love is what we are born with. Fear is what we learned here.
    FEAR is nothing but False Evidence Appearing Real

  • Valerie

    “Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything – all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important.”
    — Steve Jobs This is so true so “Live your Best Life”!