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73 Inspirational Quotes on Fear [Updated for 2018]


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 inspirational, thought-provoking and practically helpful 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.]

  1. “People living deeply have no fear of death.”
    — Anais Nin
  2. “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
  3. “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
  4. “Fears are educated into us, and can, if we wish, be educated out.”
    — Karl Augustus Menninger
  5. “Too many people are thinking of security instead of opportunity. They seem to be more afraid of life than death.”
    — James F. Byrnes
  6. “Of all the liars in the world, sometimes the worst are our own fears.”
    — Rudyard Kipling
  7. “Curiosity will conquer fear even more than bravery will.”
    — James Stephens
  8. “Ignorance is the parent of fear.”
    — Herman Melville
  9. “Fear: False Evidence Appearing Real.”
    — Unknown
  10. “I am not afraid of tomorrow, for I have seen yesterday and I love today.”
    — William Allen White
  11. “Who sees all beings in his own self, and his own self in all beings, loses all fear.”
    — Isa Upanishad, Hindu Scripture
  12. “We are more often frightened than hurt; and we suffer more from imagination than from reality.”
    — Seneca
  13. “Do the thing you fear and the death of fear is certain.”’
    — Ralph Waldo Emerson
  14. “Where no hope is left, is left no fear.”
    — Milton
  15. “Laughter is poison to fear.”
    — George R.R. Martin
  16. “Fear is only as deep as the mind allows.”
    — Japanese Proverb
  17. “Instead of worrying about what people say of you, why not spend time trying to accomplish something they will admire.”
    — Dale Carnegie
  18. “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
  19. “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”
    — Franklin D. Roosevelt
  20. “Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. The fearful are caught as often as the bold.”
    — Helen Keller
  21. “You can discover what your enemy fears most by observing the means he uses to frighten you.”
    — Eric Hoffer
  22. “Fear makes us feel our humanity.”
    — Benjamin Disraeli
  23. “To overcome fear, here’s all you have to do: realize the fear is there, and do the action you fear anyway.”
    — Peter McWilliams
  24. “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
  25. “Fear is the lengthened shadow of ignorance.”
    — Arnold Glasow
  26. “Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.”
    — Anais Nin
  27. “Fear defeats more people than any other one thing in the world.”
    — Ralph Waldo Emerson
  28. “Fear is pain arising from the anticipation of evil.”
    — Aristotle
  29. “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
  30. “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
  31. “Keep your fears to yourself but share your courage with others.”
    — Robert Louis Stevenson
  32. “The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek.”
    — Joseph Campbell
  33. “In time we hate that which we often fear.”
    — William Shakespeare
  34. “Fear is the needle that pierces us that it may carry a thread to bind us to heaven.”
    — James Hastings
  35. “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
  36. “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
  37. “Of all forms of caution, caution in love is perhaps the most fatal to true happiness.”
    — Bertrand Russell
  38. “Everything you want is on the other side of fear.”
    — Jack Canfield
  39. “There are times when fear is good.  It must keep its watchful place at the heart's controls.”
    — Aeschylus
  40. “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
  41. “There are very few monsters who warrant the fear we have of them.”
    — Andre Gide
  42. “The way you overcome shyness is to become so wrapped up in something that you forget to be afraid.”
    — Lady Bird Johnson
  43. “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
  44. “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
  45. “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
  46. “Fear makes strangers of people who would be friends.”
    — Shirley Maclaine
  47. “In skating over thin ice our safety is in our speed.”
    — Ralph Waldo Emerson
  48. “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
  49. “The best way out is always through.”
    — Robert Frost
  50. “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
  51. “It is not death that a man should fear, but he should fear never beginning to live.”
    — Marcus Aurelius
  52. “Don't fear, just live right.”
    — Neal A. Maxwell
  53. “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
  54. “Fear is a darkroom where negatives develop.”
    — Usman B. Asif
  55. “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
  56. “Never be afraid to try something new. Remember, amateurs built the ark, professionals built the Titanic.”
    — Unknown
  57. “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
  58. “Feed your faith and your fears will starve to death.”
    — Unknown
  59. “To dare is to lose one’s footing momentarily. To not dare is to lose oneself.”
    — Soren Kierkegaard
  60. “Find out what you're afraid of and go live there.”
    — Chuck Palahniuk
  61. “No power so effectually robs the mind of all its powers of acting and reasoning as fear.”
    — Edmund Burke
  62. “Fears are stories we tell ourselves.”
    — Unknown
  63. “Fear has a large shadow, but he himself is small.”
    — Ruth Gendler
  64. “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
  65. “There are several good protections against temptation, but the surest is cowardice.”
    — Mark Twain
  66. “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
  67. “Fear has two meanings: ‘Forget Everything And Run’ or ‘Face Everything And Rise.’ The choice is yours.”
    — Zig Ziglar
  68. “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
  69. “Anything I've ever done that ultimately was worthwhile… initially scared me to death.”
    — Betty Bender
  70. “The enemy is fear. We think it is hate; but, it is fear.”
    — Gandhi
  71. “The greatest mistake we make is living in constant fear that we will make one.”
    — John C. Maxwell
  72. “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
  73.  “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.

  • Joanna

    I like the quote about expectations, pride, embarassment, failure all fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. To really live is to keep growing through taking risks and trying again after a mistake

  • What about face everything and recover!

  • Michael

    I read your blogs and have taken several courses is it possible to receive the three e-books you reference today I would love that thank you


    YESSSS, I will no longer be a slave to fear again……..!!!!!!

  • Kelly

    “Don’t pray for an easy life. Pray to be strong.”

  • Charles Oyugi

    Very help full.

  • Lin

    Incridible Quotes I record the ones I think the best, but 73 tells it all. Thanks a million times for sharing.

  • Audrey Johnson

    73. Wow. What a comprehensive list. Something for everyone. Thank you for taking the time to compile them all together.

  • Rashida m kanchwala

    Fear kills many confidence it in fact stop progress of talented people there is some nice quotes which can be very useful to kill fear n let the confident come forth thnx sir

  • I honestly love this blog. Seriously, we all need a little more positivity in life and providing tips is the best way to do so. Seriously love reading these everyday.

  • Amazing list of quotes! Thanks for sharing. Helpful for many. Keep up the good work.

  • Fiona

    The one by Rosa Parks is my favourite xxx

  • Awesome Quotes! Especially #32 and #38. I recently learnt the definition of Fear: Anticipation of Pain.

    The mind’s primary role is protection and is constantly scanning for what’s wrong in any situation. But we don’t have to believe it.

    The secret to success is to learn to act in spite of Fear.

  • Thanks Alot.
    really love this blog

  • Love this one…although educating ourselves out may take a lifetime, the learning process alone is well worth the try.
    “Fears are educated into us, and can, if we wish, be educated out.”
    — Karl Augustus Menninger