Quotations about fear, a powerful emotion that causes physical changes in our breath, muscles, and heart rate and can flood the veins with adrenaline. Fear can help us face danger, and can also paralyze us or cause us to react in ways that are counterproductive.

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Simple shifts in points of view can open doors to expansions of consciousness as easily as rigid dispositions can close hearts and minds to such elevated awareness. It generally depends on whether you allow fear and violence to rule your actions or whether you give wisdom, courage, and compassion the authority to do so.

— Aberjhani, Splendid Literarium

We see daily that our lives are terrible and little, without continuity, buyable and salable at any moment, mere blips on a screen, that this is the way we live now. Memory marketed as nostalgia; terror reduced to mere suspense, to melodrama.

— Adrienne Rich

Scared and sacred are spelled with the same letters. Awful proceeds from the same root word as awesome. Terrify and terrific. Every negative experience holds the seed of transformation.

— Alan Cohen

No work or love will flourish out of guilt, fear, or hollowness of heart, just as no valid plans for the future can be made by those who have no capacity for living now.

— Alan Watts

Love casts out fear; but conversely fear casts out love. And not only love. Fear also casts out intelligence, casts out goodness, casts out all thought of beauty and truth.

— Aldous Huxley

We all seem to be affected by desire, anger, fear, sorrow, worry, hunger, and labour; how do we have caste differences then?

— Amartya Sen

The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity. The fears are paper tigers. You can do anything you decide to do. You can act to change and control your life; and the procedure, the process is its own reward.

— Amelia Earhart

Something is always born of excess: great art was born of great terrors, great loneliness, great inhibitions, instabilities, and it always balances them.

— Anaïs Nin

I have gained this from philosophy: that I do without being commanded what others do only from fear of the law.

— Aristotle

The root of all fear is imagination.

— Atshushi Okubo

When I dare to be powerful, to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid.

— Audre Lorde

I write for those women who do not speak, for those who do not have a voice because they were so terrified, because we are taught to respect fear more than ourselves. We’ve been taught that silence would save us, but it won’t.

— Audre Lorde

Poetry is not only dream and vision; it is the skeleton architecture of our lives. It lays the foundations for a future of change, a bridge across our fears of what has never been before.

— Audre Lorde

For we have been socialized to respect fear more than our own needs for language and definition, and while we wait in silence for that final luxury of fearlessness, the weight of that silence will choke us.

— Audre Lorde

When we speak we are afraid our words will not be heard or welcomed. But when we are silent, we are still afraid. So it is better to speak.

— Audre Lorde

The only real prison is fear, and the only real freedom is freedom from fear.

— Aung San Suu Kyi

Ignorance leads to fear, fear leads to hate, and hate leads to violence. This is the equation.

— Averroes

Never let the fear of striking out get in your way.

— Babe Ruth

Fear cannot be without hope nor hope without fear.

— Baruch Spinoza

To be afraid is to behave as if the truth were not true.

— Bayard Rustin

When we drop fear, we can draw nearer to people, we can draw nearer to the earth, we can draw nearer to all the heavenly creatures that surround us.

— bell hooks

The power of patriarchy has been to make maleness feared and to make men feel that it is better to be feared that to be loved. Whether they can confess this or not, men know that just is not true.

— bell hooks

Dominator culture has tried to keep us all afraid, to make us choose safety instead of risk, sameness instead of diversity. Moving through that fear, finding out what connects us, reveling in our differences; this is the process that brings us closer, that gives us a world of shared values, of meaningful community.

— bell hooks, Teaching Community: A Pedagogy of Hope

The world is full of fools and faint hearts; and yet everyone has courage enough to bear the misfortunes, and wisdom enough to manage the affairs, of his neighbor.

— Benjamin Franklin

Collective fear stimulates herd instinct, and tends to produce ferocity toward those who are not regarded as members of the herd.

— Bertrand Russell

Whoever wishes to become a philosopher must learn not to be frightened by absurdities.

— Bertrand Russell

Autocrats like fear and panic, and they are weakened by kindness and rationality and reason.

— Bill McKibben

What is the biggest thing that stops people from living their lives in the present moment? Fear – and we must learn how to overcome fear.

— Brian Weiss

We must throw out the old, fear-based thought-forms and evolve, and begin to live as higher beings of compassion.

— Bryant McGill

My story is a freedom song of struggle. It is about finding one’s purpose, how to overcome fear and to stand up for causes bigger than one’s self.

— c

If our religion is based on salvation, our chief emotions will be fear and trembling. If our religion is based on wonder, our chief emotion will be gratitude.

— Carl Jung

Once social change begins, it cannot be reversed. You cannot un-educate the person who has learned to read. You cannot humiliate the person who feels pride. You cannot oppress the people who are not afraid anymore.

— Cesar Chavez

I have a new philosophy. I’m only going to dread one day at a time.

— Charles M. Schulz

When I was growing up, it was ‘Communists’. Now it’s ‘Terrorists’. So you always have to have somebody to fight and be afraid of, so the war machine can build more bombs, guns, and bullets and everything.

— Cindy Sheehan

I may be compelled to face danger, but never fear it, and while our soldiers can stand and fight, I can stand and feed and nurse them.

— Clara Barton

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

Revenge and retaliation always perpetuate the cycle of anger, fear and violence.

— Coretta Scott King

When fear rushed in, I learned how to hear my heart racing but refused to allow my feelings to sway me. That resilience came from my family. It flowed through our bloodline.

— Coretta Scott King

‘Freedom from fear’ could be said to sum up the whole philosophy of human rights.

— Dag Hammarskjöld

‘Freedom from fear’ could be said to sum up the whole philosophy of human rights.

— Dag Hammarskjold

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 is nothing to fear except the persistent refusal to find out the truth, the persistent refusal to analyze the causes of happenings.

— Dorothy Thompson

Courage, it would seem, is nothing less than the power to overcome danger, misfortune, fear, injustice, while continuing to affirm inwardly that life with all its sorrows is good; that everything is meaningful even if in a sense beyond our understanding; and that there is always tomorrow.

— Dorothy Thompson

The long-run goal is, I think, the same for every human being, that politically he or she may be allowed to live free from fear, insecurity, terror, and oppression, free also from the possibility of exercising unequal or unjust domination over others.

— Edward W. Said, The Question of Palestine

Do one thing every day that scares you.

— Eleanor Roosevelt

You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’ You must do the thing you think you cannot do.

— Eleanor Roosevelt

We must join in an effort to use all knowledge for the good of all human beings. When we do that we shall have nothing to fear.

— Eleanor Roosevelt

I think that taking life seriously means something such as this: that whatever man does on this planet has to be done in the lived truth of the terror of creation, of the grotesque, of the rumble of panic underneath everything. Otherwise it is false. Whatever is achieved must be achieved with the full exercise of passion, of vision, of pain, of fear, and of sorrow. How do we know … that our part of the meaning of the universe might not be a rhythm in sorrow?

— Ernest Becker

I guess if I’d had any sense, I’d have been a little scared [to register to vote] – but what was the point of being scared? The only thing they could do was kill me, and it kinda seemed like they’d been trying to do that a little bit at a time since I could remember.

— Fannie Lou Hamer

We promise according to our hopes and perform according to our fears.

— François VI de la Rochefoucault
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