FEAR : an analysis

It is undeniable that we humans live in constant fear.

However much confident, independent, solitary or loved we are, there exist an ounce of fear within each of us. The fear some share openly, the fear some hide mysteriously, the fear some admit consciously and the fear some know unconsciously..

So what are these fears?

I made a small list of my own here, trying to explore different types of fear found in the deepest corners of our hearts.

1. Fear of losing a loved one

This is the most commonly found fear in humans. Maybe in animals too, but I haven’t thought about that (yet).

Be it a person fearing his/her old ailing parent would die soon. Or a teenager head over heels in love with someone, fearing its just infatuation and won’t last. Fear of losing a loved one stirs up anyone – even if they claim they’re emotionally strong. Losing a child or spouse or parent / grandparent is the most natural fear, and natural because it is defectively installed in us to love our family. The ones who nurture us over the years, the ones who stand by us all along.

fear of losing a loved one

They say break-ups are hard, because even lovers become emotionally attached, falling prey into the fear of losing each other. This type of fear in fact, causes many other issues like being possessive, over protective or addicted.

Fear of losing a friend is also found in many. Some friendships do last long, but some are lost in the sands of time.

2. Fear of being lonely

Man is a social animal, which needs to be occasionally, if not constantly, fed with emotional interactions with others.
The fear of being lonely results in actions like seeking attention from family/peers, be always surrounded by people, or even being a party animal.

All these, and even more circumstances signify that people have a need to interact with others. And devoid of it causes mental imbalance too.

Nobody wants to be lonely. Its i different thing, to be alone for a while –Β to maybe sort out a problem, or think peacefully. Solitude is essential, but prolonged solitude is harsh on a person.

fear of being alone

Moreover, as there is a saying –Β with sharing, happiness multiplies and sadness decreases. To be not able to share and celebrate one’s happiness is disheartening, and similarly, not being able to share the burden of a problem or worry also consumes a person from inside.

Hence everyone has a close-knit circle of family and friends, and the idea of losing them is always scary.

3. Fear of failure

Failing to meet expectation, repercussions of not meeting a deadline, losses of a failed project or continuous bad luck/timing – all these are perfect examples of fear of failure.

Giving up a dream because it doesn’t seen feasible, not taking up a task or not taking risks in a project/investment – these also imply that we are scared of failure.

fear of failure

Success matters so much, that we resent on miscalculating and not take an unplanned step. Uncalculated decisions taken without much weighing of matters can cause failure, but it is short-term only. For the long race, it teaches us what not to do which adds on to our experience and wisdom.

Staying on shore won’t fetch you pearls. And staying aboard won’t give you the experience of swimming. So dive in!

4. Fear of being judged

This is fairly common too, in all age groups.

A student might not raise a doubt in class, because he is embarrassed that it might be a foolish doubt and what others might think of him. A high school student hides from his peers that he writes romantic poems, because he fears they’ll laugh at him. A college graduate looks at the mirror before stepping out of his room, because he doesn’t want to be the laughing-stock. A manager doesn’t suggest improvements because he doubts if they’ll be implemented or even considered, and the management might dismiss him saying its a waste of time. A professor throws out a student from his class because of asking an irrelevant question, but actually because he dint know the explanation for it.

fear of being judged

There can be a million instances in everybody’s life, when we act according to others. Because we fear what will others think. How many people have you seen singing in the public openly? Very less right? That’s because they fear they’ll be laughed at, or looked down upon, or be stared at.

We judge others and we are scared of being judged. It’s a vicious cycle which needs to stop.

5. Fear of conscious

A famous person once wrote, I sleep peacefully at night because I have a clear conscience.

If you haven’t borrowed or stolen, why will you fear anyone? Who can harm you, unless you have harmed someone? The inner voice won’t leave you alone if you know you’re guilty.

That is the power of conscience. It’s not in self-control. We can’t shut the constant nagging of our mind reminding us of our sin.

fear of conscience

This fear of conscience, I say, is the best fear. Because it keep a check on us, guarding us from our own deeds and protecting us from decisions we might regret.

If such a fear of karma exists in all of us, this world would be such a peaceful place to live in.

6. Fear of death

The biggest truth of our life is death. Even though death is inevitable, there isn’t a soul who accepts it wholeheartedly. Everyone wants to live just a little longer.

Maybe the old and ailing wish to end their lives, and the ones who commit suicide don’t actually know the worth of this beautiful gift called life, but for the rest of us the fear of death doesn’t go.
Even our cultures and religions don’t preach us particularly to accept death with open arms with a smile on our face.

Indeed, our holy books narrate about the wonderful afterlife, lure us towards the glorious heaven and tell us how angels will take care of us, but these hardly leave an everlasting impression on our minds to fight or curb the fear of death.

fear of death

Maybe I am wrong, but at least I haven’t read anything which tells people to give up the life and be dead instead. The holy books can guide us, how to lead our lives, so that when we die we don’t suffer (in death or life after death). They can even tell us how committing sins will hinder our transfer to the other side of death. But none can teach us how to accept the ultimate destination of death.

Some people don’t travel by airways, some avoid water, some prefer walking than sitting in a machine called car and some just keep bodyguards. All because they love their life and don’t want to die.

To a certain extent, this emotion is justified. We humans make emotional bonds with not just living beings but also non living things. So just the fear of leaving it all behind does stir up some unpleasant feeling.

But how far can we fight death?

7. Fear of future

Got final term exam tomorrow? Or results?
Or a thesis presentation?
Or maybe an appointment with your manager?
Or a meeting with your employees to tell them their allowances are reduced?
Or maybe its your baby’s first day at school?
Or a new collection of clothes releasing tomorrow?

And are you having butterflies in your stomach? Not able to sleep?

Well my friend, then like all of us you are excited and maybe fearing the future.

fear of future

There is one thing to look forward to future –Β which is a positive aspect. Because you have worked hard for it, and you know nothing went wrong and you did it all absolutely correct. Then you look forward to future, waiting for the fruitful results.

But if you have doubts, you are not confident or you’re confused, you have done something wrong, crossed someone, they you fear your future. Because you worry what hell might break loose tomorrow!

As to how to avoid this, I really don’t know. Maybe with a clean conscience. But then, actors or fashion designers etc they do their hard work, but they fear the critics and audience on day of release. That has got nothing to do with conscience because an unknown factor is judging you and deciding your fate. Conscience has no play then.

8. Phobia

Google can list more than 100 types of phobias found in people.

See here for the complete list.

Some are afraid of the dark, some are afraid of being lonely, and some are scared of crowd. This is a play of hormones in a person’s body, in my opinion.

As far as I know there isn’t a cure of phobia or other types of fears for that matter. And definitely there is a limit to which one can control his or her mind. Lets agree not all of us have a tactful control on our minds and hearts. Then how do we deal with fears?


Faith. Facing the true facts, looking right into the eyes of our fear, and keeping in mind the truth of our living, may help some fight some of these fears. And that is what therapy also does. It makes us believe in ourselves. Believe that we are the sole writers of our fate, destiny, life and death. And come what may, we have the strength to face it.

Live life in each moment with whatever you have around. Maybe lesser people tomorrow, maybe fewer loved ones by your side, but its you my friend who decide the terms and conditions for your life. Tomorrow I may die or I be so embarrassed that I wish to die. But at this moment I live this moment. With no fear. With no fear.


94 thoughts on “FEAR : an analysis

  1. The Elizabeth the First quote answered it all. I know a bit about her histroy and she is one of my heros. She got herself out of the ax simply becasue her manner was cleared by her consious. It was her power of conviction. SHe made sure she was not guilty of anything that could kill her. Then only nature could kill her. The power of being guilt free keeps you from being alone. It is the one thing that if done with honesty the rest follows. When nature decides our time is done here there is simply nothing we can do about it.

  2. We are all compelled by fear,I have myself been in the depths of own fears. Losing my wife is one that really that put my head in a bad place, I have conquered that fear and have several others too. When I began my walk on my road those were the biggest driving forces behind what I was going to fix,I have done this; there are a few left but I am not letting them rule over my life any longer. I think this is outstanding writing as I have ever read.I am going to post this on my face book page and send a copy for my daughter to read. Most excellent, I think so from a new friend.

    • Thank you so much for your kind words..and you’re a brave at heart, to pull back on’e life back together and go back fighting for things one ought to- it needs courage and faith.

  3. Pingback: FEAR : an analysis | paralysisanalysis's Blog

  4. nicely said…
    we are all live in fear… and i think those fear what makes us stronger day by day. how to surviving this life and never giving up to the fear itself.
    may i reblog this?

  5. A little fear, like a little Vitamin A, can be healthy. πŸ™‚

    I liked the Mark Twain quote you cited. He didn’t have an easy life, but still was able to find humor in things. Liz the first is a favorite also, an amazingly good example to throw in the faces of arrogant men who say women can’t be leaders.

    The older I get, the less of an enemy death becomes. However, it’s that point in between life and death that’s a real fear producer. I like the way Isaac Asimov put it: “Life is pleasant. Death is peaceful. It’s the transition that’s troublesome.”

    Thanks for a thought-provoking blog entry.

      • Like a number one prize fighter, success makes you vulnerable to abuse by those people wanting to punch their way to the top. For many reasons I won’t go into, I’ve often told people that the only reason I’ve made it this far is that my determination has dragged my anxieties kicking and screaming behind it throughout my life. If truth be known, I believe that most women who have achieved anything at all in life can say this.

  6. you really put these things into perspective for me. I enjoyed it very much…especially our fear of losing someone (in my case, my relationship with my husband as he goes deeper in the Alzheimer’s)

  7. loved it.
    i was about to write about it.u did it .
    you have mentioned almost all those kind of fears a person has in different phases of his life.fear of rejection, fear of being isolated, fear of being betrayed, fear of loosing our loved ones..are those which limits our growth as an individual.but once we know how to tackle our fears and work on them.. we feel happy and blocks to achievement will be unblocked.

  8. What a great post! I really enjoyed this a lot …. I might just re-blog also! πŸ˜€ You did an excellent job on this!

  9. Reblogged this on Keli has a Blog and commented:
    This is a very interesting analysis on FEAR by my friend Sakshi Vashist. Any comment should probably be made to her page… there is much merit in what she has to say!

  10. 1. Fear of losing a loved one
    2. Fear of being lonely
    4. Fear of being judged
    those are things I most fear of… but I’m human being, so it’s ok being afraid of something, as long as it won’t make me fall.

  11. VERY interesting reading, it’s always helpful to learn and there’s much to think about here….we all know about living in the here and now, but sometimes that’s just difficult to maintain. I try to face my fears…but I don’t always do this very well!

  12. I share all those fears except death. Don’t know if its weird but death is just a cycle of life, we all have to face it. Can’t be stopped so no point in fearing what we can’t control and worrying. Maybe it comes from working at hospitals and seeing death around me.

  13. Thoroughly compiled and eloquently expressed. I read “somewhere” once that fear of public speaking was second only to fear of death – but that might have been an urban myth. Well done.

  14. The worst thing you can do with fear is run away from it. Instead embrace it! It becomes like a hidden jewel and a lesson is it’s treasure πŸ™‚

  15. It stands to reason you found my recent post interesting — the topic was fear — of the unknown (not in your list above, at least not explicitly so). It is interesting for me to note that prior to my late husband’s death. I was pretty fearless, or rather, did not allow my fears to control me. I have a fear of heights, otherwise classified as phobia , and somewhat irrational. But years ago I had my own business in which I designed, produced and installed Xmas decor for shopping centers and malls. This work necessitated climbing ladders, moveable stairs, and going up in a cherry picker. I performed all of these tasks, and more, despite my fear. I just did not allow it to control me.

    But that changed when, in January 2009, my late husband died — from a mere slip and fall. He’d slipped on an icy patch, fell, struck his head on the ice/pavement and suffered a major subdural hematoma. He was brain dead upon arrival to the ER. He’d suffered what is known in the more casual parlance of medical language, a virtual decapitation.

    It has been since then that i have noticed I have a much more extreme panic reaction to events which trigger my fears. It has been four years. I have been working on this and I feel that I have mostly succeeded. Especially since I underwent elective surgery to fix a minor leg deformity. It was a surgery involving anesthesia, (epitdural plus sedation), the cutting of my tibia bone (Shin) into four parts, the affixation of an external device (taylor spatial frame) to my leg via screws into the bones, a week long stay in the hospital, on a morphine pump for the first three days, and then a 3 week stay at a rehab care center. I am currently receiving physical therapy — which will be increased once the frame is removed (in mid-May). I am in either pain or great discomfort much of the time. I was TERRIFIED the day I went in for the surgery and when I was being prepped I was trembling violently.

    But I feel that between my permanent disablity (hearling loss), my loss of m husband and all that entailed, and my having moved twice in as many years, and now, of having done this surgery and enduring all THAT entails, has made me a much stronger person, more confident I can handle whatever G-d chooses to throw my way. I know that is such a cliche thing to write, but it is true.

    Thanks for reading my blog and taking the time to let me know I welcome all feedback at my blog at http://hashgachapratit.wordpress.com/.

    • This a so brave of you – to share your story! and yes I liked your post for the mere fact that I never considered “fear of the unknown” while writing my blog..

      I salute your attitude and spirit to move on in life facing whatever comes in the way!

      I’ll drop by your blog once again now..

  16. Great article! Fear of losing a loved one has always haunted me, ever since I was a young child. I’d sometimes wake up crying after having a nightmare about losing those closest to me. After much thinking of the topic, I decided I’d rather it be me rather than them. After more thinking, I my conclusion was a selfish one. I’d rather not be the one living through the pain of losing someone.

    A while after understanding all that about myself, I also figured out how afraid of death I actually am. What a contradiction πŸ˜›

  17. Hi!
    I must say, you’ve created a really-really great post – well done! All that is true; thank you for sharing!
    Thank you for stopping by on my blog, so I’ve found yours, nice to meet you!

  18. wow, this is nicely written. I’m sure you really observe it well. i have almost all of the fears that you’ve mentioned above. the question are how to face and overcome it all? sometimes we do really know it reason, why the fear comes up, but we don’t brave enough to take the first step to overcome it. i guess. that’s me…

  19. Pingback: 28 March 2013 : Fear of Loss | My Journey with Holistic Psychiatry

  20. I really could relate to this article and feel you understood what I have sometimes been going through. The fear list was fearless! Awesome! Thanks so much for such clarity!

  21. Nicely written article; concise and well organized, but candid. I’ve often considered the idea that fear is the real “root of evil” not money or any of the other so called deadly sins. Greed, and many of the other vices or transgressions are simply the manifested action of fear within us. Fear of death is different from culture to culture. I think the Native American Nation, the Senecans express it best. “A life lived well, is a life long enough.” Thank you for a well turned and thought provoking article.

    • Thank you so much …

      and yes I think most our virtues revolve around our fears… some are emotionally strong- because they fear of getting hurt..some people are over-protective because they fear losing their loved ones…some are greedy because they want a better living..

      but all in all, β€œA life lived well, is a life long enough.”

  22. An extremely interesting posting… I personally do not fear death – nor do I welcome it – but that is just me – when it comes, it will come, there is nothing I can really do about it so I choose not to focus on it. My two biggest fears are actually a fear of being crippled, and a fear of being blind. As an artist (photographer) neither of these situations would be good – I’ve even been know to say if I ever go blind than just kill me – I like seeing all there is to see, and to see what the lens sees that we don’t – so being blind would be pure torture. As for being crippled – it would most likely take away the majority of my independence – and as an artist – well – that just won’t work for me. Excellent job on the post – thanks for sharing – it made me think – and I like when people post things that make me do that. πŸ™‚

    • Yes, that must be really scary. I haven’t really thought about being crippled or blind or deaf for that matter! But any physical impairment would be devastating for a healthy person.

      Thank you for sharing your insight! I would not have thought of this fear otherwise.

      • As someone who has had a taste of visual impairment and has had the whittling away of abilities, I have to say that over the years you adapt.. My husband said the same thing about blindness (if I go blind just kill me)–until he became blind. He found the sounds of his children’s voices soothing, their closeness worth living another day to enjoy again.

      • Some people would not consider my fears to be fears. And yes, physical disability for a healthy individual would be devastating. The inability to come and go as one pleases as the result of being crippled, blind, or even deaf would be a difficult adjustment. In response to floridaborne, I have had many ppl tell me that I would eventually adjust to either of my fears – but your husband is in a different situation. I am unmarried (by choice) and have no children – so voices would make little difference in my situation. I am glad that he was able to overcome his disability – I am always happy when I see/hear of someone doing so. None of us really know how we would react to the loss of sight, movement, or hearing – until it happens. Perhaps one day when my sight does go I will react differently – but until it does I can only say how I would feel about it at this moment – and for me, as an artist, as a photographer – my world would end.

  23. I appreciated the list and could easily relate it to my own fears…(most of them)…
    I especially liked the last quote and I would do my best to remember it:
    “Remember everyone you meet is afraid of something, loves something, and has lost something”.
    Thank you! πŸ˜€

  24. Thank you for very connected piece; reblogged it. Lovely and thoughtful.

    At fundamental level two thoughts on fear:

    1) we are all turning to dust shortly; that makes all risks and relationships easier and more joyful for me [similar thought to Twain’s quoted by another commenter].

    2) in the flow, in immediacy, in now, in the creation of love; all these are eternal undying, a way to cheat our eventual loss of self. Twirl, spin, Lucinda Willilams– “i will dance until i lose my mind; i will dance forever.”

    Not sure why this works; it works. The love relationship with my father already goes beyond his death; will go beyond mine as well.

    At fundamental level, don’t think i’m disagreeing with the content of what you say.


  25. Pingback: Fear: An Analysis– reblog | WebsterWeb's World

  26. Thanks a lot for reading my poem Sakshi. I like articles like this a great deal that can shift from one element to another, dealing with the same topic whilst including many different aspects of it πŸ™‚

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