Published on 4/15/2022

Ten Fears that Make Us Withdraw
Winnis Chiang

Fear often stands between us and our ability to make decisions, take actions, ask for what we want—even to know what we really want. It is the gatekeeper of our comfort zone. But as poet-philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “He has not learned the lesson of life who does not every day surmount a fear.” Below are 10 fears that commonly get in our way.

1. Fear of being judged. Many people often need the approval of family members or friends to have the courage to act. Once denied, we are often unable to bravely pursue our dreams and goals.

2. Fear of rejection. Rejection just means that someone else has a different opinion.

3. Fear of emotional pain. Rather than incapacitate us, painful feelings can sharpen our sense of joy and gratitude.

4. Fear of embarrassment. Sometimes it's terrible when our mistakes are made public, and we feel ashamed. But in fact, it is not so embarrassing and scary to face mistakes bravely and correct them in time.

5. Fear of being alone and abandoned. Don't worry too much. A strong sense of self-worth and what we can offer the world reduces this fear.

6. Fear of failure. A biggie for most of us and born of the notion that it’s not OK to fail. Don't be afraid, believe in the famous saying "Failure is the mother of success".

7. Fear of success. More responsibility, more attention, pressure to perform can be frightening when we don’t believe in ourselves. But in fact, our contribution to this world is reflected in this aspect.

8. Fear of expressing feelings. An authentic life means being willing to express our true feelings to our loved ones, colleagues, adversaries—even ourselves.

9. Fear of intimacy. Emotional intimacy—really being seen by another—can be very scary. However, there is no need to hide. Sometimes you may be more likable when you are real and be yourself.

10. Fear of the unknown. The unknown can be exciting and expansive if we shift our fear to curiosity.

So, don't worry and fear too much, because God tells us that all things work together. Sometimes bad things and feelings are God's way to prepare us to receive what is better. With faith in Christ, we pray and rely on God to transcend everything by experiencing the presence of God.

"I sought the Lord, and He answered me; He delivered me from all my fears." (Psalm 34:4)

Remember Good Friday. Don't forget that Easter is just around the corner!

Author's content used under license, © Claire Communications

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Winnis Chiang

Winnis Chiang, LMFT and founder of, is passionate about helping Mandarin- and Cantonese-speaking parents to get along with, enjoy, and positively influence their American born children.