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Ten Ways to Interpret Fear: The Philosophy of the Psychological Reference

Ten Ways to Interpret Fear: The Philosophy of the Psychological Reference

What fear brings along for one person, doesn’t bring for another. Tremble or sweat, mumble or silenzio stampa, we all express it our own way.

Fear is not only a temporary and occasionally emotion, being classified as a feeling, a feeling that most of us have it all our lives – be it the fear that the barking dogs will eventually tear us down, or the fear of our loved ones will leave us alone (and not for a natural cause such as death), for giving the most common examples.

Some define fear as being that anguish that we feel when something bad happens to us (or we believe that will happen to us) and both our body and mind try to warn us of the tragedy that is looming over us. “Get out of here”, our upbeating heart seems to say, or “don’t let your guard down”, we hear our blood adrenalinescreaming. Few things can be as irrational and at the same time as logical as fear.

“Fear is a powerful emotion we often find in human beings, that can be, in extreme cases, as much as paralyzing as to be able to seriously limit our lives. Fear is a universal, unavoidable and necessary emotion, kind of a wake-up note for us to adapt to the environment we are part of, which is also fundamental to our interior steadiness and surviving. Without fear we would be unwary and reckless,” is the definition offered by the Spanish Higher Institute of Psychological Studies.

“Fear comes from a will to control, from a very great frustration, from a feeling of endless blame, when we feel incomplete, missing something. The greatest challenge in the way of our own happiness is fear. Your life begins where fear ends,”  applied psychology explains it for us.  

Fear activates us and makes us think of all the things that are worthwhile in our lives. Fear makes us feel alive.

Here are ten reflections over fear that will at least row second thoughts about it:


  1. “Fear is always willing to see things worse than they are.” (Titus Livius
  2. “Fear is something natural for the cautious one, and knowing how to overcome it means being brave.” (Alonso de Ercilla y Zúñiga)
  3. “The man who feels fear without being in danger makes up the danger to justify his fear.” (Alain, pseudonym of Émile-Auguste Chartier)
  4. “The most dangerous man is the one who is afraid.” (Ludwig Börne)
  5. “For those who are afraid, everything is ado.” (Sofocles)
  6. “There’s nothing I’m so afraid of as fear.” (Michel Eyquem de Montaigne)
  7. “Executioners are always recognized. One can see the fear on their faces.” (Jean Paul Sartre)
  8. “No one reached the top accompanied by fear.” (Publio Siro)
  9. “The shy ones are afraid before the danger; the cowards, during the danger; the brave ones, afterwards.” (Jean Paul)
  10. “Fear is that little dark room where negative goals are revealed.” (Michael Pritchard)

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