This is partly because, in our culture, we tend to dress up "fear" in the more socially acceptable clothes of "stress." And stress … well, hell, stress is practically a badge of success in our culture!
When you're afraid (of criticism, failure and rejection), you'll kill yourself trying to be perfect. Of course, the mask of perfection also separates you from what you most want: real intimacy, to be known, loved, and accepted for your true self.
When you're afraid to take risks and go for what you really want, you convince yourself that your less-than-juicy life — your relationships, your job, the dismal state of Mother Gaia — is as good as it gets. When fear runs the show, you forget how to dream. You compromise in the name of being "realistic." But settling isn't realism; it's a devastating symptom of the fear that what you hope is possible really isn't.
When you're afraid to disappoint people or get rejected if you don't say yes, you'll fall into fear-based, people-pleasing, self-sacrificing behaviors that lead to resentment. But when fear is no longer running the show, you say no when it feels self-loving. As they say, "No" is a complete sentence. This doesn't mean you won't devote yourself to generosity and service. It means the service stems from a genuine love-based (rather than a fear-based) motivation.
Fear causes inner pain, a soul sickness that can show up as depression, anxiety, restlessness, helplessness, hopelessness, frustration, sadness, loneliness and fatigue.
When you're afraid of putting yourself in the arena because of fear of failure, success, uncertainty, judgment, criticism, or rejection, you'll tend to stand on the sidelines where you feel safer. When you face fear head on, motivation replaces procrastination. You're not "going for it" based on a fear-based need to "make it happen." Instead, the natural inclination toward love and service generates inspired action that pushes you toward that which wants to be born through you.
When fear is operating you, you'll avoid speaking up. You won't stand up for what you believe. You won't let your voice be heard when your integrity is being threatened. You won't tell people when they hurt your feelings. You'll be too afraid to ask for what you really want
When you let love lead, you start respecting and appreciating the divine voice that flows through you, and you invite it to be heard. As a result, you'll attract those who resonate with your truth. You'll find your soul community.
Love can transmute fear almost instantly when you open your heart and allow yourself to feel gratitude.