Halloween was kind of a double celebration for me as a kid, because I was born in October--so every birthday party was a costume party.
That doesn't mean I'm of those people who perversely likes to be frightened, though. In fact, I'm so afraid of fear that I spend a lot of time trying to put the things I'm afraid of behind me--jumping out of an airplane at 13,000 to overcome my fear of heights, for example.
So in honor of this year's All Hallows' Eve, here are 31 inspiring quotes about facing your fears--and defeating them.
1. "Americans are apocalyptic by nature. The reason why is that we've always had so much, so we live in deadly fear that people are going to take it away from us."
--Stephen King, writer
2. "I say I am stronger than fear."
--Malala Yousafzai, youngest ever winner of the Nobel peace prize, Pakistani advocate for education for women.
3. "We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light."
4. "Always do what you are afraid to do."
--Ralph Waldo Emerson, poet and essayist
5. "One of the greatest discoveries a man makes, one of his great surprises, is to find he can do what he was afraid he couldn't do."
--Henry Ford, basically the Steve Jobs of the 1920s
6. "I have learned over the years that when one's mind is made up, this diminishes fear; knowing what must be done does away with fear."
--Rosa Parks, civil rights activist
7. "Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. The fearful are caught as often as the bold."
--Helen Keller, author and activist
8. "I think [being] fearless is having fears but jumping anyway."
--Taylor Swift, singer-songwriter; idol of my niece
9. "Only when we are no longer afraid do we begin to live."
--Dorothy Thompson, mid-20th century journalist and broadcaster
10. "To him who is in fear everything rustles."
--Sophocles, Greek playwright
11. "You are only afraid if you are not in harmony with yourself. People are afraid because they have never owned up to themselves."
--Hermann Hesse, Swiss poet, novelist, and painter
12. "Great work is done by people who are not afraid to be great."
--Fernando Flores, Chilean politician
13. "The fear of becoming a 'has-been' keeps some people from becoming anything."
--Eric Hoffer, American author and philosopher
14. "I'd rather give my life than be afraid to give it."
--Lyndon B. Johnson, 36th U.S. president
15. "I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear."
--Nelson Mandela, South African president and anti-apartheid activist
16. "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 lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.'"
--Eleanor Roosevelt, First Lady of the United States
17. "The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time."
--Mark Twain, American author
18. "Fear is stupid. So are regrets."
--Marilyn Monroe, actress
19. "If you want to conquer fear, don't sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy."
--Dale Carnegie, American writer and lecturer
20. "Have no fear of moving into the unknown. Simply step out fearlessly knowing that I am with you, therefore no harm can befall you; all is very, very well. Do this in complete faith and confidence."
--Pope Saint John Paul II
21. "I have self-doubt. I have insecurity. I have fear of failure. I have nights when I show up at the arena and I'm like, 'My back hurts, my feet hurt, my knees hurt. I don't have it. I just want to chill.' We all have self-doubt. You don't deny it, but you also don't capitulate to it. You embrace it."
--Kobe Bryant, NBA superstar
22. "Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less."
--Marie Curie, physicist and chemist
23. "I fear no man, no beast or evil, brother."
--Hulk Hogan, retired professional wrestler
24. "Poverty entails fear, and stress, and sometimes depression; it means a thousand petty humiliations and hardships. Climbing out of poverty by your own efforts, that is indeed something on which to pride yourself, but poverty itself is romanticized only by fools."
--J. K. Rowling, author
25. "Love is the master key that opens the gates of happiness, of hatred, of jealousy, and, most easily of all, the gate of fear."
--Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr., associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court
26. "I love the name of honor, more than I fear death."
--Julius Caesar, Roman emperor
27. "Courage is fear holding on a minute longer."
--George S. Patton, American general
28. "If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the results of a hundred battles."
--Sun Tzu, ancient Chinese general and philosopher
29. "I believe that every single event in life happens is an opportunity to choose love over fear."
--Oprah Winfrey, American billionaire, talk-show host, and actor
30. "Never let the fear of striking out get in your way."
--Babe Ruth, baseball great
31. "We must build dikes of courage to hold back the flood of fear."
--Martin Luther King, Jr., civil rights activist