On January 20, the United States inaugurates its 45th president. The 2016 election was fraught with anger and anxiety on all sides. It seems most felt there was something to fear from each opposing candidate. The alarmist sentiments did not stop once the decision was made, either. From social media to international news headlines, there are many dire predictions about what the next four years may hold. The real fear is uncertainty.

I prefer not to live life in fear's grip. Catastrophe can happen in any life--no matter who is president--but I choose instead to focus on personal growth and opportunities. In those moments when I am tempted to give in to all of that negativity and hyperbole, I look to history's bravest and boldest and I take heart at their words.

1. "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

2. "People living deeply have no fear of death." - Anais Nin

3. "When a resolute young fellow steps up to the great bully, the world, and takes him boldly by the beard, he is often surprised to find it comes off in his hand, and that it was only tied on to scare away the timid adventurers." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

4. "Fear is the main source of superstition, and one of the main sources of cruelty. To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom." - Bertrand Russell

5. "Fears are educated into us, and can, if we wish, be educated out." - Karl Augustus Menninger

6. "I am not afraid of tomorrow, for I have seen yesterday and I love today." - William Allen White

7. "Who sees all beings in his own self, and his own self in all beings, loses all fear." - Isa Upanishad

8. "Where no hope is left, is left no fear." - Milton

9. "Fear is only as deep as the mind allows." - Japanese Proverb

10. "Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. The fearful are caught as often as the bold." - Helen Keller

11. "You can discover what your enemy fears most by observing the means he uses to frighten you." - Eric Hoffer

12. "If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself, but to your estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment." - Marcus Aurelius

13. "When I hear music, I fear no danger. I am invulnerable. I see no foe. I am related to the earliest times, and to the latest." - Henry David Thoreau

14. "In skating over thin ice our safety is in our speed." -Ralph Waldo Emerson

15. "The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown." - H. P. Lovecraft

16. "Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy." - Dale Carnegie

17. "Try a thing you haven't done three times. Once, to get over the fear of doing it. Twice, to learn how to do it. And a third time to figure out whether you like it or not." Virgil Thomson

18. "The enemy is fear. We think it is hate; but, it is fear." - Gandhi

19. "Never be afraid to try something new. Remember, amateurs built the ark, professionals built the Titanic." - Unknown

20. "Do one thing every day that scares you." - Eleanor Roosevelt

21. "There are two basic motivating forces: fear and love. When we are afraid, we pull back from life. When we are in love, we open to all that life has to offer with passion, excitement, and acceptance. We need to learn to love ourselves first, in all our glory and our imperfections. If we cannot love ourselves, we cannot fully open to our ability to love others or our potential to create. Evolution and all hopes for a better world rest in the fearlessness and open-hearted vision of people who embrace life." - John Lennon

22. "I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain." - Frank Herbert

23. "Fear doesn't shut you down; it wakes you up." - Veronica Roth

24. "Fear cuts deeper than swords." - George R.R. Martin

25. "Fear of a name increases fear of the thing itself." - J.K. Rowling

26. "Don't be afraid of your fears. They're not there to scare you. They're there to let you know that something is worth it." - C. JoyBell C.

27. "Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams, because every second of the search is a second's encounter with God and with eternity." - Paulo Coelho

28. "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." - Plato

29. "Have no fear of perfection - you'll never reach it." - Salvador Dalí

30. "Expose yourself to your deepest fear; after that, fear has no power, and the fear of freedom shrinks and vanishes. You are free." - Jim Morrison

31. "Scared is what you're feeling. Brave is what you're doing." - Emma Donoghue

32. "Don't give in to your fears. If you do, you won't be able to talk to your heart." - Paulo Coelho

33. "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

34. "Men go to far greater lengths to avoid what they fear than to obtain what they desire." - Dan Brown

35. "Anxiety is the dizziness of freedom." - Søren Kierkegaard

36. "I have accepted fear as part of life - specifically the fear of change... I have gone ahead despite the pounding in the heart that says: turn back...." - Erica Jong

37. "Do not be afraid; our fate cannot be taken from us; it is a gift." - Dante Alighieri

38. "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

39. "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself." - Franklin D. Roosevelt

40. "Without fear there cannot be courage." - Christopher Paolini

41. "Most people do not really want freedom, because freedom involves responsibility, and most people are frightened of responsibility." - Sigmund Freud

42. "He who has overcome his fears will truly be free." - Aristotle

43. "There are two kinds of fears: rational and irrational- or in simpler terms, fears that make sense and fears that don't." - Lemony Snicket

44. "The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek." - Joseph Campbell

45. "Find out what you're afraid of and go live there." - Chuck Palahniuk

46. "Always do what you're afraid to do." - E. Lockhart

47. "It is not death that a man should fear, but he should fear never beginning to live." - Marcus Aurelius,

48. "Keep your fears to yourself, but share your courage with others." - Robert Louis Stevenson

49. "Laughter is poison to fear." - George R.R. Martin

50. "In time we hate that which we often fear." - William Shakespeare

Published on: Jan 20, 2017
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