Top 15 Things People Fear – What are You Afraid of?

Public speaking tops the list of things people fear. Here's a list of the top 15 things people fear and tips for ways to overcome your fear.

At one time or another, I’ve been afraid of most of the things on this list with the exception of #1 and #9.

I had years when I wouldn’t fly. Rev and I laugh about the time we spent four hours walking down a mountain path because I was afraid of the return trip on a gondola. And my all time worst fear- #15.

Top 15 Things People Fear

  1.  Public Speaking
  2.  Heights
  3.  Going to the Dentist
  4.  Snakes
  5.  Flying
  6.  Spiders and Insects
  7.  Enclosed Spaces
  8.  Mice
  9.  Dogs
  10. Storms
  11. Illness
  12. Death
  13. Financial Problems
  14. Loneliness
  15. Rejection

Are you afraid of things on the list?

Something not on the list?

I wasted too much of my life living in a pit of fear.

It started when I was really young. Some of my earliest memories are of the things that terrified me as a little girl. The dark. Shadows. Sounds. Something happening to my parents. Disapproval. Whew.

Fear robbed me of so much joy and peace. It is “no way to live.”

My doctor called it “high anxiety.” The truth is it was lack of trust.

I’ve believed in Jesus for as long as I can remember, but I didn’t trust Him to give me the courage and strength I knew I lacked. I was full of what ifs. Convinced I’d crumble if any of those what ifs came to pass.

Do you have any paralyzing fears?

What do you avoid or try to control because you’re afraid?

God knew fear would be an issue for us. It began in the Garden following the first sin…

 But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?” He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.” Genesis 3:9-10

Sin robbed Adam and Eve of security and safety and introduced fear. You and I continue to bear the consequences today. But we’re not stuck. We don’t have to surrender to fear.

Fear is part of life and some actually protects us, but it must not consume us.

Max Lucado said, “The presence of fear does not mean you have no faith. Fear visits everyone. But make your fear a visitor and not a resident.” 

Visits are fine, but when fear takes up residency it’s…

Public speaking tops the list of things people fear. Here's a list of the top 15 things people fear and tips for ways to overcome your fear.

A “self-imposed prison.”

“Fear is a self imposed prison that will keep you from becoming what God intends for you to be. You must move against it with the weapons of faith and love.” ~Rick Warren

God offers help for our problem with fear talking about it more than 500 times in Scripture. Here are just a few of the verses that have helped me.

Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand. Isaiah 41:10

Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me. Psalm 23:4

[Tweet “”I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep; I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion.” ~Alexander the Great”]

Friends, you and I are sheep led by the Lion. We are safe. We are His forever and always.

What is your favorite verse when you’re struggling with fear?

Fearless by Max Lucado 

ebook on sale today for $1.99


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  1. Mary Dolan Flaherty says:

    Wow-what a surprise! I was scrolling down to comment (because everyone’s comment section is in a different spot-yours is actually at the top…) and I saw my goofy self! Thank you so much for featuring my post!!!

    Regarding the list, don’t you find it interesting that people fear death LESS than mice? Or going to the dentist? Maybe because it is not something that is imminent, something tangible. It’s abstract–I do find the list very interesting and something to ponder. I have struggled with a lot of fears over the years, but my fears were more like yours-the rejection, the abandonment. I do know that I have a fear of heights because when we hike, I won’t go near the edge of the rocks that overlook the beautiful scenery. I keep hiking anyway, hoping that I will get past it, but I don’t…I have to pray a LOT sometimes when I have to walk along the edge of a cliff.
    Mary Dolan Flaherty recently posted…Friends of JoyMy Profile

  2. Robin says:

    Deb…this is awesome. I had a “visitor” last week….
    I was in a car accident with my teenager on Columbus Day. We don’t have serious injuries but have some that will require continued therapy (chiropractor, etc). By the grace of God the light was red for the oncoming traffic (we had a green left turn arrow), otherwise when we were hit and then hit again and pushed sideways into the oncoming traffic…well, you KNOW what would have happened if there were cars there.

    My husband (I call mine Rev, too, because I am also a preacher’s wife), stayed home for 2 days, and drove me around. I was a bit skiddish to get in the car, especially the passenger seat UP FRONT, but overcame that.

    the day he went back to work, and my daughter went back to school, and I was again alone in the house, it hit me. I knew what it was…an attack of the enemy. I was expecting it.

    I broke out the Charles Stanley Life Principles Bible…and found some GREAT “stuff” to help me. Within minutes I was calm. I even cried at how great God is and how fast He helped me.

    It is THAT EASY.

    So thank you for sharing this post…you know it helped MANY people!

    • Robin says:

      I forgot to mention the BIG fear that tried to grip me….the fear of my daughter being severely hurt, or worse, in a car accident. Being a mother, you know how we protect our babies. But we can’t allow the enemy to steal our joy, or our trust in God. Cuz he will try to do BOTH!

  3. Deb Wolf says:

    Oh Robin, I’m so glad to hear you are both okay. I love that you call your husband Rev too. And yes, I do understand the momma’s heart that fears injury to her child.

    Thank you so much for sharing this testimony of God’s grace. I love how He lifts our fear when we surrender it to Him. I had to live through some real junk to begin to believe He was greater than my fear. But I am so thankful. This is much much better. God’s blessings!!
    Deb Wolf recently posted…Who is the Lord? 50+ Promises to Give You HopeMy Profile

  4. Melanie Redd says:

    What a great word on overcoming fear, Deb!

    I love the Rick Warren quote, “Fear is a self imposed prison that will keep you from becoming what God intends for you to be. You must move against it with the weapons of faith and love.”

    What a great visual – a prison!

    Thanks for sharing such great words of wisdom and hope!
    You are a blessing~
    Melanie Redd recently posted…The Most Essential Parenting Advice Of AllMy Profile

  5. Onita says:

    On that list, there are very few I have fear, of. I feel blessed that I have few fears. Of spiders and snakes, only the poisnous variety, I don’t like–but not a fear of them.

  6. marthajaneorlando says:

    Deb, I spent years fearing flying until I accompanied my husband, Danny, on a trip to Washington, D.C. That’s not to say the concerned attendants, noticing my tears, didn’t offer me a 10:30 in the morning drink which I turned down, but accepted the extra bag of pretzels! It was an ugly trip up, but a better one back, because I spent the first leg in much prayer. I accepted in my heart that if this was my end in a tin can cruising through the air, I would accept it. What a difference it makes when we trust in God! The flight home was a breeze as a result.
    Blessings for a great weekend, dear friend!

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