Overcoming Worry and Fear


Paul Hauck wrote a book: Overcoming Worry and Fear (Westminster Press, copyright 1975). In my copy three different readers marked phrases which were important to them. Here are the phrases these readers thought were worth their attention.


  • A fear of doing badly, however, can influence practically everything a person does every day of his life.
  • Another feature of fear is that it has a unique power to prevent one from fulfilling his potential.
  • In the midst of a feeling of fury we accomplish very little that is beneficial to ourselves or others.
  • We often behave toward one another and toward everyday events with such dread that we miss out on an enormous amount of pleasure throughout our lives.
  • As long as he held this negative view of himself it was hard for others to hold a positive view of him.
  • Fear usually involves two kinds of pain. One pain comes from doing what you are afraid of, the other pain comes from avoiding what you are afraid of.
  • The pain connected with doing an activity is generally less in the long run than the pain connected with avoiding an activity.
  • You cannot learn a task or skill unless you practice it.
  • The discomfort connected with changing your behavior or with overcoming your fears has an ending, whereas the annoyance that you have if you don't face your fears con go on until you die.
  • The more you do for people who are unreasonably demanding, the more impossible they become, and the less they love you in the long run.
  • The problems were created because the person felt compelled to do what he thought was expected.
  • The point the fearful person fails to realize, however, is that being perfect and being loved all the time are not essential.
  • We can be rejected by others and still not reject ourselves.
  • When you are afraid of something and you consciously know what it is that you are afraid of, that is a fear.
  • When you do not know what you are afraid of, you are experiencing anxiety.
  • A phobia is a combination of fear and anxiety. You do not know what it is that you are afraid of but you think you know.
  • Worry and nervousness are particular kinds of fear in that they seldom let up for long periods. The person knows what he is afraid of but he just can't let the matter rest.
  • Fear can be caused by events or the way we think about these events.
  • Emotional disturbances come only from the way we talk to ourselves about our problems, not from the problems themselves.
  • Whenever we are upset during adolescence or adulthood, it is always we who are upsetting ourselves. The events that happen to us are not upsetting us.
  • You can be unafraid even though you are in dangerous situations.
  • You will have to learn how to challenge and question those neurotic notions which have upset you so often in the past.
  • This tendency to make mountains out of molehills is the first step in being afraid of fear.
  • The clue to handling fear reactions is simply not to handle them at all.
  • But I hope I would be able to do something in a rather calm manner, even though the situation itself is desperate.
  • I think it is sensible and proper to show concern, but never overconcern.
  • When you are painfully upset, you are automatically overconcerned.
  • When you are not painfully upset, but are working on the problem, you are merely concerned.
  • We are taught to be afraid. A girl screams when asked to touch a toad, but a boy puts it in his pocket. One person has been taught to be afraid and the other has been taught to be unafraid.
  • The fear has nothing to do with the object itself, only what we make of it.
  • One of the most remarkable things about fears is that we are pretty choosy about what we are afraid of.
  • We manipulate our fears and how it is not the things themselves which makes us afraid, but rather how we regard them.
  • It does not matter whether you are climbing mountains or standing up to your boss, the principle is always the same: to overcome the fear, you must take certain risks.
  • This, it seems to me, is the most important point to remember about risk-taking: to take risks frequently means that you will succeed sometimes. Never to take risks means that you will almost never succeed.
  • Challenge the neurotic idea that we ought to be afraid of things because they are unpleasant and the idea that events happening outside of our lives have the ability to upset us.
  • People are always insisting that when they can predict dire consequences they have a right to become mightily upset.
  • Distraction is at times one of the better things you can do about nervousness.
  • It is impossible to be upset about something unless you are thinking about it.
  • If your thoughts are on something pleasant rather than something unpleasant, it is impossible to be disturbed, no matter what kind of pressures you are under.
  • If I do not like what I am thinking about, I can focus elsewhere.
  • A relaxed person can obviously not be a nervous person.
  • Sitting in moments of silent prayer has of course been known for centuries as an excellent way to bring peace and tranquillity to a troubled soul.
  • The first step you must perform in order to become upset is to make mountains out of molehills.
  • Learning usually takes place in an erratic way, and you never know from one time to the next just how you are doing to do.
  • Most frustrations are really not as bad as we think they are and even if some are that bad, we do not have to lose our minds over them and thus make matters worse.
  • You can help yourself get over fears if you will imagine them at their worst and take sharp notice of how you feel while doing so. Then imagine as vividly as you can how you would tolerate the fear until your disturbance subsides.
  • The people who raised them taught them how to be scared, how to be a worrywart, how to be angry and depressed.
  • The real problem is that you had poor teachers, not that there was anything seriously wrong with you.
  • Take the attitude that you are not sure that it will work but that trying is more important than succeeding, you may find that in a great many cases you will succeed.
  • Neurotic reactions connected with nervousness in all its various forms comes not from the situations we find ourselves in at all, but from the way we think about things.
  • The first neurotic idea that you will want to challenge is the idea that outside events can upset us.
  • It is we who permit unhappy events to make us unhappy.
  • Always question exactly why it is proper that you worry about something simply because it is threatening you.
  • Giving up too soon simply reflects a person's attitude.
  • If you will fight your tendencies to give up, you are bound to stay with it.
  • Learn to think in terms of little gains and gradual change and you will one day see big changes occurring in your life.
  • You cannot have confidence if you do not respect yourself and have an image of yourself as a capable person.
  • Never blame yourself for anything.
  • Always separate your actions from yourself.
  • Take a risk, stick your neck out, and do the thing you are afraid of.
  • Making a mistake is an extremely important experience that tells us what not to do next time rather than how worthless we are.
  • The person with the most experiences is the one who can compare the next experience to those that he has already had.
  • You do not have to be perfect in order to be worthwhile: you are worthwhile because you have life, and that is where you self-esteem comes from.
  • Your nose, after all, is not your entire self, and neither is your occasional behavior.
  • If you will see yourself as a fallible human being who is not a saint and who occasionally will do badly, you will find your self-esteem not being dragged down by your own self-loathing.
  • You equate your failing behavior with you as a person, so that one means the other. Well, that is not true.
  • It doesn't scare you. You scare yourself by saying again: "This is terrible."
  • You have to challenge, you have to keep questioning these thoughts. It isn't the situations that are upsetting you, it's your thinking about them.
  • When you begin to say neurotic things to yourself, question them. Challenge them, debate them, throw them out.
  • It just depends on what you want to focus on and disturb yourself over. It is one's thinking that does it. Every time you go after that thinking and beat it down, you are on the way to overcoming the fear.
  • Don't judge yourself by your behavior, ever.
  • You as a human being and your actions are not the same. Separate them always and you'll never get depressed from self-blame.
  • If you want a saner, calmer world, start with yourself as your first "project."
  • "There is no stress in the world, only people thinking stressful thoughts." - Dr. Wanyne Dyer


(-Back to home page-)

This page maintained by Dave Palmer