Desire and Fear: Meaning, Theory and Relationship

Desire and Fear


Understanding human behavior and the decisions people make in a variety of spheres of life, such as relationships, careers, and personal growth, requires deep insight into both “desire and fear.” It’s a mechanism that drives us through the intricate reasons behind the behaviors and decisions we make. It is not something to try to get rid of, and it is not something you can get rid of even if you try. Even the desire to rid yourself of desire is, in and of itself, a desire. This article covers a comprehensive framework for various aspects of complex human emotions and their interplay in different contexts.

Desire is a life force. To try to get rid of desire is to try to get rid of life itself. It is to try to get rid of expansion and movement in yourself, in others, and in the universe at large.

All negative and positive emotions are ultimately about desire. For instance, feelings of anxiety and fear often stem from our desires and expectations for the future. Conversely, emotions like anger and sadness can be linked to unfulfilled desires from our past experiences.

Desire and Fear Meaning

What is Desire?

Desire, characterized by a deep, passionate emotion that influences human action for something specific, whether it’s an object, experience, goal, person, or outcome, is a strong feeling. It is the fundamental motivation behind all human actions and choices.

It compels individuals to fulfill their wants and needs, and hence, it impacts every aspect of life. It is desire that moves you; it is desire that gives your life direction; it is desire that gives birth to what is possible.

What is Fear?

In simple terms, fear is a basic primitive emotion that creates a fight or flight response (a natural physical response to a situation seen as stressful or scary) in our body. Fear can develop through a known situation, a specific object, an immediate or imagined danger, or a real-life environmental threat. For instance, fear will trigger when a dog chases someone.

Fear generates fights, flights, and emotional responses in the brain. Emotional response varies from person to person, so that one thing can be fearful for one person while it is enjoyable for another. e.g., one person is afraid of height, but another person enjoys it.

Desire and Fear in Relationship

Desire and fear stand as two strong emotional forces that exert profound influence over the course of our lives. They might seem like contradictory sentiments, but they share intricate connections that deeply mold our decisions, guide our actions, and ultimately steer the path of our destinies.

Desire is a basic human trait that can be good or bad. It motivates, excites, and gives us purpose. However, unrestrained desire can become obsession, leading to over-focusing on what we want.

This can cause addiction, affecting our health and relationships. Unchecked desire can lead to self-destructive behavior when we act recklessly and suffer serious bodily and emotional consequences.

Our desires are like lighthouses, guiding us towards what we want in life. Whether it’s the desire for success, love, wealth, or personal growth, these aspirations create a roadmap for our journey. They keep us focused, energized, and moving forward.

In general, as humans, we often have a complicated relationship with desire. First and foremost, we struggle to fully comprehend desire. Additionally, over time, we’ve created numerous myths about desire, both indirectly and directly. Consequently, many of us are afraid of desire.

The Dark Side of Desires

  • On the flip side, unchecked desires can spiral out of control, leading to detrimental consequences.
  • Obsessive desires can consume our thoughts and actions, blinding us to everything else. This imbalance can result in anxiety, stress, and, in extreme cases, mental health issues.

Fear and Desire Theory

The “Desire and Fear” theory is often associated with concepts of psychology and philosophy. These two primary emotions, “desire and fear,” influence or motivate human behavior and decision-making.

Many people struggle to decide between these two opposite but fundamental motivators. For instance, fear of failure hinders us from pursuing our desires. On the contrary, desire is the emotion that drives us to succeed by overcoming fears.

Human fear can vary from mild to intense, depending on how familiar or new a situation is, how scared we feel, and what ways we have to deal with it. Feeling anxious or afraid is normal and can actually help us deal with dangerous or uncertain situations by making us either face them or avoid them. Some studies have found that certain fears are much more common than others.

Desire and Fear: What is the Nature of Fear?

Fear Theory: The term “fear” refers to a potent subconscious reaction frequently sparked or triggered by the perception of threats or dangers. It is integral to human survival because when an individual feels fear, he or she will automatically try to avoid or alleviate the source of fear.

Fear assists in various ways. It’s crucial for individuals to safeguard themselves against potential threats and help them effectively adjust to their surroundings.

Fear as a Survival Mechanism: Fear can also be attributed to an evolutionary presentive. It is deeply ingrained in our biology and serves as a crucial survival instinct, urging us to avoid harm and make cautious decisions. Often, our fear of snake bites is rooted in our genetic predisposition, much like our ancestors’ fear when facing life-threatening situations involving snake bites.

According to the second theory, one has a traumatic experience with a particular event. For instance, one will be afraid or feel embarrassed while speaking in public if he has experienced humiliation from others earlier.

Fear has also been a fundamental survival mechanism for animals, potentially saving their lives in times of true danger, and can be trained to respond to emotionally neutral cues.

Fear of Fear: In a state of anxiousness, uncertainty, or negative certainty, fear of fear develops. In this situation, one does not actually know the source of fear and is rather stuck in loops of fear.

Personality Fear: Certain personality types exhibit neuroticism, characterized by an irrational sense of fear or anxiety, even in the absence of clear triggers, but people still remain in a perpetual alert state. Consequently, they live in constant apprehension. Furthermore, they tend to have negative thought patterns, so they always anticipate negative outcomes.

Desire and Fear

Relation between Anger and Fear: Fear always triggers anger, and these two are interrelated. We are afraid that if a certain outcome is not achieved or something does not happen that we would like to happen, then the result will be anger.

Psychological Fear: Fear triggers in humans based on imagination when there is no actual problem, challenge, issue, real danger, or even chances of happening danger. It is due to some information in our brain that is based on preconceived notions instead of reality, so, in this case, we need to become familiar with reality. When we successfully change our notions, fear will go away automatically.

Is Fear Bad ?

Being afraid is not a bad thing because it is essential for our survival. If someone is in the situation of encountering Loin, then he must be afraid so that he can save his life by avoiding it. So, in our day-to-day lives, there are situations where we need to be afraid, and that is good for us.

In some situations, it is useful, but in others, it is not. Basically, we have to deal with and free ourselves from useless fear, which could be imaginary or psychological.

Why Do We Fear What We Desire? : Why Am I Afraid of My Desires?

What is the root of desire? Fear arises from two primary sources. Firstly, it emerges when there is a lack of understanding or when individuals hold inaccurate concepts or beliefs about a particular subject. Secondly, fear can be triggered by a sense of incapability.

For instance, if someone lacks knowledge of driving a bike, they are likely to experience fear when faced with the situation of doing so. Therefore, handling fear requires getting accurate knowledge and addressing one’s limitations.

Being afraid of desire, we develop an understanding of ourselves that desire causes personal suffering or pain. Moreover, it can cause separation from the people we love. These thoughts indicate that we’re not evolved or spiritually mature enough to handle desires by keeping fear in check.

Most of the time, we learn that the feeling of desire comes with a risk. This can happen directly or through indirect communal signs. On top of that, it seems like there is a clear line between desires that are generally acceptable and those that are unquestionably unacceptable.

How Can I Control My Fear and Desire?

Controlling Fear

Apart from fear, which plays a crucial role in our survival mechanisms, personal fear hinders our progress in everyday life. So, the choice before us is clear: either confront and acknowledge the fear or remove ourselves from its grip.

A significant number of individuals struggle with decision-making and find it challenging to pursue their aspirations due to the overwhelming presence of fear. Can fear truly be managed and controlled? Without a doubt, the answer is yes, and it is possible to overcome it.

Engaging in an excessive amount of fearful thinking always worsens the situation. For enough relaxation, it’s necessary to change the focus and direct the mind toward positive or constructive thoughts. Fear cannot be completely eliminated; instead, one can redirect the mind towards calm, supportive, and peaceful thoughts.

Choosing helpful thoughts, rather than struggling with fear, is essential because overwhelming fear leads to increased suffering, which becomes a part of one’s life. Taking time to relax and reconnect with the inner peaceful space is important.

When this time is made, the choice can be made to distance oneself from fearful thoughts, allowing the mind to expand into a broader space that surpass fearful thoughts.

You need to avoid circumstances that is responsible of feeding your fears. For this you can redirect your attention to something that makes you feel better. Start becoming master of your mind rather than victim of it.

What can be done to stop thinking about fear? Do not feed the fear, take power, control your fear, and redirect to more positive thoughts that make you feel better.

Fear of taking Risk

Engaging in fearful thoughts overestimates risks or threats, but most of the time the actual risk is way too small. It’s true that risk cannot be completely eliminated, and living in the physical world actually necessitates some risk.

To eliminate fearful thoughts, it’s important to stop making risks seem bigger than they actually are because, in most cases, they aren’t as bad as they seem.

Controlling Desires

If you want to live a happy, healthy, and meaningful life, you have to embrace your desire instead of letting it stress you out. You have to accept desire and take it as part of yourself that obviously can’t be separated.

Improving your understanding of desire is a key part of moving from a state of fear to a state of love with desire. Understanding is the only thing that can take away fear and make it possible for us to care more about what we want.

Psychological Exercise: To enhance your self-awareness and identifying fears, follow this learning process. At the top of that paper, write, “I have fear of this desire because ………………….” Now, below this sentence, list possible fears that hinder you.

With this little exercise, you will be able to identify fears that hinder your desires, and of course, the next step is to eliminate those fears from your thought process.

Desire and Fear: How to Deal with Desire

What to do with the desire? Everyone faces the choice of either following or dealing with their desires. Can we ever truly kill desire? The answer lies in the essence of our humanity; desire is an inherent part of our nature. Fulfilled desires offer us joy, while unfulfilled ones often lead to misery.

Paradoxically, attempting to quash desire only births another desire. In essence, desire and life are inseparable; they are one and the same. To eliminate desire would be to dismantle life itself.

Therefore, it’s imperative not to deceive oneself with such notions. Desire forms the very core of our existence, yet it’s important to acknowledge that human desires are limitless and always changing.

Satisfying one desire naturally paves the way for the emergence of the next. This never-ending cycle keeps us engaged and motivated. So, there’s no need to eliminate desire, for it’s an impossible feat.

Can anyone genuinely get rid of their desires? The answer is clearly no, for desire is synonymous with life itself. The key lies in making desire a conscious process.

Can anybody kill their desire? Is it possible? There is no way, because that’s life. Desire is the very essence of your life, so you don’t have to destroy it.

At the same time, you must know that human desires never end, as they are infinite in nature. It is just that you have to make your desire a conscious process. Right now, it is functioning unconsciously because your desires are not even about you.

When desire becomes a conscious one, then desire is no longer a problem. In fact, desire is a wonderful vehicle that propels us forward on our life’s journey. So, desire is just a response to the social life happenings and environment around us. Currently, desires often operate unconsciously, influenced by external circumstances and societal norms.

Consider this: the desire within us longs for limitlessness, for the infinite. It seeks the ultimate nature of existence. You just have to bring awareness to the fact that consciousness is the essence of desire. In shouldering this responsibility, living unconsciously is no longer an option. Ultimately, your desire seeks unboundedness, but without awareness, it remains a hidden hunger, waiting to bloom.

Desire and Fear Example – Real life Scenarios

Imagine a scenario where your friend owns a powerful motorcycle. What stirs within you? A desire arises to possess two such magnificent bikes. Similarly, in a village setting, if your neighbor has a majestic horse, your own desire takes shape—you aspire to own two such splendid horses. These examples mirror the constant ebb and flow of desire, a force within us forever seeking fulfillment and expansion.

Positive and Negative Aspects of Desire

Positive Aspects: Desire fuels goal-setting, creativity, and personal growth. It can bring happiness, connection, personal growth, adaptation, and positive change. Desire can push a person to try new things, master new skills, and discover themselves.

It can also stimulate resilience and adaptation in the face of hardship and inspire writers, painters, and innovators to create art inspired by their hobbies and aspirations.

Negative Aspects: Consider the negative consequences of fearing desire and reacting negatively to it. Think about how this fear affects your actions and interactions with yourself and others.

Currently, humanity lacks a healthy relationship with desire, and this issue extends to both adults and children.

Many of our problematic attitudes toward desire originate in childhood due to the thoughts, beliefs,
feelings, preferences, aversions, needs, ironically, desires that exist in adults.

Desire vs Fear: Difference Between Desire and Fear


Fear: Fear arises as a response to potential threats or danger, primarily geared towards self-preservation. Desire: Desire, on the other hand, is rooted in wanting or seeking something, often tied to goals, wishes, or aspirations. It carries a sense of positive anticipation.


Fear: Fear’s principal job is to warn us of potential hazards and to help us respond to them.
Desire: Desire serves as a motivator, propelling us to seek our goals, desires, and things that provide us joy or worth.

Impact on Behavior

Fear: Fear often triggers defensive, or avoidance behaviors aimed at escaping or mitigating perceived threats.

Desire: Desire motivates proactive, goal-oriented behavior, propelling us towards the object of our desire.

Time Orientation

Fear: Fear typically concerns the present moment or the immediate future, responding to imminent threats.

Desire: Desire often looks to the future, involving the longing for something that may not be attainable immediately.

Social and Cultural Factors

Fear: What people fear can be influenced by their cultural and social context, as different societies may prioritize different threats.

Desire: Cultural and societal influences also shape desires, reflecting cultural norms and values.

Desire and Fear Quotes

Desire and Fear Quotes
Desire and Fear Quotes

Recap of Key Points

  • The expectation of a future threat that could endanger oneself causes fear, which is a psychological reaction to perceived danger.
  • Individuals trigger the fight-or-flight reaction, a fear response, when they perceive a threat and decide to confront or flee, influenced by learning and thought processes.
  • Human fear can range from acute to chronic, depending on familiarity, fear intensity, and coping mechanisms, promoting healthy anxiety and helping people avoid danger.

  • Desire and your destiny in life are undeniably intertwined. When you neglect your desires, you get off track with where you’re supposed to be.
  • Finding peace with desire is only possible when you accept that it’s always going to lead to contrast and will never end.
  • Desire often emerges from within us, shaped by our life experiences and the differences we encounter, and it’s not always something we consciously generate.


In conclusion, while desire is a natural and vital part of the human experience, it is crucial to understand and manage it wisely. When channeled appropriately, desire can be a powerful force for positive change, but when left uncontrolled, it can have detrimental effects on our lives.

One of the best ways to deal with problems and avoid useless fear is to go back to the basics or understand the fundamentals of life.

Valuing and honoring our desires hold immense significance, as they serve as powerful drivers propelling us toward our individual destinies and fostering personal growth.

When our desires fundamentally clash with those of others, it becomes essential to trust that the universe will gently steer each party onto their unique paths, ensuring that both can continue their journey towards fulfillment.

It’s crucial to acknowledge and navigate this interplay between desire and fear in our personal lives to make informed choices and build meaningful connections.

Recommended Article: The Psychology of Fear: Exploring the Science Behind Horror Entertainment

Important FAQ’s

Q: Is fear important in life?

Yes, fear is important in life as it serves as a natural response to potential dangers, helping to ensure our survival and well-being.

Q: Is fear good for success?

Fear can either motivate or hinder success, depending on its management and channeling. Excessive or uncontrolled fear can hinder progress.

Q: How can I train my mind to overcome fear?

Practice Exposure: Gradually expose yourself to fear-inducing situations, gradually increasing exposure as you become more comfortable, to desensitize your mind and build confidence in handling fearful situations.

Q: How do you deal with fear and desire?

Balance Mindfully: Managing fear and desire requires mindfulness, balancing protection and motivation. Avoiding excessive desire can lead to discontent, while aligning choices with values and goals.

Q: What are three ways to overcome fear?

  1. Face Your Fears: Confront the source of your fear directly to diminish its power.
  2. Seek Support: Share your fears with trusted friends or a therapist for guidance.
  3. Practice Relaxation: Learn relaxation techniques like deep breathing to manage fear responses.

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