During the many years I have worked as a counselor and coach, I have found that one thing holds people back from living the lives they want more than anything else. Fear is the one common emotion that inhibits us from making the changes that would improve our situations, our standard of living, the quality of our relationships, and our feeling of self-worth. Fear can keep us safe when our safety is truly threatened. On the other hand, fear can keep us from taking actions that could change our lives for the better.
If you suffer from anxiety or phobias, you perception of danger keeps you from facing those things causing your anxiety. This keeps you in a prison of your own making. If you are in a job that you do not find satisfying, do not like doing, or does not meet your needs, fear of the unknown (or failure or success) keeps you from taking the steps to change your job or career. If you are living somewhere you do not like, fear of the unknown keeps you from exploring other places to live that might be more to your liking. If you are in a bad relationship, fear of being alone or the unknown keeps you from ending that relationship in order to make room for other options.
If you fear dealing with an issue or truly experiencing your emotions, you avoid them with some self-destructive behavior rather than work through the issue. Fear of conflict keeps us from being honest with others and keeps us from resolving our issues with others. The result is that our needs our not being met. In order to live the life you really want, you need to face and other overcome what you fear. If you are unable to do so on your own seek help from a professional.