I just came across this article on the subject of "fear" by Geoff Thompson. I thought it was a good read.
In it he says, "There is a lovely old Japanese metaphor about pain and fear and growth. I always recite it myself when I am up against a wall of fear and easier options suddenly seem like the only escape. It goes something like- The iron ore feels itself needlessly tourtured as it goes through the furnace. The tempered blade looks back and knows better."