Fear can be a project stopper. There are many different types of fear that people allow to prevent them from taking action on ideas, but the people who are unable to define the exact thing(s) they’re afraid of I chalk up to being afraid of The Big Bad Wolf.
The Big Bad Wolf is the quintessential icon to represent fear
The Big Bad Wolf has been represented in many fairy tales, myths, legends, books, music, and movies. From the Three Little Pigs to Little Red Riding Hood to Peter and The Wolf to The Wolf Man — wolves are scary creatures that lurk in the dark with glowing orange eyes and salivating mouths full of teeth just waiting to tear us limb from limb.
And as much as The Big Bad Wolf continues to instill fear in people, every story I’ve read that features The Big Bad Wolf as the antagonist ends with the wolf being defeated. Werewolves get shot by silver bullets, Peter uses a rope to catch the wolf by his tail, the little pigs catch the wolf in a pot when it tries to climb down the chimney of their brick house, and even in the earlier (bloodier) versions of Little Red Riding Hood where The big Bad Wolf devours both Granny and Little Red, the Huntsman arrives and splits the wolf open to release the two victims whole from the wolf’s belly.
The Big Bad Wolf does a lot of huffing and puffing
I picture The Big Bad Wolf getting into the head of any person who is thinking about putting an idea into action, taking a chance by trying something new, or attempting to challenge the status quo. The Big Bad Wolf growls from hidden dark recesses outside the glowing warm light of your comfort zone, and blows its hot, fetid, breath on the back of your neck to raise the hairs there and the goose-flesh on your arms. But all that heavy breathing is just a lot of hot air — just a lot of huffing and puffing as The Big Bad Wolf tries to blow down your confidence and your big plans for the future.
There is a scene from Act 5 of Macbeth where Shakespeare is referring to Life, but I think it’s even more appropriate if you switch out the word Life for “Fear” (or better yet…)
[The Big Bad Wolf] is but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury