The Princess Behind Fear

The songwriting workshop I attended last weekend triggered a breakthrough in me regarding fear.

During the first morning, famed singer-songwriter Ray Wylie Hubbard gave a presentation on his insights from a long career in music. He talked about many things, including fear.

He paraphrased poet Rainer Maria Rilke, from the book Letters to a Young Poet, saying fear was a dragon who turned into a beautiful princess once you faced it.

Ray Wylie Hubbard and bored dog

Ray Wylie Hubbard and bored dog

I made mental note of that insight but didn’t do anything with it. I just liked it as a way to reframe fear: it looks scary but it’s a mirage that will turn into something beautiful once you face it.

Later that same day I had a one-on-one session with famed singer-songwriter Kevin Welch. I was telling him about my songwriting and began by saying, “The one thing I’m afraid of doing…”

Ray Wylie Hubbard and Kevin Welch

Ray Wylie Hubbard and Kevin Welch

As soon as I heard myself say “I’m afraid,” I stopped in my tracks.

I flashed back to Ray Wylie’s talk earlier the same day.

“Fear is a dragon…who turns into a princess…once you face it…”

I suddenly realized that I was saying there was a dragon in front of me and I didn’t want to face it; I was also realizing the dragon would transform into something wonderful once I looked it in the eye.

Right then and there, I owned the very thing I feared.

I announced to Kevin that I was going to do exactly what I feared.

That breakthrough was so deep and undeniable that I still smile when I think of it.

I now feel free and empowered and unstoppable.


Because I faced the dragon and it became a princess.

“Perhaps all the dragons in our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us act, just once, with beauty and courage. Perhaps everything that frightens us is, in its deepest essence, something helpless that wants our love.”ย  – Rainer Maria Rilke

Consider: What are you afraid to do?

I’ve often said that your wealth is hiding under the very thing you are afraid to do.

I learned this when I faced my fear of ridicule and released my 2001 book, Spiritual Marketing, which in 2005 became The Attractor Factor, and in 2006 got me into the hit movie The Secret.

My career skyrocketed when I faced down that fear.

Rilke and Ray Wylie are suggesting your fear hides a princess.

Songwriting Workshop

Songwriting Workshop

Face your fear — and meet a princess.

How cool is that?

Ao Akua,


PS – If you’re at all interested in songwriting, I highly endorse the weekend retreat held by Kevin and Ray Wylie. It takes you from wherever you are — beginner to advanced — and builds on what you bring to the table. Even Bob Dylan would dig it. I’ll be doing it again. It’s that good. It’s held outside of Austin, Texas, every month, for just a handful of people. Get details right here.

Member BBB 2003 - 2011

Member BBB 2003 - 2011


  1. Ravin-Reply
    March 3, 2011 at 8:19 am

    Hello Joe,

    Behind every dragon there lies beautiful princess. Very nice and helpful article. Thank you for sharing with me.

    Ravin ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. March 3, 2011 at 9:10 am

    I love this new way to look at fear. I’m now a dragon slayer, looking for all the dragons I can find! ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Christina-Reply
    March 3, 2011 at 10:16 am

    ‘Behind every dragon….’, now that is something we should all take note of ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. March 5, 2011 at 6:07 am

    โ€œPerhaps all the dragons in our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us act, just once, with beauty and courage. Perhaps everything that frightens us is, in its deepest essence, something helpless that wants our love.โ€

    Nice quote Joe. An it’s remind me about the beatles’s song…All You Need is Love… with love we will conquer our dragon.

  5. March 7, 2011 at 9:34 pm

    Joe you seem like a good guy.

  6. Al-Reply
    March 10, 2011 at 7:08 pm

    Hi Joe. I own your book “The Attractor Factor”. In fact, it is one of my bedside books. Since it is obvious you have achieved a tremendous success, I am constantly reading it, to see what am I missing. You see. I have big goals, like you, but they don’t seem to show up, not even a clue about how to start.
    So my conclusion is that I have blocks inside me. Unresolved issues regarding money, love, success that are blocking my goals. Masked fears, that guide my life somehow.
    I think you have the blessing to have had a therapist like “Jonathan Jacobs” for 10 years, in spite of his shameful ending.
    Like I said before, I am working in my subconscious blocks, fears, pain points, trying to remember any traumatic incident of my life regarding money or any of my objectives, and I think something is coming to the surface. In fact, I had a headache in these days when I recognize one event in my childhood, similar to the event of Benjamin Franklin and his whistle, that made me realize that I have had attachment to money due to that incident. I remember the headache you mention in your book when you faced a belief.
    So, I am facing my fears and accepting them, (not to fight against them, like Bill Fergusson advises) but I am not sure if this is going to be enough.
    I mean, I read in your book that after one session with Jonathan you could buy a new car with no credit history.
    So, how can we, most of the people, get clear, if we don’t have access to one therapist, like this guy Jonathan?
    You had 10 years of therapy and it obviously worked. I live in South America and I don’t think this “science of healing” is available in most of the countries of the world. Am I wrong?
    I would like to have someone who helps me to get clear once in a while. Any advice?

  7. March 15, 2011 at 7:42 am

    Hello, Joe!
    First of all I want to tell how much I am thankful, that I found this post in this period of my life. Yes, I really have my dragon and I am afraid to face it. I am an expert in marketing, branding and ad and used to work on radio and tv and in event companies. All my life I was working with people and I liked it. I had very good job, but now I moved to another country to continue my studying, because I felt that I need changes in my life. And almost 1 year I am trying to find job here, job which I really will like as my creative job on radio and tv. But, this is not very easy without good knowing of language. I tried a lot, but without success. Mainly because I feel inside me that I am not good enough even for a very simple job. And now I have an offer to have a job as a touristic guide. This job based on communicating with a lot of different people, something that I always did….but…I am VERY scared! I feel that I don’t know enough, I feel that I don’t have time to learn more and I don’t want it. All my soul is resisting of doing this. I am not really sure that I can and wont work with people anymore. I like to make things by my hands, I like to create texts and I know that I am really good in this. I feel very comfortable to work at home, but it doesn’t bring me enough money. My logic tells me that I need to try this new job, but even when I am thinking about it I am starting to tremble inside. Does it mean that I am afraid and lazy to try something new? Or it means that this job is just not my way and I need to find something else, what will really make me happy and I will fell really comfortable with? Is it my dragon or just not my way? How to understand it?
    I will be very grateful for your advice!

    Kind regards,

  8. laura-Reply
    March 17, 2011 at 7:25 pm

    Dear , Mr Vitale i recived your free gift.
    Thank you, please forgive me, im sorry, i love you

  9. andrew-Reply
    March 23, 2011 at 9:25 am

    thanks Joe, in my opinion one of the best posts ive read of yours

  10. andrew-Reply
    March 23, 2011 at 9:25 am

    thanks Joe, in my opinion one of the best posts ive read of yours

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