In my personal experience in how my self-awareness has grown in the 45 years I've been alive, and in my observation of people...
Most people who are afraid don't know they are afraid.
There's so many ways we can hide fear and hide from fear.
This was about 5 or so years ago, one morning during meditation I got an urging from within to be in my center. That this is the most important thing to do (at that time).
I stayed very focused within on that peaceful unmoving center within me as I got ready for work.
(It took me years of inner work to discover this center, before that I didn't know what it meant to 'be centered', just a vague notion that it was to be peaceful and unaffected, to be zen-like. Now I know it is that, but doesn't always look like that on the surface. We can be in movement and expression and have that peaceful experience within)
As I drove that morning to work, someone in the stream of traffic stopped abruptly causing about 5 cars behind it to slam into each other.
I was one of those cars, and my car hit the guy's car in front of me, but not too hard. The women behind me however, she slammed hard into me totaling my car.
No one was hurt very seriously and I was unscathed, physically and emotionally. Being so centered and calm, I was not bothered very much by any of it.
As all the drivers pulled over to wait for the police and deal with the situation, the woman who had slammed into me was visibly shaken. She also hurt her knee.
She shared with me that she has an anxiety disorder and suffers from panic attacks. It looked to me like she may be about to experience a panic attack. So I suggested that she breathe slowly and deeply. This helped her and she was good with that suggestion. Then I mentioned that the breathing will help her feel the fear and that it's okay to let the body shake and tremble (Besides being a facilitator, I have a lot of personal experience with fear, the kind that makes you shake).
She all of a sudden reacted and got upset at my use of the word 'fear', saying to me "What! I'm not afraid!".
She wasn't consciously trying to lie to me. She was unconscious of the fact that anxiety and panic is fear.
Her anger at me was because I was bringing her closer to that fear. Coming closer to it and feeling it though would have allowed it to move through her which could prevent a full-blown panic attack.
There's many ways we hide fear. Psychological phrases and diagnosis is one way people do that. It keeps people in their mind and out of their body. This happens especially in times of abrupt or intense change.
Explore the ways you hide fear and hide from fear. This happens largely unconsciously because it's so socially acceptable and even expected in many ways to live like this. When you observe this in yourself you will also observe it in the world around you as well.
We can't change something without becoming aware of it first.
Leela Haris - Expanding Consciousness