One of the subquestions for The Work is what do you fear would happen if you didn’t hold onto that belief?
For me, the answer is usually I would be like them, I would be what the belief is saying I shouldn’t be.
He is arrogant, and if I didn’t hold onto the belief that being arrogant is bad, I could become arrogant myself, or discover that I already am arrogant.
I fear finding myself as what my story is telling me I shouldn’t be, so I hold onto the belief to prevent it from happening.
Said another way, I fear being the reversals of my belief.
This fear may have many components. For instance, a fear of going against a should and the truth it appears to hold, of leaving an old pattern and a familiar terrain, of going against social norms and expectations, of embracing both sides of the boundary and going into a new and unfamiliar territory.
Any belief creates fear. Any belief creates a sense of I and Other, which inevitably gives rise to fear. And this fear in turn tends to fuel the belief. There is a mutuality between beliefs and fear, one supporting the other.
And this particular fear, of finding ourselves as reversals, is just one of the many flavors of this basic fear created by beliefs.