Sri Shankara spoke of the man who sees a coiled rope at dusk and thinks it is a snake. He is frightened, but when the sun rises he sees it is a rope and realises he needn’t have had any fear.
The rope is the reality of the Self, and the appearance as a snake is ignorance, or maya.
As long as the illusion of a separate self is maintained, we see snakes everywhere. We feel fear. Awakening is like the dawn, revealing that there never was a need for fear.
What you really are cannot be hurt. When this is realised fear disappears.