These two words suggest a similarity of meaning that does not exist. They could not be more different in their meaning.
Anticipation moves us forward. Synonyms include expectation, hope and eagerness.
Trepidation brings fear, anxiety, nervousness and foreboding; unable to make and implement decisions.
Here is an example. You know that your wisdom teeth need to be extracted. It hurts every time you bite down on it. Those who anticipate relief from daily pain schedule an extraction. Those filled with trepidation live with the pain for months or even years. They fear the discomfort of the extraction.
There are lots of other examples where trepidation can stop us cold. Making an offer on a new home, marrying the partner you have been “dating” for years or changing employers can seem frightening. They are important decisions. What if you are wrong?
What drives you; anticipation or trepidation?