According to Napoleon Hill, author of Think & Grow Rich, there are “three enemies which you shall have to clear out – indecision, doubt and fear.” He states, “Indecision is the seedling of fear. Indecision crystallizes into doubt, the two blend and become fear.” In the last chapter of the book, Hill lists six fears of which he says “every human suffers at one time or another.” We are going to learn about those fears in this post.
Published in 1960, the book contains over 20 years of Napoleon Hill’s research on how to become “rich.” Over that time, he interviewed more than 500 wealthy men (it seems weird to say “men” instead of people, but I guess it was that time frame in the country) to learn the secrets to their success. If material success and monetary wealth are not your bag, this book is still relevant. No matter what you define as success in life, you will learn a lot from this book. To prove this isn’t just about money, here is an excerpt written by the original publisher: “The riches within your grasp cannot always be measured in money. There are great riches in lasting friendships, harmonious family relationships, sympathy and understanding between business associates and inner harmony which brings peace of mind, measurable only in spiritual values.”
Let’s take a look at those fears. The six fears, listed from the book in order of commonality, are:
*The fear of poverty
*The fear of criticism
*The fear of ill health
*The fear of loss of love of someone
*The fear of old age
*The fear of death
As you consider whether or not you hold any of these fears, keep this tip from Hill in mind: “Do not be deceived by the habits of these subtle enemies. Sometimes they remain in the subconscious mind, where they are difficult to locate, and still more difficult to eliminate.” In a past post, I wrote that one of the reasons we don’t achieve our goals is because subconsciously we’ve made an agreement (a.k.a. formed a belief) that contradicts the goal we have set for ourselves. These agreements/beliefs are based on negative experiences we had in childhood (often before the age of five).
You can determine if you hold one or more of these fears by asking yourself two questions. Let’s use the Fear of Poverty belief for an example. First, ask yourself, “Do I currently have an abundance of money?” By abundance, I don’t mean that you have a million dollars in the bank. Abundance means that you always have enough money to live the life you want to lead and that your debt-level is in check. The second question to ask is, “Did I have any negative experiences around money and finances when I was growing up?” This could be actual childhood experience with poverty or it could be other negative experiences such as witnessing your parents argue or stress about money, paying bills, not being able to afford things, etc.
If you answered “Yes” to both of these questions, I’d be willing to guarantee that you have a fear of poverty planted in your subconscious mind. If you answered “Yes” to only one question, then I would also say you probably have a hidden fear of poverty. Remember, our beliefs create our experiences. This is the meaning of the saying, “As within, so without,” meaning that your outside world is a reflection of your inner world.
You can apply the same two questions to all six fears. Here is a quick summary of indicators to help you question your “outer world” experiences.
*Fear of poverty: always broke; never have enough money.
*Fear of criticism: working for critical people; married to a critical spouse; have critical friends; or you yourself are very critical.
*Fear of ill health: frequent illness; chronic health conditions; never really feel good.
*Fear of loss of love of someone: frequent (painful) break-ups; multiple divorces; losses in relationships.
*Fear of old age: chronic health conditions; not having enough money to support yourself.
*Fear of death: apathetic about life; not enjoying life; lack of passion/drive.
Identifying these unconscious fears is the first step in knowing what is going on “behind the scenes” in your life. The next step is to eliminate these fears. They need to be eliminated from the slate of your mind in order to move forward and achieve your goals in life. If they remain, they will continue to create the same circumstances over and over because “as within, so without.”
This blog post was provided by Cindy M. Nelson, M.B.A., C.S.L.C. from Anakh Leadership Coaching LLC. We specialize in developing business leaders and professionals by increasing their self-awareness, emotional intelligence, and overall effectiveness thereby increasing professional success and personal satisfaction in their lives. For more information, please go to aleadershipcoach.com.
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