Napoleon Hill, the author of ‘Think and grow rich’, mentioned 6 fears that can affect us all and bind us to our habitual thinking and acting:
Fear of Poverty; Fear of Old Age; Fear of Criticism; Fear of the Loss of Love of Someone; Fear of Poor Health; Fear of Death.
Sounds familiar to us all, don’t they? Which one motivates you the most? Depends on your circumstances, such as age, wealth (or lack of it), physical condition, and so forth.
Some people who are motivated by fear of poverty do almost anything to obtain money, legal, or illegal. Sadly they can never be at ease no matter how much they accumulate, because there’s always this fear ‘what if I lose it all…’
The fear of old age or ill health gets us to try all sorts of supplements, or Botox injections, or unusual diet regimes, etc. Nothing wrong with these in themselves, but are you aware of why you’re acting this way? If not, you are ‘bound’ by your subconscious fear. This is not freedom.
Fear of death is healthy, no? Can be if it stops you sitting down in the middle of a motorway; but if it stops you trying out anything new or taking any risks, its not so helpful.
Have you ever been asked to do public speaking? Yes? How did you react? Panic, tremble, run, unable to get a word out? Many people are terrified by this. Why? Public humiliation such as being laughed at or people telling them they’re rubbish. This is a massive behavioural motivator for all of us.
But the biggest motivator for many people (Fear no 7!) is Loss of Self-Esteem in my view. Feeling we let ourselves down, or made a fool of ourselves; a nagging doubt and horrible feeling inside that can keep us awake at night. This is behind some of the other 6 fears, for example fear of criticism.
It can lead to serious avoidance or stalling because then we don’t have to feel those feelings. Don’t try to set up a business online for example because we don’t know how to do it and trying it and failing makes us feel stupid, like losers.
So examine yourself, be aware of why you behave the way you do and confront that fear, feel it and stay with it; it will get less over time, especially when we start to achieve things.
As the saying goes: ‘feel the fear and do it anyway’.