“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself”
Franklin D Roosevelt
You don’t have to look far to find something to be afraid of – the internet is full of dire warnings and also, strangely enough, its also full of people who’d like to sell you the things that can protect you from the very things of which they tried to make you afraid.
Newspapers TV and radio are no better except that they often seem to peddle fear just for the hell of it, under the guise of ‘news’.
Everyone must, at some time in their lives, have experienced the gut wrenching, heart stopping sensation that we call fear and yet, for all the scary stuff that is manufactured by others *we* are the main culprits when it comes to creating our own fears.
It is the thing that most people acknowledge is the major factor that holds them back from achieving their full potential and they give it all sorts of names: fear of failure, fear of success, fear of losing what they’ve got, fear of the unknown, etc., etc., etc.
What are most people afraid of?
Writing at the end of the Great Depression in 1937, Napoleon Hill suggests that most people have six basic fears. They are: fear of poverty, criticism, ill health, loss of love, old age and death.
When I questioned a group of business owners if these are still relevant today, it was fear of poverty that caused the most dissent.
There was a strong argument that in our modern Western world, poverty is a relative term, even when we have lost all our material possessions.
There was an equally strong argument that it is this fear of losing everything that is the biggest driver in our society, especially for people in business who seek to create a sense of security by being in control of their own means of earning a living.
Looking at Hill’s list again, all those fears related to losing something: our material possessions, pride, independence, status, love, connection, and of course, life itself.
What became clear is that almost every feeling of fear we experience is the result of an IMAGINED situation, not a real one.
Moreover, in almost every case, the imagined situation that we most fear never, NEVER, happens.
When a situation that we had feared actually materialised, most of us dealt with it and went on to feel stronger because of it.
Beyond the survival instincts that keep us safe, there appears to be only one real fear and that is the fear that we won’t be able to handle whatever happens to us.
The fact that most people do handle even the most horrendous things, indicates that most fear is completely unnecessary and something we create in our own imagination.
What a waste of time!