An important part of opening your mind to faith is ridding your mind of the fears which limit your belief. There are seven basic fears. Nearly everyone suffers from at least one; some of us must conquer all of them. Here are the seven fears:
1. Poverty - This is the most destructive fear and the hardest to master because it brings so much suffering and misery. Much of the fear of poverty comes from our bitter experiences in dealing with others who have proved untrustworthy and willing to exploit us for their own benefit. If you resent poverty and are determined to be rid of it, analyze yourself fully for signs of this fear. then fasten your mind on substitutes for the negative habits which this fear inspires:
- lack of ambition
- Failure to make your own decisions
- Making excuses for your failures
- A negative mental attitude
Developing definiteness of purpose is the first step toward replacing a negative mental attitude with a positive one. Find out what you want and look for it all the time.
2. Criticism - Fear of criticism can affect you in ways both trivial and serious. It can lead you to buy the latest fashions, the fanciest cars, the most sophisticated stereo systems because you fear being left behind the times, out of step with what “everyone” is doing. It can prevent you from acting on ideas that are revolutionary, ideas that would give you independence. It robs you of your individuality and your faith in yourself. These are the most obvious symptoms of a fear of criticism:
- Keeping up with the Joneses
- Bragging about your achievements
- Being easily embarrassed
3. Ill Health - This is closely related to the fear of death but is much more dependent on habits for its growth. You may very well have acquired it simply by growing up around others who shared it. It too, can prevent you from taking risks, and its simple presence can actually bring about the very situation you fear. You want the power of your mind focused on maintaining your health, but certain habits demonstrate your enslavement to the fear of ill health. You must break them:
- The drugstore habit - do you run to the pharmacist every time some new cure-all is advertised? Have you consumed mountains of garlic, ginseng and oat bran?
- The habit of self-pity. do the slightest pains and discomforts keep you in bed? Is some condition your excuse for not acing?
- The habit of substance abuse. It may be drink, it may be drugs, but it’s there only to cover up your fear of some mental or physical pain.
4. Loss of love
5. Old Age - the fear of old age causes you to slow down and develop a feeling of inferiority. Whether you’re thirty, forty, sixty or seventy, you become convinced that you have let opportunity slip by and that your best years are behind you.
6. Loss of Liberty - No matter where you live, in any country, the fear of loss of freedom is present. The only way to fight this fear is to take an active role in defending the institutions that preserve your liberty.
7. Death - this fear is the grandfather of them all. It is very difficult to whip because it is so universal in our society and because it is constantly reinforced on a daily basis. It can stop you in your tracks a lot sooner than actual death.
Replacing Fear With Hope
The fundamental lesson in dealing with the fear of death is learning to set it aside. This should be your goal with each of the fears, for whatever you fear will follow you around like a puppy. Your mind attracts anything it dwells on. Most people go through life thinking about things they don’t want to happen, and they probably experience every one of them.
Wouldn’t it be a better idea, then, to refuse to think about the things you don’t want and to feed your mind with pictures of the things you do want? There is nothing more important than learning the art of keeping your mind focused upon the things, condition and circumstances you really want. When your mind has definiteness of purpose, you are in a condition to start having faith. Faith exists only so long as it is used. You cannot develop muscles by not using them; you cannot increase your capital by not investing it. Persistent action backed by definiteness of purpose will pump up your faith.
Source: Napoleon Hill “Keys to Success”