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Quotations for Motivation #54 --- Fear

Updated on May 15, 2011

Quotations on Fear

Fear is the greatest single obstacle to success.

Too often people let fear rule all their decisions and actions.

Their every yearning is a sort of overall protection summed up in the catch-all cliche of "security."

The truly successful person doesn't think in these terms. His reasoning is based on creativeness and productivity. As President Dwight D. Eisenhower said, "One can attain a high degree of security in a prison cell if that's all he wants out of life."

The successful person is one who is willing to take risks when sound logic shows they are necessary to reach the desired goal.

All of us suffer from fear. What is it? Fear is an emotion intended to help preserve our lives by warning us of danger.

Hence, fear can be a blessing when it raises its flag of caution so we pause and study a situation before making a decision or taking action.

We must control fear rather than permit it to control us. Once it has served its emotional purpose as a warning signal, we must not permit it to enter into logical reasoning by which we decide upon a course of action.

Franklin D. Roosevelt's famous words--"We have nothing to fear but fear itself"–are as applicable now, and at any time, as when he uttered them during the depression.

How can you overcome your fears? First of all, by looking them full in the face--by consciously saying: "I am a afraid." And then ask yourself: "Of what?"

With that one question you have begun analyzing the situation facing you. You are on the road of reason that will carry you around the emotional obstacles of fear.

The next step is to consider the problem from every facet. What are the risks? Is the expected reward worth taking then? What are the other possible courses of action? What unexpected problems are likely to be encountered? Do you have all the necessary data, statistics and facts at hand? What have others done in similar situations, and what were the results?

Once you have completed your study, take action--immediately!

Procrastination leads only to more doubt and fear.

A noted psychologist once said that a woman, alone at night and imagining she hears noises, can settle her fears quickly All she has to do is put one foot on the floor. In doing so, she has taken the first step on a positive course of action toward overcoming her fear.

The person seeking success must force himself in the same way to control his fear by taking the first step toward the goal.

And remember that no one walks the road of life alone.

One of the most consoling--and truest--assurances given us is found in the Bible: "Fear not, I am with you always."

Faith in these words will give you spiritual strength to meet any situation.

—Napoleon Hill, Houston Post, Houston, Texas, June 4, 1956.

One of the best ways to overcome fear--the greatest obstacle to success--is to ask yourself bluntly: "What am I afraid of?"

Often it turns out that we are shying at mere shadows.

Let's examine some of the most common worries and see how this system works.

Sickness–the human body is endowed with an ingenious system for automatic self-maintenance and repair. Why worry then that it might get out of order. It is better to marvel at how it stays in proper working order, in spite of the demands we place upon it!

Old age–The Golden Years are something to look forward to--not to fear. We exchange youth for wisdom. Remember, nothing is ever taken away from us without an equal or greater benefit being made available.

Failure–Momentary failure is a blessing in disguise, carrying with it the seed of an equivalent benefit if we but seek to learn its cause and use our knowledge to better our effort on the next attempt.

Death–Recognize that it is a necessary part of the overall plan of the universe, provided by the Creator as a means of giving man a passage way to the higher plane of Eternity.

Criticism–You should, after all, be your own most severe critic. What then, can you fear in the criticism of others? And such criticism may include constructive suggestions that will help you better yourself.

Fear results mainly from ignorance.

Man feared the lightning until Franklin, Edison and a few other rare individuals, who dared to take possession of their own minds, proved that lightning is a form of physical energy that could be harnessed for the benefit of humanity.

We can master fear easily if we will but open our minds through Faith to the guidance of Divine Intelligence.

Looking about us in nature, we discover a universal plan through which every living creature has been wisely and benevolently provided with food and all other necessities of their existence.

Is it likely, then, that man--chosen as the master of every other species on Earth--would be neglected?

Even physical pain, which many persons fear unreasonably, plays a part in this plan, for it is universal language by which the most uneducated person knows when he is endangered by injury or illness.

What right have we in the light of this to go to the Creator with prayers over petty matters which we could and should settle for ourselves? How dare we, if they prayers go unanswered, lose what little faith we may have possessed!

Perhaps the greatest sin lies in loss of faith in the all-wise Creator who has provided His children with more blessings than any earthly parent could ever hope to give his offspring.

—Napoleon Hill, Houston Post, Houston, Texas, June 5, 1956.

Locked within the human mind lie powers beyond comprehension. The imagination is the key which can release them to work for the individual and for humanity.

Few of the millions upon millions of men through the ages have recognized this fact and used it to direct their own destinies.

The imagination is the gateway of approach to the infinite intelligence of the Creator. It is opened by the state of mind known as Faith. It is in this state of mind that hope and purpose are translated into physical activity. For it is a fact that all thought tends to transform itself into its physical equivalent.

Faith provides the imagination with the stimulative capacity of desire and enthusiasm with which one's plans and purposes may be given action.

Through faith in himself, any person can achieve any goal he desires.

Henry Ford once was asked what type of men he needed most for his company.

"I could use a hundred men who don't know there is such a word as 'impossible'," he replied.

And it has been said that Ford's stupendous business success resulted from two personal traits: (1) He set himself a definite major goal in life and then (2) recognized no limitations in pursuit of his aim.

The imagination is the workshop of the soul wherein every man can shape his own earthly destiny.

Truly, whatever the mind can conceive and believe, the mind can achieve. ...

Andrew Carnegie, who first encouraged me to develop the "Science of Success," used to say, "You can do it if you believe you can."

But it takes will power, too. Sometimes amounting to sheer bullheadedness. ...

Your imagination will help you achieve success if you give it a chance.

But once it has done its work, you alone can apply the faith and will power to make your dreams come true.

Don't make the mistake of eating the husk of fear and throwing away the rich kernels of abundance and plenty.

Ask yourself now: "What I am afraid of?"

The answer probably will be: "Nothing."

—Napoleon Hill, Houston Post, Houston, Texas, June 6, 1956.

In a one-room cabin in Kentucky, a small boy was lying on the hearth, learning to write. He used the back of a wooden shovel as a slate and a piece of charcoal as a pencil.

A kindly woman stood over him, encouraging him to keep trying. The woman was his stepmother. The boy grew into manhood without showing signs of greatness. He studied law, but his success in that profession was meager.

He tried store keeping; he entered the Army, but made no noteworthy record at either. Everything to which he turned his hand seemed to wither into failure. Then, it is said, a great love came into his life. It ended with the death of the one he loved. But the sorrow over that death reached deeply into the man's soul and there it made contact with the secret power that comes only from within.

He seized that power and put it to work. It made him President of the United States. It wiped out slavery in America. And it saved the Union from dissolution.

So, this power that comes to men from within knows no social caste, no insurmountable obstacles, no unsolvable problems. It is available to the poor and the humble as it is to the rich and the powerful. It is possessed by all who think accurately. It cannot be put into effect for you by anyone except yourself!

What strange fear invades the minds of men and short circuits their approach to that secret power which can life them to great heights of achievement?

How and why do the vast majority of people become the victims of a negative hypnotic rhythm which destroys their capacity to use the secret power of their own minds?

The approach to all genius has been charted. It is the selfsame path followed by all great leaders who have contributed to our American way of life. ...

Faith, rightly understood, is always active--not passive. Passive faith has no more power than an idle dynamo. To generate power, the machine must be set into motion. Active faith knows no fear, no self-imposed limitations. Reinforced with faith, the weakest mortal is mightier than disaster, stronger than failure, more powerful than fear.

The emergencies of life often bring men to crossroads where they are forced to choose between roads marked FAITH and FEAR. What is it that causes the vast majority to take the Fear road? The choice hinges upon one's mental attitude, and the Creator has so arranged man's powers that each individual controls his own.

The man who takes the Faith road is the man who has conditioned his mind to believe. He has conditioned it a little at a time by prompt and courageous decisions and actions in the details of his daily work. The man who takes the Fear road does so because he has neglected to condition his mind to a positive attitude.

Search until you find the point of approach to that secret power from within. When you find it you will have discovered your true self--that "other self" who make use of every experience of life. Then, whether you build a better mousetrap, write a better book, or preach a better sermon, the world will make a beaten path to your door, recognize you and adequately reward you. Success will be yours no matter who you are or what may have been the nature and scope of your past failure.

—Napoleon Hill, Houston Post, Houston, Texas, May 6, 1956.

Fear can be both a blessing and a curse, depending upon how and when one yields to it or rejects it.

The fear of failure can attract the causes of failure, and the fear of defeat is an open invitation for defeat. Fear is so powerful that it can do as much damage as its opposite--faith--can do good. As a matter of fact, fear is nothing but faith in reverse gear.

There are seven basic fears which hold many people in bondage throughout their lives. No great and enduring success can be achieved by anyone until he has mastered all seven.

Fear of poverty. This fear is harbored by people who allow their minds to dwell on the circumstances and things they do not want. All thoughts have the habit of attracting to one the things one thinks about. This explains why one must condition his mind with a "success consciousness" before he can attract success. The emotions of faith and fear have more equal pulling power--one attracts failure and the other attracts success as surely as water runs down hill in response to the law of gravitation.

Fear of criticism. The fear of what "they will say" of one's ideas or plans keeps millions of people from using their initiative in bringing forth ideas that could make them rich. And fear of criticism causes some minds to close up like clams, thereby depriving individuals of priceless opportunities to improve themselves by discovery of their weaknesses, mistakes and poor judgment. The successful person invites criticism because he knows that it may reveal to him some advantage he had overlooked, or bring him some opportunity he had not expected.

Fear of ill health. Doctors have a $64 word for this fear. It is hypochondria (imaginary illness). Here, the same as in connection with material things or a financial nature, the mind attracts that which it believes in, whether the belief is expressed through fear or by faith. Talking, thinking and believing one is sick will bring about the effects of illness, and strangely enough, the symptoms of the illness appear to be the same as those which accompany real illness.

Fear of the loss of love. This is the fear which causes jealousy. Not infrequently it leads to both temporary and permanent insanity. Whether it is justified or not, jealousy destroys homes, breaks up business and professional relationships and leads to physical ailments on a scale scarcely equaled by any of the other fears.

Fear of the loss of liberty. Every human being has a deeply seated and inborn desire for freedom, a gift perhaps by the Creator who gave man complete rights to use his mind-power as a means of providing himself with freedom to work out his own earthly destiny. This is the only one of the seven basic fears which is founded upon circumstances over which the individual does not have the power of control. With the world in the state of chaos and frustration existing today there is ample reason to justify one's fear of losing his liberty.

Fear of old age. Just why men and women should curtail their usefulness because of their fear of old age is difficult to define. For it's obvious that the Creator has so wisely provided man with everything he needs, with which to work out his earthly existence, that nothing can be taken away from him without something of equal or greater value becoming available to take its place. As one gives up his youth, its place is filled by wisdom. And history proves that man's greatest achievements take place after he passes the half century mark. Moreover, age is not accurately measured by the years one has lived, but it is determined by the nature of the thinking he does and his reactions to his experiences.

Fear of death. This is the grandfather of all of the seven basic fears, and the most unnecessary of them all because it is something over which no one has enduring control. One man who mastered this fear explained how he did it in this way: "I believed," said he, "that death brings one or the other of two conditions. Either it results in one long, eternal sleep, or it carries us to another world far superior to the one we leave behind, and neither of these possibilities is terrifying."

—Napoleon Hill, Houston Post, Houston, Texas, Aug. 10, 1956.

Many of our fears stem directly from an overactive imagination–and have no basis in reality whatsoever. Most fears of this type can be eliminated by the simple process of not crossing your bridges until you come to them. Don't generate anxiety by speculating as to the possibility of the bridge being out.

Many of your fears you can completely eliminate just by going into action–instead of merely "stewing" about them.

Sort out your fears and anxieties into two piles: Those which result from conditions beyond your control and those you can do something about--and take immediate action on the latter.

—John E. Gibson, This Week, New York, N.Y., Oct. 10, 1954.

Fear results from emotional agitation because of an awareness of threatening dangers. Anxiety denotes a more serious condition; a person becomes deeply concerned without fully knowing why. He is not aware of the object of his anxiety. When we are anxious, we are not only fearful, but apprehensive and uneasy, being unable to pinpoint the real cause of our anxiety. Fear, which is normal and healthy, is a reaction to a threat of danger based on reality. Anxiety, which is not normal, is a reaction to real or imagined dangers that may or may not be based on reality. The threat or danger is not usually identified.

—Verlin E. Mikesell, Hill Top Times, Ogden, Utah, April 7, 1967.

Fear is the arch enemy of power; and fear of circumstances and of men is simply another name for lack of confidence in self. To get others to believe in you first believe in yourself, not as a matter of logic, but through pure self-confidence; for the world knows no man that can accomplish anything without faith, and faith begins in the soul before it finds its way into the mind. To believe that you can do a thing before you have done it is necessary to growth.

—Harlan Read, Morgan Messenger, Berkeley Springs, W.Va., Nov. 2, 1911.

Fear is an emotion experienced by every creature. Some of us never experience a great fear, but our daily lives are made up of small fears. Part of maturity is an ability to recognize the fears, call them by name, and then work to minimize their effect on us. ...

Fear can cause panic that leads to despair and death. ... Fear cannot always be overcome, but panic can be eliminated.

The feeling of shock and fear during an emergency is natural. Most people never overcome the fear, but the effect on our actions can be lessened. ...

Confidence and proficiency gained and maintained by constant practice and review will cut the time lost due to initial fear. ...

A feeling of panic and the resulting confusion, with sudden distractions and the lost time due to them, breaks a chain of events and thoughts that are occurring rapidly.

—Frank S. Stewart, United States Army Aviation Digest, Fort Rucker, Ala., January 1961.

All of us are confined within the boundaries of our own fears.

—Bill Copeland, Sarasota Journal, Sarasota, Fla., Dec. 1, 1971.

Fear is a curtain which hides the door of opportunity.

—W.A. MacKenzie, Florida Times-Union, Jacksonville, Fla., Jan. 5, 1925.

Fear is opportunity's grave digger.

—W.A. MacKenzie, The Leesburg Morning Commercial, Leesburg, Fla., Aug. 4, 1927.

All the tears in the world won't help you over the river of fear–they simply swell the freshet. What you need is a plank of courage and some shoes of purpose.

—W.A. MacKenzie, Florida Times-Union, Jacksonville, Fla., July 28, 1923.

Eavesdrop on doubt, and you will get its infection.

—Ernest C. Wareing, Western Christian Advocate, Cincinnati, Ohio, March 19, 1925.

If we could get a shield from the fear of things that never happen, our troubles would be reduced 90 percent.

—Orison Swett Marden, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia, Pa., July 8, 1901.

Big things are but little things put together. ... It is encouraging to think of this when you are confronted by a big task. Remember that it is only a group of little tasks, any one of which you can easily do. It is ignorance that makes some men afraid to try.

—Waldo Pondray Warren, Dallas Morning News, Dallas, Texas, Jan. 1, 1907.

Fear impairs. Fear makes you incompetent. Fear puts you in the way of making mistakes. Fear is like drunkenness. It befuddles the mind and tremendously increases the likelihood of error.

—Grove H. Patterson, Milwaukee Sentinel, Milwaukee, Wis., Jan. 29, 1930.

The correct way to live in the present is not to be afraid of the future.

—Phil Conley, Clarion-Ledger, Jackson, Miss., Jan. 8, 1949.

Fear is a poor kind of foresight.

—Henry F. Cope, Chicago Tribune, Chicago, Ill., Jan. 7, 1906.

Everything is possible to those who do not fear the impossible.

—Henry F. Cope, Chicago Tribune, Chicago, Ill., Feb. 17, 1907.

The fear of tomorrow robs you of force for today.

—Henry F. Cope, Chicago Tribune, Chicago, Ill., Jan. 10, 1909.

No man is free who has not mastered his fears.

—Roy L. Smith, Christian Advocate, Chicago, Ill., Aug. 5, 1948.

By entertaining fear we have put a mortgage on all our tomorrows.

—Roy L. Smith, Tampa Morning Tribune, Tampa, Fla., March 23, 1931.

One trouble with fears is that they get into action before we do.

—Roy L. Smith, Tampa Morning Tribune, Tampa, Fla., Oct. 11, 1937.

The greatest of all fears is the fear that paralyzes our effort to be better.

—Roy L. Smith, Tampa Morning Tribune, Tampa, Fla., March 28, 1939.


Submit a Comment

  • WarrioressRising profile image


    7 years ago from Kansas

    Up lifting, I can forge ahead with new inspirations, Thank You.

  • Anthea Carson profile image

    Anthea Carson 

    7 years ago from Colorado Springs

    Nice job, thank you for this very inspirational hub.


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