What is Fear?
Man’s greatest enemy.
It is said that people’s greatest enemy is fear. Fear is behind failure, sickness, and poor human relations. Millions of people are afraid of the past, the future, old age, insanity, and death. But fear is a thought in your mind. This means that you are afraid of your own thoughts.
A small child can be paralyzed with fear when a playmate says there is a monster under his bed who will grab him in the night. But when the parent turns on the light and shows him there is monster, he is freed from fear. The fear in the mind of the child was every bit real as if there really was a monster there. The thing he feared did not exist. In the same way, most of your fears have no reality. They are merely a conglomeration of sinister shadows, and shadows have no reality.
Do the thing you fear
Ralph Waldo Emerson, the great nineteenth-century philosopher and poet, said, “Do the thing you are afraid to do, and the death of fear is certain.”
Story of Janet R., a young opera singer whose career had been sidetracked by a terrible case of stage fright. When she was invited to audition for a major role in an opera production, she realized that this might well be her last chance at success. Yet her stage fright was as powerful as ever. Unless she managed to deal with it, she knew would fail once again.
The way she overcame her fear was to isolate herself in a room and do her best to relax both her body and mind. To counteract the fear suggestion that dominated her subconscious mind, she repeated slowly, quietly, and with feeling the words “I sing beautifully. I am poised, serene, confident, and calm.”
She repeated the words from five to ten times at each sitting. By the end of a week she felt poised and confident. When the time came, she gave an outstanding audition.
Story of a medical student named Sheila A. was one of the most brilliant students in her class. Yet when she faced a written or oral examination, she found herself going blank at even simple questions.
The reason is she had been worrying and brooding over the chances of failure for several days before the exam. These negative thoughts became charged with fear.
Thoughts enveloped in the powerful emotion of fear are realized in the subconscious mind. In other words, this young student was requesting her subconscious mind to see to it that she failed, and that is exactly what it did. On the day of the examination she found himself stricken with suggestive amnesia.
Master technique for overcoming any particular fear
Here is a technique for overcoming fear. It works like a charm. Try it! Suppose you are afraid of swimming. Begin now to sit still for five or ten minutes three or four times a day. Put yourself into a state of deep relaxation. Now imagine you are swimming. Subjectively, you are swimming. Mentally you have projected yourself into the water.
You feel the brisk coolness of the water and the movement of your arms and legs. It is all real, vivid, and a joyous activity of the mind. This is not idle daydreaming. You understand that what you are experiencing in your imagination will be developed in your subconscious mind. Then you will be compelled to express the image and likeness of the picture you impressed on your deeper mind.
When you attempt to swim, it is the joy that will surface. This is the law of the subconscious.
You could apply the same technique to other fears. If you have a fear of heights, imagine you are taking a stroll in the mountains. Feel the reality of it all. Enjoy the pure air, the alpine flowers, and the thrilling scenery. Know that as your continue to do this mentally, you will come to do it physically with ease and comfort.