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General Interest Reading

Fear is the Greatest Single Obstacle to Success

by Napoleon Hill

Fear is the greatest single obstacle to success.

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

Their every yearning is for a sort of overall protection summer 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 former President 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 the logical reasoning by which we decide upon a course of action.

FDR'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 afraid." And then asking 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 obstacle of fear.

The next step is to consider the problem from every facet. What are the risks? Is the expected reward worth taking them? 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 his 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 those words will give you spiritual strength to meet any situation.

Source: Success Unlimited October 1966. Pgs. 33 and 34.

See Also:

The Power of Belief and Expectation
While you may not always get what you want, you will always get what you expect! The power of belief and expectation work just as effectively on your feelings of self-doubt and limitation as they do on your thoughts of success and achievement.

Dealing With Disappointments
We canít control the things that happen to us, a wise man once said, but we can very much control how we respond to them.

Golden Rules Learned in Life from Napoleon Hill
In keeping with the tradition of taking inventory of what lessons have been learned during the past year, I would like to offer my year end thoughts.

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