Brian Tracy is the author of Goals!: How to Get Everything You Want — Faster Than You Ever Thought Possible. He grew up with a fear of poverty. He feared not having enough money, being broke, and being destitute. Brian knew that this fear had originated during his childhood because his parents, who grew up during the Depression had continually worried about money. His fear was reinforced when he was broke at various times in his twenties. Even when he had sufficient money, this fear was always there. This fear of poverty held Brian back. It caused him to be anxious about taking risks with money. It caused him to play it safe with regard to employment. It caused him to choose security over opportunity.
Move toward your fears
One day Brian went through an exercise to objectively determine the origins of this fear. In that exercise he had to answer the question “How does this fear help me, or how has it helped me in the past?” In answering this question he realised his fear of poverty had actually made him a better person. In order to escape the fear of poverty, Brian had developed the habit of working much longer and harder than the average person. He was more ambitious and determined. Brian took much more time to study and learn about the various ways that money could be made and invested. The fear of poverty had, in effect, driven him toward financial independence.
Fear, the worst of all enemies, can be effectively cured by forced repetition of acts of courage.
We all have fears (failure, rejection, poverty, etc) that hold us back. How you perceive the fear makes a difference. The actions you take because of fear make a difference. You need to sit down and take the time to objectively identify, define and analyse your own personal fears. Once you understand what each of your fears are, you need to ask yourself “How does this fear help me, or how has it helped me in the past?” You can then begin the process of developing courage and eliminating fear by engaging in actions that allow you to move past your fears.
I am an old man and have known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened. – Mark Twain
Fears can dominate you to the point where your actions are paralysed. Understand that most of the time fear is an indicator of exactly where you should go. By moving toward his fear of poverty, Brian Tracy was able to begin the process of eliminating it. So can you.