Overcoming Two Wealth Killers Fear and Worry

By: Dan Kennedy on: June 7th, 2012 14 Comments

American writer and founder of Success Magazine, Dr. Orison Swett Marden said, “…Twin enemies fear and worry.”

Dr. Marden identified FEAR and WORRY as the two most powerful enemies of peace of mind, health and prosperity because they undermine everything.

They undermine self-esteem, self-image and self-confidence. Relationships, concentration, proper digestion of food, sleep, etc. etc.

On today’s blog, learn how to attack fear and worry that stop you from moving forward in your business.  You’ll discover:

  • The perfect antidote to worry.
  • Two words that can haunt you the rest of your life if you don’t conquer fear and worry.
  • What “super-achievers” recognize as inherent both to the learning and achievement process and to prominence and how they deal with fears.
  • My thoughts on the three most dangerous and paralyzing fears commonly held related to business and how to shift your mindset to
    overcome them.

In recognition of this, I have made a practice of attacking WORRY with fast action as much as possible; when I catch myself worrying about something, I make a point of doing something about it as quickly as I can.

Action is the only perfect antidote to worry.

Action forces you to focus on the task at hand rather than the “what ifs”.

There’s a movie called Letters to Juliet with a great scene about “what ifs” that says…

“WHAT and IF are two words as non-threatening as words can be.  But put them together side by side and they have the power to haunt you the rest of your life.  WHAT IF… WHAT IF…WHAT IF…”

FEAR paralyzes many people.  Florence Henderson told me of her career almost ending due to a crippling fear of flying (in her case, conquered through hypnosis and self-hypnosis.) A surprisingly high percentage of the population is affected by phobia-type fears, like fear of flying.

In many cases, these types of fears actually have little impact, do not cause significant inconvenience and may be ignored.

I happen to have one related to bridges and high, open areas, like balconies, another related to swimming; to my knowledge, neither has inconvenienced me in any real way, so eradicating them has never made it to my priority list.

However, a large number of people are severely restricted by fears of embarrassment, humiliation, making mistakes and criticism;  these fears have to be addressed because they affect day to day life.

Most “super achievers” I know and have worked with have virtually bullet-proof self-images, and are largely unaffected by others’ opinions, therefore free of fears related to making mistakes and being criticized for doing so.

No, no one likes being the butt of jokes or being criticized by others, but successful people recognize it as inherent both to the learning and achievement process and to prominence, and rather than fear it, they expect it, are not surprised or discouraged by it, and respond to it as a challenge to meet and rise above.

I do not think it is possible to rise to substantial success in any endeavor if you are lugging around a tendency to worry or feelings of fear.

And it is ironic that negative imagination is more easily stimulated than positive imagination in most of us.  With it we magnify and empower worry so that it can distract or paralyze us.

We all know that, statistically, most of the worries that occur to us never materialize and that the majority of those that do ultimately turn out to have less impact than feared.

But that knowledge does not necessarily diffuse worry.

I have developed my own “process” for preventing a worry from growing beyond its true size and importance, mostly incorporating Psycho-Cybernetics Techniques.

American editor (The Saturday Evening Post) and essayist, William George Jordan said, “Worry is mental poison.”

I know people who literally “worry themselves sick”.  Maybe you do too.  There is no doubt in my mind that you can create physical illness with mental poison.

You can also kill your business or commit suicide to your dreams. Here are my thoughts on the three most dangerous and paralyzing fears commonly held related to business:

Fear of Poverty. Having been through bankruptcy, having been broke, and having started over virtually from scratch, it does not surprise me that so many wealthy people have financial wipe-outs in their past; it is a fear cleansing experience.

If you have ever been wiped out, you will imagine it to be worse than it is.

If you’ve faced and recovered from it, you have the advantage of knowing it’s not nearly as bad as most think it is.

But beyond that, the greater a belief you develop in the unlimited opportunity available, the less you fear losing some or even all of the marbles you have.

Most people do NOT have such a philosophical perspective.

They believe in finite resources and finite opportunities, so that whenever someone gains, someone else must lose. Anyone who suffers from this win-lose view of the world is virtually prohibited from achieving great success (if for no other reason than evolving guilt).

There are two abundance principles that all self-made wealthy individuals understand:

1)   One’s prosperity is never at anyone else’s expense. One person’s wealth does not create a compensating shortage for anyone else.

2)   99% of all limits are only self-imposed limits, created in the imagination but not mirrored in reality.

Fear of Criticism.  Try and think of a high-pay position where you can be free of criticism for any length of time.  Head coaches and pro athletes, actors and entertainers, authors, corporate CEO’s, you name it—all frequently if not continuously on “the hot seat”.

I find many people are hamstrung in their marketing efforts by fear of what their peers will say.  It is my opinion that this stops more people in their tracks than any other obstacle.  And, that conquering it is the single most liberating and empowering step an individual can take.

Fear of Loss of Liberty. If you wish to live free of risk, you have to be at peace with saying “no” to all new opportunities.

One of the risks attached to many opportunities is the loss of personal freedom, in one form or another; increased responsibility takes away free time; an important and prominent position requires the giving up of behaviors an “unknown” person can indulge in.

Many people even fear wealth because of the difficult decisions and responsibilities it brings.

I happen to prize both personal freedom and privacy, and certainly make some decisions where it takes priority over other considerations.

But…you also have to be confident of your ability to compartmentalize and organize your life to accommodate responsibility, celebrity and preserved freedom.

Finally, you must understand that everything in life has inherit trade-off and that opportunity and risk are inseparable.

It is never to late too conquer worries and fears…it only takes courage to take action and seize your opportunities.

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Dan Kennedy is internationally recognized as the 'Millionaire Maker,' helping people in just about every category of business turn their ideas into fortunes. Dan's "No B.S." approach is refreshing amidst a world of small business marketing hype and enriches those who act on his advice. For more money-making marketing tips, tactics and strategies, go to www.GKIC.com

14 Responses

  1. Keith Meredith says:

    Great post Dan!

    Hit me square in the n*ts.. got to get good at setting the fear on fire!

  2. In my new copywriting ventures, I look at it the same way I looked at playing gigs when I was in a band:

    You’ll have great shows,
    and you’ll have bombs.
    Play more and more shows,
    And you’ll have more and more great shows.

  3. Jean Paul says:

    Yep, action is the easiest way to kill depression and worry. When you think about it, most depression (and chronic worrying) comes from avoiding taking action.

    After all, it’s easier to pop a pill, or have a shot or two than admitting we’re wrong.

    Plus, we’re so addicted to approval as a society – so we’re scared of even the slightest criticisms.

    Having spent quite a few nights in the cold, train stations and other “safe” places I can tell you two things:

    – I’m determined never to go back
    – I’m not scared – I know I will always rise, regardless of what happens.

    Thanks for a great post Dan!

  4. Joe Bulger says:

    Great stuff Dan. Fear of criticism and embarrassment seems so pervasive it has to be the norm. I figure it’s a good idea to embarrass oneself daily. Not in a zipper-flying-low kind of way, but in stepping into the arena of performance and adding a little more humanity to the stuff we do.

    I’m forever pushing my team to turn pro. By default, most take a very casual/social approach to everything. They shy away from any form of intensity (the hot seat as you call it).

  5. Ninety percent of what we worry about will not going to happen. So remain in focus on things that you want to happen.
    Thank you Sir!

  6. Renee says:

    Hi Dan,

    Thanks very much for this post. I can certainly relate.

    You know what though, over the years, what criticizm use to bug me and get my heart racing and my palms sweating now I look at and feel nothing about.

    Action and believing in something OUTSIDE of yourself -serving others, for example, will deplete the worry and anxiety about criticism. Ultimately, it’s knowing that your intent is good that matters. That’s how I got through.

    And of course with a healthy dose of “action” as well, as you so aptly suggested here.

    Thanks for everything. You have no idea how much you’ve helped me completely turn my business around and my income increased by 7-fold last year.


  7. Steve Anson says:

    I think you’re on the wrong track here Dan. The perfect antidote to fear and worry is to trust God… let Him worry about stuff that paralyzes us! Matthew 6:25-34 sums it up… timeless Words one can rely on.

  8. Bob Long says:

    I am constantly amazed at people who are concerned what someone else thinks when in reality the “someone elses” aren’t even thinking about it, don’t care, OR, if they do think about it, WHAT are THEY doing? Usually, nothing.

    Someone was recently making all kinds of suggestions to me when I asked, “Which hand is it you use to right the checks?” End of conversation. People have this problem with telling someone where to get off, esp. if that other person is not helping in the slightest.

  9. You are so right jonaflormicfren. Stay focused in the NOW and it’s hard to have fears and worries about the future, or the past.

    • Mike Stodola MikeS says:

      Worry is interest you pay on a debt you don’t owe.

  10. Sean Kelly says:

    Excellent article Dan. Yes,I work alot with companies on business growth strategies and focus a huge amount on human behaviour.Fear and rejection are such big issues I come across resulting in a lot of procrastination. This of course leads to stress and anxiety. We focus on action, albeit small steps, but ACTION is essential. Get yourself out there, talk to people, network, get a mentor, but what ever you do be proactive abd TAKE ACTION.
    Sean Kelly

  11. Jean Paul, I’ve found that you’ve got to conquer your fear before you can take action – fear paralyzes.

    Taking that first step, however small, is a step to squash your fear.

    That step also moves you towards your goal – even if it is a step in the wrong direction. A step in a direction that leads to failure is a step towards success. Ask Edison.

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