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.
1) 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 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.
2) 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.
3) Fear of ill health: Doctors have a sixty-four dollar word for this fear. It is hypochondria (imaginary illness). Here, the same as in connection with material things of 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 appear to be the same as those which accompany real illness.
4) 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. It has been said that women are more susceptible to the fear of jealousy than men are, due perhaps to their knowledge of the polygamous nature of the male.
5) 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.
6) 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.
7) 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 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."
Source: Success Unlimited.
May, 1965, pgs. 8 - 10.