Napoleon Hill: How to Outwit the Six Ghosts of Fear

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How do you learn how to outwit the six ghosts of fear? What are the 6 basic fears in Think and Grow Rich?

You can learn how to outwit the six ghosts of fear by recognizing fear as a state of mind and replacing your fears with positive alternate thinking. The six basic fears are poverty, criticism, poor health, loss of a loved one, old age, and death. You will overcome fear when you conquer each of these ghosts.

Read on to learn how to outwit the six ghosts of fear.

Knowing How to Outwit the Six Ghosts of Fear

You can’t achieve your goal of translating your thoughts, desire, purpose, and plan into riches, without learning how to outwit the six ghosts of fear. You must clear your mind of three enemies or negative influences: indecision, doubt, and fear. (We discussed Indecision in Principle 9, Decisiveness.)

The three are interrelated. Indecision is an outgrowth of fear; it evolves into doubt and the two combine to create more fear. Further, when we are afraid of things, we also worry about them. 

What Are the six Ghosts?

The key to learning how to outwit the six ghosts of fear is recognizing the six things we fear the most. All other fears fall under one of these headings.

1. Poverty: Rich people are idolized, and so poverty brings embarrassment and suffering. Fear of poverty can distract you from demanding riches from life. Symptoms of a fear of poverty include lack of ambition, indecisiveness, doubt expressed by excuses, worry, overcaution due to looking at the negative in every circumstance, and procrastination.

2. Criticism: No one likes receiving criticism, yet we all freely criticize others. Parents and close relatives can be the worst offenders. However, employers who understand human nature realize that constructive suggestions rather than criticism is the best way to motivate employees.

People often make bad decisions and then are reluctant to change them for fear of criticism. They include marrying the wrong person, taking the bad advice of relatives, or choosing and remaining in a job or career that is not a good fit and makes them miserable.

3. Poor health: We fear illness because of the suffering it causes and the economic toll it takes.  Disease, however, can begin in our minds with negative thoughts or suggestions unless we overcome them with positive ones. Doctors send patients to new climates as a way of changing their attitudes and thus their health.

4. Loss of someone’s love: This is the most emotionally painful of the fears. It can manifest itself in jealousy, prompting suspicions and accusations.

5. Old age: This fear is driven by ill health, diminishing sexual attractiveness, and loss of physical and economic freedom. Some people slow down and develop and inferiority complex because they believe they are “slipping.” Yet some of our most useful years, mentally, are later in life.

6. Death: We fear it because we don’t know what to expect after death. There’s no point to fearing it, however. Death will come regardless of what we think about it.

Fortunately, because fears are states of mind, you can conquer your fears and eliminate them.

Mastering how to outwit the six ghosts of fear means figuring out a way to replace each fear with alternate thinking. For instance, instead of fearing poverty, decide to manage with the money you have without worrying about it; banish fear of criticism by resolving to not care what others think; instead of fearing old age, view it as a blessing, and so on.

Mastering how to outwit the six ghosts of fear also means eliminating the habit of worry by realizing that nothing is worth the price of worry.

You have the power to control your mind, filling it with whatever you choose. You are responsible for using this power constructively.

Napoleon Hill: How to Outwit the Six Ghosts of Fear

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Joseph Adebisi

Joseph has had a lifelong obsession with reading and acquiring new knowledge. He reads and writes for a living, and reads some more when he is supposedly taking a break from work. The first literature he read as a kid were Shakespeare's plays. Not surprisingly, he barely understood any of it. His favorite fiction authors are Tom Clancy, Ted Bell, and John Grisham. His preferred non-fiction genres are history, philosophy, business & economics, and instructional guides.

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