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If asked “What do you fear most?”, most of people will answer “I fear nothing!”. I did this too when my wife ask me recently. After reading chapter 15 of “Think and Grow Rich”- Napoleon Hill, I know that I was wrong & ignorant. I don’t know that I don’t know.

There are six basic fears that most people fall into

– The fear of POVERTY

– The fear of CRITICISM

– The fear of ILL HEALTH

– The fear of OLD AGE

– The fear of DEATH


Any other fears are less importance or can be categorised into these 6 categories. If you want to be success in life, you must avoid falling to any of these 6 fear traps. Because fear creates doubt, it brings negative energy to our mind, give us negative thoughts, leads to bad actions that do harm to ourselves and people around us. Let’s look at each of them

The fear of POVERTY

The fear of POVERTY does not sound familiar to people like you and me, my friend, who read this blogpost because I guess most of us came from middle class family and have never experienced poverty.  But the fear of POVERTY is the most destructive  of the six basic fears. “It can destroy one’s chances of achievement in any undertaking. This fear paralyses the faculty of reason, destroys the faculty of imagination, kills off self-reliance, undermines enthusiasm, discourages initiative, leads to uncertainty of purpose, encourages procrastination, wipes out enthusiasm and make self-control an impossibility. It takes charm from one’s personality, destroys the possibility of accurate thinking, diverts concentration of effort, it masters persistence, turns the willpower into nothingness, destroys ambition, beclouds the memory and invites failure in every conceivable form. It kill love and assassinates the finer emotions of the heart, discourage friendships and invites disaster in a hundred forms, leads to sleeplessness, misery and unhappiness. Nothing brings so much suffering and humility as POVERTY”. No wonder why the poor gets poorer and the rich get richer.

If you are feeling down because of your financial situation, take it as a push factor to learn faster, work harder, stop giving excuses and procrastinate, make plan with determined goal and execute it. It’s not your fault to be born in poverty but it’s your fault to die in poverty.

The fear of CRITICISM

This is the invisible killer. Most people do not feel comfortable when criticised. Too much critics make a person depressed and despondent. “The fear of criticism robs people of their initiative, destroys the power of imagination, limits their individuality and takes away their self-reliance, and does them damage in a hundred other ways.” Parent who criticise their child too much will plant fear or resentment in the child’s heart.

If you are parent, do not criticise your child (especially young kids) but give constructive suggestions. You must not blame them for their failure. The child (especially young kids) might not know what to do or how to solve the problem by themselves.

If you are criticised, don’t feel offended, but try to listen and analyse the critics. We all make mistake, but the important thing is know how to learn from mistakes and avoid making same mistake.


These fears are very common and they are related. We human being are smart but weak. Our life time is limited and it’s very short. Don’t waste time worrying.

If you are concerned about your health, go to see a doctor instead of google, self-analyse and worry. You must start making good habit of exercise, consume healthy food & drink, have a healthy lifestyle.

If you think you are aging, you are not as fast and strong as you used to be, that you are “slipping” because of age, most likely that you are just overthink. The truth is that some of our most useful years are those in later life, when you reach stability financially and mentally, when you experience life long enough to find out the mission of your life.

The fear of death is the most useless. Death will come, no matter what you think about it. Nobody can escape the circle of life. If you have ever concern about death, I suggest that you go and watch a lot of ghost movies, you will see after life might be quite fun.


This is the most painful of all the six basic fears because love is one of the most positive emotion. We all wants to love and be loved.

One of the distinguishing symptom of this fear is jealousy. It’s the state of mind that affect your fair judgment to everything that presented to you. You hate your friend because he/she is smarter/prettier than you. Everything he/she say or do irritates you. That is because you afraid everyone else will love him/her more than you. Does this sounds familiar to you?

Further symptoms are a general suspicion on everyone, absolute faith in no one and finding fault with friends, relatives, colleagues and your loved ones upon the smallest thing or without any cause whatsoever.

Remember that all of the fears are just states of mine, nothing else. Our mind is like a garden and states of mind are the seeds. If you plant the bad seed, it will grow and give bad fruits. Your mission in life is to achieve success. To be successful, you must find peace of mind, live life to the fullest and attain happiness. Then why don’t you fill your garden with the good seeds of desire, belief, confidence, health-conscious , hope, love, friendship… then there will be no space for the bad seed to grow.


Steve Pham