A friend told me that he was invited to speak at a banquet. He said he was panic-stricken at the thought of speaking before a thousand people. He overcame his fear this way: For several nights, he sat down in an armchair for about five minutes and said to himself slowly, quietly, and positively, “I am going to master this fear. I am overcoming it now. I speak with poise and confidence. I am relaxed and at ease.” He operated a definite law of mind and overcame his fear.
The subconscious mind is amenable to suggestion and is controlled by suggestion. When you still your mind and relax, your conscious mind’s thoughts sink down into the subconscious through a process similar to osmosis, whereby a porous membrane separates fluids intermingle. As these positive seeds or thoughts sink into the subconscious area, they grow after their kind, and you become poised, serene, and calm.
Man’s Greatest Enemy
It is said that fear is man’s greatest enemy. Fear is behind failure, sickness, and poor human relations. Millions of people are afraid of the past, the future, old age, insanity, and death. Fear is a thought in your mind, and you are afraid of your own thoughts.
A little boy can be paralyzed with fear when he is told there is a boogieman under his bed that will take him away. When his father turns on the light and shows him there is no boogieman, he is freed from fear. The fear in the mind of the boy was as real as if there really was a boogie man there. He was healed of a false thought in his mind. The thing he feared did not exist. Likewise, most of your fears have no reality. They are merely a conglomeration of sinister shadows, and shadows have no reality.
Do the Things You Fear
Ralph Waldo Emerson, philosopher, and poet, said, “Do the thing you are afraid to do, and the death of fear is certain.”
There was a time when I was filled with unutterable fear when standing before an audience. The way I overcame it was to stand before the audience, do the thing I was afraid to do, and the death of fear was certain.
When you affirm positively that you are going to master your fears, and you come to a definite decision in your conscious mind, you release the power of the subconscious, which flows in response to the nature of your thought.
Banishing Stage Fright
A young lady was invited to an audition. She had been looking forward to the interview. However, on three previous occasions, she had failed miserably due to stage fright.
She possessed a magnificent voice, but she was certain that she would be seized with stage fright when the time came for her to sing. The subconscious mind takes your fears as a request, proceeds to manifest them, and brings them into your experience. On three previous auditions, she sang wrong notes, and she finally broke down and cried. The cause, as previously outlined, was involuntary autosuggestion, i.e., a silent fear thought emotionalized and subjectified.
She overcame it by the following technique: Three times a day, she isolated herself in a room. She sat down comfortably in an armchair, relaxed her body, and closed her eyes. She stilled her mind and body to the best of her ability. Physical inertia favors passivity and renders the mind more receptive to suggestion. She counteracted the fear suggestion by its converse, saying to herself, “I sing beautifully. I am poised, serene, confident, and calm.”
She repeated the words slowly, quietly, and with feeling from five to ten times at each sitting. She had three such “sittings” every day and one immediately before sleep at night. At the end of the week, she was completely poised and confident and gave a definitely outstanding audition. Carry out the above procedure, and the death of fear is certain.
Fear of Failure
In a Chinese movie I watched, young men from the local university occasionally visit Mr. Chen, a successful shop owner and schoolteachers, who often seem to suffer from suggestive amnesia at examinations. The complaint is always the same: “I know the answers after the examination is over, but I can’t remember the answers during the examination.”
The idea, which realizes itself, is the one to which we invariably give concentrated attention. Mr. Chen finds that each one is obsessed with the idea of failure. Fear is behind the temporary amnesia, and it is the cause of the whole experience.
One young medical student was the most brilliant person in his class, yet he found himself failing to answer simple questions at the time of written or oral examinations. Mr. Chen explained to him that the reason was he had been worrying and was fearful for several days previous to the examination. These negative thoughts became charged with fear.
Thoughts enveloped in the powerful emotion of fear are realized in the subconscious mind. In other words, this young man was requesting his subconscious mind to see to it that he failed, and that is exactly what it did. On the day of the examination, he found himself stricken with what is called, in psychological circles, suggestive amnesia.
How He Overcame the Fear
He learned that his subconscious mind was the storehouse of memory and that it had a perfect record of all he had heard and read during his medical training. Moreover, he learned that the subconscious mind was responsive and reciprocal. The way to be en rapport with it was to be relaxed, peaceful, and confident.
Every night and morning, he began to imagine his mother congratulating him on his wonderful record. He would hold an imaginary letter from her in his hand. As he began to contemplate the happy result, he called forth a corresponding or reciprocal response or reaction in himself. The all-wise and omnipotent power of the subconscious took over, dictated, and directed his conscious mind accordingly. He imagined the end, thereby willing the means to the realization of the end. Following this procedure, he had no trouble passing subsequent examinations. In other words, the subjective wisdom took over, compelling him to give an excellent account of himself.
Fear of Water, Mountains, Closed Places, Etc.
Many people are afraid to go into an elevator, climb mountains, or even swim in the water. It may well be that the individual had unpleasant experiences in the water in his youth, such as having been thrown forcibly into the water without being able to swim. He might have been forcibly detained in an elevator, which failed to function properly, causing fear of closed places.
I had an experience when I was about ten years of age. I accidentally fell into a pool and went down three times. I can still remember the dark water engulfing my head and my gasping for air until another boy pulled me out at the last moment. This experience sank into my subconscious mind, and for years I feared the water.
An elderly psychologist said to me, “Go down to the swimming pool, look at the water, and say out loud in strong tones, ‘I am going to master you. I can dominate you.’ Then go into the water, take lessons, and overcome it.” This I did, and I mastered the water. Do not permit water to master you. Remember, you are the master of the water.
When I assumed a new attitude of mind, the subconscious responded’s omnipotent power, giving me strength, faith, and confidence and enabling me to overcome my fear.
Master Technique for Overcoming Any Particular Fear
The following is a process and technique for overcoming fear, which I learned from dramas and books; yeah, you read it right (dramas). It works like a charm. Try it!
Suppose you are afraid of the water, a mountain, an interview, an audition, or you fear closed places. If you are afraid of swimming, begin now to sit still for five or ten minutes three or four times a day, and imagine you are swimming. Actually, you are swimming in your mind. It is a subjective experience. Mentally you have projected yourself into the water. You feel the chill of the water and the movement of your arms and legs. It is all real, vivid, and joyous activity of the mind. It is not idle daydreaming, for you know that what you are experiencing in your imagination will be developed in your subconscious mind. Then you will be compelled to express the image and likeness of the picture you impressed on your deeper mind. This is the law of the subconscious.
You could apply the same technique if you are afraid of mountains or high places. Imagine you are climbing the mountain, feel the reality of it all, enjoy the scenery, knowing that as you continue to do this mentally, you will do it physically with ease and comfort.
He Blessed the Elevator
I knew an executive of a large corporation who was terrified to ride in an elevator. He would walk up to five flights of stairs to his office every morning. He said that he began to bless the elevator every night and several times a day. He finally overcame his fear. This was how he blessed the elevator: “The elevator in our building is a wonderful idea. It came out of the universal mind. It is a boon and a blessing to all our employees. It gives wonderful service. It operates in divine order. I ride in it in peace and joy. I remain silent now while the currents of life, love, and understanding flow through the patterns of my thought. In my imagination, I am now in the elevator, and I step out into my office. The elevator is full of our employees. I talk to them, and they are friendly, joyous, and free. It is a wonderful experience of freedom, faith, and confidence. I give thanks.”
He continued this prayer for about ten days, and on the eleventh day, he walked into the elevator with other members of the organization and felt completely free.
Normal and Abnormal Fear
Man is born only with two fears, the fear of falling and the fear of noise. These are an alarm system given to you by nature as a means of self-preservation. Normal fear is good. You hear an automobile coming down the road, and you step aside to survive. The momentary fear of being run over is overcome by your action. All other fears were given to you by parents, relatives, teachers, and all those who influenced your early years.
Abnormal fear takes place when a man lets his imagination run riot. There was a woman who was invited to go on a trip around the world by plane. She began to cut out of the newspapers all reports of airplane catastrophes. She pictured herself going down in the ocean, being drowned, etc. This is abnormal fear. Had she persisted in this, she would undoubtedly have attracted what she feared most.
Another example of abnormal fear is that of a businessman in New York who was very prosperous and successful. He had his own private mental motion picture, of which he was the director. He would run this mental movie of failure, bankruptcy, empty shelves, and no bank balance until he sank into a deep depression. He refused to stop this morbid imagery and kept reminding his wife that “this can’t last,” “there will be a recession,” “I feel sure we will go bankrupt,” etc.
His wife said that he finally did go into bankruptcy, and all the things he imagined and feared came to pass. The things he feared did not exist, but he brought them to pass by constantly fearing, believing, and expecting financial disaster. Job said, the thing I feared has come upon me.
Some people are afraid that something terrible will happen to their children and that some dread catastrophe will befall them. When they read about an epidemic or rare disease, they live in fear that they will catch it, and some imagine they have the disease already. All this is abnormal fear.
The Answer to Abnormal Fear
Move mentally to the opposite. To stay at the extreme of fear is stagnation plus mental and physical deterioration. When fear arises, there immediately comes with it a desire for something opposite to the thing feared. Place your attention on the thing immediately desired. Get absorbed and engrossed in your desire, knowing that the subjective always overturns the objective. This attitude will give you confidence and lift your spirits. The infinite power of your subconscious mind is moving on your behalf, and it cannot fail. Therefore, peace and assurance are yours.
Examine Your Fears
The president of a large organization said in an interview that he used to walk around the block five or six times before he called on a customer when he was a salesman. The sales manager came along one day and said to him, “Don’t be afraid of the boogie man behind the door. There is no boogieman. It is a false belief.”
The manager told him that he stared them in the face whenever he looked at his own fears and stood up to them, looking them straight in the eye. Then they faded and shrank into insignificance.
He Landed in the Jungle
A chaplain narrated his experiences in the Second World War. He had to parachute from a damaged plane and land in the jungle. He said he was frightened, but he knew there were two kinds of fear, normal and abnormal, which we have previously pointed out.
He decided to do something about the fear immediately and began to talk to himself, saying, “John, you can’t surrender to your fear. Your fear is a desire for safety and security and a way out.”
He began to claim, “Infinite intelligence which guides the planets in their courses is now leading and guiding me out of this jungle.”
He kept saying this out loud to himself for ten minutes or more. “Then,” he added, “Something began to stir inside me. A mood of confidence began to seize me, and I began to walk. After a few days, I miraculously came out of the jungle and was picked up by a rescue plane.”
His changed mental attitude saved him. His confidence and trust hi the subjective wisdom and power within him was the solution to his problem.
He said, “Had I begun to bemoan my fate and indulge my fears, I would have succumbed to the monster fear and probably would have died of fear and starvation.”
He Dismissed Himself
The general manager of an organization said that he feared he would lose his position for three years. He always imagined failure. The thing he feared did not exist, save as a morbid anxious thought in his own mind. His vivid imagination dramatized the loss of his job until he became nervous and neurotic. Finally, he was asked to resign.
Actually, he dismissed himself. His constant negative imagery and fear suggestions to his subconscious mind caused the latter to respond accordingly. It caused him to make mistakes and foolish decisions, which resulted in his failure as a general manager. His dismissal would never have happened if he had immediately moved to the opposite in his mind.
They Plotted Against Him
During a recent Zoom interview, I had a two-hour conversation with a prominent government official. He had a deep sense of inner peace and serenity. He said that all the abuse he receives politically from newspapers and the opposition party never disturbs him. His practice is to sit still for fifteen minutes in the morning and realize that he is a deep, still ocean of peace in the centre of him. Meditating in this way, he generates tremendous power, which overcomes all manner of difficulties and fears.
Some time previously, a colleague called him at midnight and told him a group of people was plotting against him. This is what he said to his colleague, “I am going to sleep now in perfect peace. You can discuss it with me at 10:00 A.M. tomorrow.”
He said to me, “I know that no negative thought can ever manifest except I emotionalize the thought and accept it mentally. I refuse to entertain their suggestion of fear. Therefore, no harm can come to me.”
Notice how calm he was, how cool, how peaceful! He did not start getting excited, tearing his hair, or wringing his hands. He found the still water at his center, an inner peace, and there was a great calm.
Deliver Yourself from All Your Fears
Use this perfect formula for casting out fear. I sought the Lord, and He heard me and delivered me from all my fears. PSALM 34:4. The Lord is an ancient word meaning law—the power of your subconscious mind.
Learn the wonders of your subconscious and how it works and functions—Master, the techniques given to you in this chapter. Put them into practice now, today! Your subconscious will respond, and you will be free of all fears. I sought the Lord, and He heard me and delivered me from all my fears.
Step this Way to Freedom from Fear
- Do the thing you are afraid to do, and the death of fear is certain. Say to yourself and mean it, “I am going to master this fear,” and you will.
- Fear is a negative thought in your mind. Supplant it with a constructive thought. Fear has killed millions. Confidence is greater than fear. Nothing is more powerful than faith in God and the good.
- Fear is man’s greatest enemy. It is behind failure, sickness, and bad human relations. Love casts out fear. Love is an emotional attachment to the good things of life. Fall in love with honesty, integrity, justice, goodwill, and success. Live in the joyous expectancy of the best, and invariably the best will come to you.
- Counteract the fear suggestions with the opposite, such as “I sing beautifully; I am poised, serene, and calm.” It will pay fabulous dividends.
- Fear is behind amnesia at oral and written examination time. You can overcome this by affirming frequently, “I have a perfect memory for everything I need to know,” or you can imagine a friend congratulating you on your brilliant success on the examination. Persevere, and you will win.
- If you are afraid to cross water, swim. In your imagination, swim freely, joyously. Project yourself into the water mentally. Feel the chill and thrill of swimming across the pool. Make it vivid. As you do this subjectively, you will be compelled to go into the water and conquer it. This is the law of your mind.
- If you are afraid of closed places, such as elevators, lecture halls, etc., mentally ride in an elevator, blessing all its parts and functions. You will be amazed at how quickly the fear will be dissipated.
- You were born with only two fears, the fear of falling and the fear of noise. All your other fears were acquired. Get rid of them.
- Normal fear is good. Abnormal fear is dreadful and destructive. To constantly indulge in fearful thoughts results in abnormal fear, obsessions, and complexes. To fear something persistently causes a sense of panic and terror.
- You can overcome abnormal fear when you know your subconscious mind’s power can change conditions and bring to pass the cherished desires of your heart. Give your immediate attention and devotion to your desire which is the opposite of your fear. This is the love that casts out fear.
- If you are afraid of failure, give attention to success. If you are afraid of sickness, dwell on your perfect health. If you are afraid of an accident, dwell on the guidance and protection of God. If you are afraid of death, dwell on Eternal Life. God is Life, and that is your life now.
- The great law of substitution is the answer to fear. Whatever you fear has its solution in the form of your desire. If you are sick, you desire health. If you are in the prison of fear, you desire freedom. Expect the good. Mentally concentrate on the good, and know that your subconscious mind always answers you. It never fails.
- The things you fear do not really exist except as thoughts in your mind. Thoughts are creative. This is why Job said; the thing I feared has come upon me. Think good, and good follows.
- Look at your fears; hold them up to the light of reason. Learn to laugh at your fears. That is the best medicine.
- Nothing can disturb you but your own thoughts. The suggestions, statements, or threats of other persons have no power. The power is within you, and when your thoughts are focused on that which is good, then God’s power is with your thoughts of good. There is only one Creative Power, and It moves in harmony. There are no divisions or quarrels in it. Its source is Love. This is why God’s power is with your thoughts of good.