The 6 basic fears part 2: The other 5 basic fears

In our previous post, we started talking about the 6 basic fears people have according to Napoleon Hill’s philosophy in his (excellent) book “Think and grow rich“. The previous post spoke about the fear of poverty, which is evident in almost everyone’s life, that the entire post was dedicated just for it.

Today’s post will speak about the other 5 basic fears. As you read through, note which (if any)  of the fears are present in your life. Since these fears are so subtle and disguise themselves as other things, it might be a bit difficult to spot them at first. Hopefully, this post will help clear things out so it will be possible to see these fears for what they are, ghosts and nothing more.

Admitting to ourselves that these fears are affecting our lives is difficult at first, but in order to get over them, it’s important that we first recognize them for what they are.

The fear of criticism

Criticism is something that everybody has and easily share it, whether it is called for or not. Criticism will rob people of their initiative, destroy self-reliance, instill fear and reduce individuality. Come to think of it, I can think of one positive thing that criticism does.

There is a big difference between criticism and constructive suggestions. The first is completely negative and can destroy lives, the other aims to be positive and have the interest of helping the other. People who earnestly want to help other people and suggest constructive suggestions are usually well liked and bring the best out of the people they help.

Everyone was the target of criticism at least once in their life. The trick to handle criticism is to exercise our control we have over our mind and don’t let it into the subconscious mind or believe in it. Taylor swift has a good song about it

The fear of ill health

This fear is closely related to the fear of death and the fear of old age. The fear is caused because of the imagined suffering it can bring and the uncertainty that it can bring when death comes. It is also sometimes caused because of the financial difficulties that can arise with bad health.

One expression of this fear is hypochondria which is a constant and continual worry about having a serious illness, and finding or making up symptoms of various diseases in one’s body. In recent years there are more and more evidence that our bodily health is closely related to our mental health, and that many physical illnesses are caused or worsened due to mental attitudes and conditions like stress anxiety and depression.

The seed of this fear is found in every human mind. disappointment, worry, stress, anxiety and painful life events can cause this seed to grow.

The fear of loss of love

This fear needs little explaining. It is probably the most painful of all the fears and probably affects the mind the most.

The most obvious symptom of this fear is jealousy. In lesser form, it can be expressed as the inability to free the object of the love, and wanting to have control over its actions or life. Another symptom is being suspicious of the object of the love without any cause, and sometimes even accusing it of infidelity.

Another less known symptom is being suspicious of everyone and finding fault with friends and family without the slightest provocation or without any cause whatsoever.

The fear of old age

This fear is caused because of several major concerns. The first one being the increased possibility of ill health. Another major concern for many people which is causing this fear is the loss of freedom and financial independence.

A symptom of this fear could be the nurturing of the belief that as we grow older our mind start to slip and we become less productive/useful/sharp. This is far from the truth. As a matter of fact, our older years are more than likely to be our best ones and our most prolific in terms of business and life.

Many people as they start growing older voluntarily lose their ability to imagine and be self-reliant believing themselves to be too old to do things or continue their life as before. This only affirms their belief that they are “too old” and they go in a cycle of mental decay.

The fear of death

The reason for this fear is obvious. We don’t know what comes after death. There is a big uncertainty regarding everything that surrounds death.

The thing is this fear is really irrelevant for our life. Death is an essential part of life. Without it, we would underestimate our lives. Death would come to each and every one of us so we might as well accept it and move on.

Life is energy, if it is anything, and energy can’t be destroyed, it can merely be transformed. If energy can only be transformed then life itself cannot be destroyed, but merely transformed. So death is a mere transition of life from one state to another.

If you wish to reject the above statement, then death is not a transition of life. This means that nothing comes after death. If nothing comes after death than it is simply a long peaceful sleep. Sleep is nothing to feared from, so there is no need to fear death.


This sums up the rest of the basic fears, and together with the fear of poverty, they account the 6 most basic fears we have.

The next and final post in this series will cover what we can do with each of these fears, and how we can either overcome them or eliminate them from our life, so our mind could be free to hold other more positive thoughts.

4 thoughts on “The 6 basic fears part 2: The other 5 basic fears

  1. I believe these fears are the motivation and lack of motivation for everything anyone does in their life. It’s almost as if some are running away from or running to the very thing they fear and thus their life in the immediate is unfulfilling and joyless. Thank you for a well written article. As a health coach, I see these underlying fears that drive my clients behaviors.

    • ido

      Thanks for sharing. Fears indeed affect our lives a lot. Sometimes they are so subtle that it’s hard to notice that. And their effects can certainly impact our health.

  2. An enlightening post for me. I recognize all these fears. The most strong ones are fear of criticism and fear of old age. The Fear of old age for me is less related to health and more related to personal appearance. Its the fear of not looking good and presentable. I think its the strongest fear most woman have.
    Looking forward for the next post.

    • ido

      Interesting.
      Never thought about the fear of old age like that. Guess you are right. Old age would come if we worry about it or not. Worrying won’t make it go away so the best thing we could is simply look at the benefits it bring with it like self-control, wisdom and more appreciation for life, rather the focus on its downsides.

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