I'm thinking of a demeaning, disempowering, filthy, four-letter word that begins with the letter "F" but I doubt you'll ever hear anybody shout it out as an angry expletive. Here's a hint: it isn't feet.

The four-letter word is fear.

As President Roosevelt so eloquently put forth many years ago, "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself." This rhetorical tidbit is elegant and wise. Too bad it won't fit on the dime under FDR's profile - it's well worth keeping in mind. By the way, there is a name for the fear of fear. It's called phobophobia.

The list of phobias goes on forever. The sheer variety on the menu of terrors is mind numbing. While one of my beliefs is that most people are capable of becoming self-actualized, thriving, serene beings, there is also, unfortunately, no limit to the torment to which the human mind is capable of subjecting itself. You name it, there's an irrational fear of it. For example:

Ablutophobia: the fear of bathing.

I was wondering why there wasn't another phobia identified for the people who fear the people who fear bathing - but then I realized that there's nothing irrational about wanting to avoid that guy rummaging through the dumpster who smells like the Pittsburgh Steelers locker-room at halftime. Am I over-thinking this? More importantly, is there an irrational fear of not thinking things through properly? Because I may suffer from that one.


Omphalophobia: an irrational fear of belly buttons.

Aeronausiphobia: the fear of vomiting on a plane.

Actually, these folks are not averse to blowing chunks on the outside of the aircraft, like on the wing or the fuselage or the landing gear. They're afraid of being sick in their seat and being forced to use the paper bag. (Hey - better in the paper bag than in your hat.)

Alektorophobia: an intense and strange fear of chickens.

Geniophobia: the unusual fear of chins.

And, of course, the most common fear of them all, claustrophobia, defined as the fear of jolly fat men in red suits with big white beards bearing gifts.

Laughter can often dispel fear, which is why I tweaked that last one.

The vast majority of fears, especially phobias, are learned. The only unlearned (or inherent) fears known to behavioral scientists - those fears that occur naturally in the human psyche - are the fear of loud noises and the fear of falling.

Everything else, from spiders to snakes to chickens to chins.... all other fears are taught to us. Like bright-eyed little students, we pay attention in class and learn our lessons well. Fears are either (1) conditioned into us during childhood by our parents, bless their hearts, who hand them down like a tainted legacy or (2) they are bludgeoned into our skulls by our own traumatic experiences. Fire is a wonderful, beautiful, fascinating, hypnotic phenomenon. A toddler is drawn to the flickering candle with no fear. But then flame kisses fingertip, and a painful lesson is learned - a lesson that each one of us probably has suffered through. Who among us would actually fear fire unless we had been burned by it once or twice?

Whatever their origin, we are vulnerable to sabotage by our fears.

In my work, I've learned that the one basic, fundamental and omnipresent obstacle to human happiness and fulfillment in any possible earthly or spiritual endeavor is fear. Fear is a human condition; have you ever felt one or more of these demons? Of course you have.

Fear of the unknown.
Fear of failure.
Fear of success.
Fear of death.
Fear of loss.
Fear of rejection.
Fear of intimacy.
Fear of judgment.

Funny thing about fear - in spite of the anxiety it engenders, it also presents us with a precious, priceless opportunity. Because if we can just transcend that fear, we will grow stronger. There will be a much better likelihood for us to achieve success, prosperity and joy. Fear is like a door slammed shut in our face. Our mind tricks us into thinking that the door is locked. But there is no lock. All we have to do is open that door and walk on through to the other side.

Helping people overcome their fears is intrinsic to my work. With every client I encounter, on each project I undertake, success or failure hinges upon a synergy between (1) my ability to facilitate and provoke people to transcend their fears and (2) their dedication to achieving the outcome or manifesting the result. This is key - fear doesn't magically just disappear; we must move proactively through the fear, and by so doing we take back the power it would steal from us.

I'm reminded of the classic Universal Studios movie monster, "The Mummy" - as chillingly portrayed by Boris Karloff. This decrepit, decomposing Egyptian pharaoh managed to strangle to death dozens of his victims despite the fact that he moved slower than my grandmother wearing ankle weights. Think about it... he's got a limp and he's unraveling. He's tripping over his bandages. He couldn't outrun a tortoise, yet he still manages to chase down all of these vigorous, healthy and able-bodied people. Why?

His victims are incapacitated by fear.

Some advice: if you're ever surprised late at night in your house by an undead, ambulatory mummy, grab your cell-phone and car keys, walk calmly outside, hop in the car, call 911 and drive to Starbucks for a cappuccino. And be sure to capture the mummy on video with your cell-phone. You can post it on YouTube and watch it go viral.

Fear is a complete and utter waste of time and energy. An influential writer of the French Renaissance, Michel de Montaigne said it best:

"My life has been full of terrible misfortunes - most of which have never happened."

Closer to home, Ralph Waldo Emerson articulated these words of wisdom:

"Fear always springs from ignorance."

And these:

"Always do what you are afraid to do."

I've found that fear lives in a dark, silent place. It is destroyed by the sound of reason. It cannot survive in the light. I illuminate that darkness by sparking a dialog with my clients. I co-create with them a written plan of action - strategies and tactics enhanced with essential visual aids that empower them to overcome the barriers to their success and happiness. Most fears cannot withstand this kind of geometric logic and scrutiny. I help my clients see their fears for the phantoms that they really are.

Recognize that most fears spring from negative, erroneous patterns of thought. These thoughts are nothing but noise; they are monkeys chattering and screeching inside your brain. Once we recognize the truth - that these thoughts are false and invalid - we can then replace them with healthier ways of thinking. Sound science, reason and a dose of courage - even courage borrowed - will silence the monkeys.

Exactly what is paralyzing you? What haunts your dreams? Whatever fears are holding you back and preventing you from manifesting your Higher Self, take my advice. Breathe deeply, stay calm and talk some sense to yourself. If you can't defeat your fears, write them down on a piece of paper. Then apply "The Universal Success Formula." Soon you will be able to see clearly and reason your way past those fears. You will break the spell they have on you.

Remember this: fear holds no power over the person with a clear and well-conceived strategy, sufficient desire and a brave heart. Your courage will be born out of your simple intention to succeed and a logical plan of action - a plan that will inspire your confidence.

A plan that will prevent that mummy from backing you into a corner.

Author's Bio: 

Bruce Raymond Wright
Inventor, Entrepreneur, Author, Trainer, Speaker and Mentor

Bruce has over two decades of practical ‘in the trenches’ success helping those around him transcend their greatest challenges and optimize results in an array of complex areas including:

• Clarifying your vision of what is most important in life, relationships, business and wealth management
• Developing and implementing your written plan to turn your greatest vision into reality
• Strategic business planning; entrance, growth and or exit strategies
• How to transcend adversity in life, career, money, relationships and health
• Acquiring and applying timeless wisdom in life, business, wealth management, relationships, philanthropy and business succession planning

Bruce’s first book, The Wright Exit Strategy; Wealth – How To Create It, Keep It and Use It, has helped tens of thousands of people to improve control over their lives, business endeavors, philanthropy and wealth management.

His next book, Living Majestically; An Elephant’s Guide, will help all who apply its teachings to know how to identify and implement new thinking, behaviors and the skills necessary to live life more majestically!

For more information, please visit www.balancedsuccessinternational.com or call 800-997-2664.

Bruce does not sell, offer or provide investments or insurance.