Celeste Smucker Nellysford, VA, United States
Chapter 15 The Six Ghosts of Fear
In the MFF mastermind sessions we frequently talk about excuses and how if someone wants to quit, any excuse will do. Excuses are what we use to hold ourselves back. They are how we rationalize staying stuck...and why would we do that? Fear. Hill talks about doubt and indecision coming together to crystallize into fear, and an easy way to eliminate the stress of doubt and indecision is to come up with an excuse...any excuse. When we do that we justify our fears and don't move forward like we could.
What are we afraid of? Hill gives us six categories of fear which are poverty, criticism, ill health, loss of love, old age and death and when we explore these a bit we can find some interesting ideas.
For example, Michael often tells the story of people who aren't sure they like the idea of self development because they may not like (or maybe they fear?) the person they will become. Why would anyone fear their best self? Maybe it's because we fear our friends and family who know us well may not approve of us anymore. Maybe they won't approve of us as a successful business person because they think a job is the only "safe" way to make a living. Or maybe they worry that we will move somewhere else, or find different friends. But is it worth it to play small to stay in the good graces of someone who doesn't want us to be our best self? This seems to be an extreme example of us fearing criticism and loss of love.
Or maybe we fear we will end up broke and friendless if we quit a job to start a business, move to another city, or find different friends. Maybe the new friends won't like us as much or appreciate us as much. In other words, we fear poverty in finances and relationships if we change and that keeps us stuck in old ways of doing things.
But remember that Hill says fears are ghosts...and ghosts have no substance. They may seem scary at night, but when we turn on the lights or when the sun comes up they disappear and show themselves as the illusion they are. We always have a choice about who we want to be. We can stay stuck in the illusion of fear or we can step out into the light and be who we were meant to be, do what we came here to do. There is a famous quote from Marianne Williamson that expresses this well. It starts like this: “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us." In other words, don't play small, find your light and let it shine. She goes on to say that when we do so, when we let go of our fear and become our best selves, we also give other people permission to do the same....and this is a great description of the mastermind principle at work.
Celeste Smucker, Nellysford, VA