How to Completely drop Fear?

Acharya Prashant
5 min readJun 25, 2019
Photo by Alexandra Gorn on Unsplash

The different kinds of fear that we experience are just like different leaves of the same tree. It’s a very horrible tree. The tree of fear. Now, you can either keep plucking each single leaf, and there are thousands and thousands of such leaves; you can either keep plucking each single leaf, trying to get rid of, trying to destroy the different kinds of fears or you can strike straight at the root. And remember even if you keep plucking the leaves, leaves have a way to emerge again, as long as the root is there. One leaf is gone, two leaves are gone and you find four new leaves have arisen.

What is the root of fear, let’s look at that.

All fear arises from a sense of cultivated incompleteness. All fear arises from a sense of learned inadequacy. Both mean the same, cultivated incompleteness and learned inadequacy. We have cultivated a feeling within us that we are incomplete and that incompleteness is to be filled with objects brought from outside, thoughts, ideologies, people, relationships, money, respect, qualifications.

The urge to achieve, accomplish, acquire, become something, that is based on an assumption that I need to achieve, I need to become. We never question, enquire or challenge that assumption. The need to become, the need to achieve, arises from the cultivated thought that there is something missing within me. Remember, it is a cultivated thing, it is not a fact. It’s not existential; it’s social. It’s man-made. Systems around us, education, society, they gave it to us. That there is something missing within us and we need to achieve in the World in order to fill that missing stuff. As if there is a hole in the heart and you need to plug that hole with accomplishments of all kinds.

Now what happens is, when you have this feeling that I am inadequate, I am unworthy, so I need to be ambitious. So, I need to achieve more and more, then you have based your self-worth on things acquired from outside. Things, ideas, relationships that are all external. Your entire sense of being, your entire self-esteem, self-worth, self-concept is now dependent upon the World. All identities are coming from outside. Everything that you think is precious is now coming from outside.

Because what have you told yourself? What have you assumed about yourself? That I am fundamentally unworthy and I will become worthy only when I acquire such and such stuff from the World! And remember, this is cultivated. This is a part of the conditioning that is given to the child that you don’t mean much. The child goes out and he does achieve. But now his entire sense of being is dependent upon achievements. And all achievements come from the World.

Remember, what comes from the World can always be taken back by the World.

Fear is the name of this thought. Fear is the thought that I can lose that which is central, essential and most important. And remember, it’s a cultivated thought. It’s a man-made thing; it is not existential. It has been implanted within us by those who are ignorant.

That is the root of fear, the assumed sense of inner incompleteness.

It shows up in many ways. We want to look good, for example. We want to pretend that we are worthy. We use makeup in all kinds of ways. Not only upon our face but also upon our mannerisms, on our CVs. This feeling that I require to be made up, is a deep inferiority complex. It is that cultivated helplessness, cultivated incompleteness.

We are being continuously told that there is something seriously wrong with us and we must do something about it.

You don’t have a house? There is something wrong with you. Your car is small? There is something wrong with you; come, buy our new product. Oh, you don’t wear clothes of our brand? Ah, you don’t deserve to be called a human being then! You aren’t earning this much? Why are you alive? People don’t chase you, people don’t propose to you? You don’t deserve to live. That’s what’s being continuously told, that your entire self-worth depends on what the world gives you.

There was nobody and there is hardly anyone today who comes and tells you that you are complete, beautiful and wonderful, as you are. That your essence lacks nothing. That you might be deficient in skills or knowledge. But still, at the core, at the center, you are just complete. We do not get this message ever. All messages that come to us, from media, from education, from all the social systems; all the messages that come to us are messages that try to make us inferior in a covert way.

Whosoever wants to control you, can control you only if you feel small about yourself.

You have assumed that there is something missing in you, that hole in the heart, which is not there, but you are assuming that it is there. And you are unnecessarily trying to fill that nonexistent hole with a false medicine.

Fear is nothing but the thought of losing something very precious. If you pay attention you will see that that which is really precious can never be taken away from you. So, there is no need to fear. Only small things can be taken away. The really important can never be taken away. Hence, there is no need to fear.

The really important was never given to you by the World, so how can the World take it back?

The really important is something so intrinsic, so innate to your being that nobody can touch it.

The secret of living fearlessly is to not to be dependent upon the World. The more you are dependent upon the World, the more afraid will be your life.

Remember, you may lack in a few small matters here and there. Knowledge, skill, money, this and that. There is no end to them. But all that is superficial. The center of your being is always good, brilliant, perfect. The one who lives in this awareness, cannot be afraid. Fear will come, but it will not touch him at the core, it will remain at the surface of the mind and vanish from there.

Acharya Prashant regularly writes at and to connect closely with his teachings watch his YouTube videos at Official YouTube Channel or visit his website.

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