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The fastest way to learn to relax around famous people is to have repeated exposure to them, but that is far from practical and easier said than done if you afraid of them to begin with.

What does "to begin with" modify in this sentence? Does it modify “that is far from practical and easier said than done” or “you afraid of them”? And If i have to rewrite it, can I write that " The fastest way to learn to relax around famous people is to have repeated exposure to them, but if you afraid of them, that is far from practical and easier said than done early on"

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    It refers to "if you are afraid of them". – user5267 Oct 25 '16 at 10:13
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"To begin with" in most cases means "in the first place", or "in the beginning". It refers to something that is already true (or that you want to assert is true) and may have always been true.

In this case "to begin with" modifies "afraid of them" by stating it may be an existing situation:

... if you are already afraid of them.

Other examples:

"Why didn't you have dinner ready?" "To begin with, I didn't even know you were coming home early!"

"Why didn't you feed her cat while you were there?" "I didn't even know she had a cat to begin with."

The book is incomprehensible. To begin with, the writer excessively uses obscure and archaic language that you have to look up in a dictionary.

What were you doing in that house? You should never have been anywhere near there to begin with.

And so on.

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