Day 19 of the Overcoming Fear Challenge

What Choice Do I have?

choice signWe always have two choices, and only two choices. Either we accept things as they are or we can make the choice to change them.

Statistically, the happiest most adjusted  individuals are the ones who believe that they have a strong measure of control in their lives.They see themselves as victors.

The opposite is true for the people who believe in luck, fate, voodoo, and chance. These people are likely to give into their fears and doubts. They suffer from more physical and emotional problems. They see themselves as victims rather than victors.

One good way to overcome fear is to recognize that each one of us are created by a “power greater than yourself”, but we also must recognize that we are also  self-molded. It seems rather paradoxical, for sure, however, we must recognize that both are in effect for fear to lose it’s grip on us. We are given spiritual leadership, love, and natural laws that help us recognize the effects of every decision that we make, but we ultimately make our own decisions.

We have to replace our fear with knowledge and back that knowledge up by acting upon it. Failures should not be looked upon as the end result, but they should be looked upon as stepping stones.

We need to recognize that fear can be seen as False Evidence Appearing Real. A University of Michigan study from a number of years ago concluded that 60 percent of our fears are unwarranted. 20 percent come from past activities and there is nothing that we can do about them. 10 Percent are so minor that they really don’t matter. Of the remaining 10 percent, Only 4-5 percent are justifiable. The remainder of the fears that we have, we can do something about. We can minimize their effects if we simply stop worrying and start doing something about them.

In his book Seeds of Greatness, Denis Waitley suggests that we set aside one day every 7 weeks and mark it with a big F which will be our fear-in-disguise day. Eventually, it will become what we will call our follow-through day. On that day we will write down everything we can think of that we have anxiety or fear concerning. They can be current or future events, they can be problems in the world; they can be problems with family members. Include anything that might possibly be related to your business. Next we will write down any ideas that we might have toward reducing or eliminating that fear. choose things that you can actively do. Next, either telephone or arrange to have coffee with someone that we respect who can cast new light on your anxiety. (Be certain to look to someone who has a positive mental attitude. That you choose someone who will not wallow in it with you,)

 

About the Author

2014-04-07 07.07.08Cygnet Brown has recently finished her first nonfiction book: Simply Vegetable Gardening: Simple Organic Gardening Tips for the Beginning Gardener She is also the author of historical fiction series The Locket Saga Cygnet Brown resides in Springfield, Missouri.

Get a free copy of her newsletter and a free pdf copy of her e-booket: Vegetable Gardening in the Shade.

Day 19 Overcoming Fear Challenge ©2014 Donna (Cygnet) Brown

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Day 18 of the Overcoming Fear Challenge

Deepening Our Faith by Showing Gratitude

piccinni roland opera

 

Our faith is deepened when we express gratitude for what we have. spending some time in a gratitude journal helps. However, too often maintaining it can become unfruitful or even nonexistent. We begin doing things like writing in gratitude journals and then one of three things happen.

1. Another thing that happens is that before we develop the habit, we stop doing it because other priorities took its place. That’s why it is very important to begin creating small habits that involve very little commitment to do them. It is counterproductive to beat ourselves up for not spending a lot of time right at the beginning thanking our creator for his many wonderful it is much better to be grateful for the time that we did offer thanks that day. Set your timer for 5 minutes and write thank yous until the timer dings and you’re done. Remind yourself when you finish that anytime you can see something to be grateful for, you will express your gratitude in some way.

2. As they become habit, they involve no emotional involvement and are simply something that we do because they are mindless habits.To mix things up and keep this from happening, in addition to writing a daily journal entry, a good idea is to include additional activities every month. This way we can further inspire our gratitude and deepen our faith.

Here are things we can do:

  • Do something for someone who you know can do nothing for you in return.
  • Recall the three most influential people in your life. Write a letter to them telling them how they have influenced you and how grateful you are of their influence. If that person has passed, write the letter anyway and burn it and imagine the smoke of that letter being received by that person.
  • Every day when negative influences enter your thoughts, somehow turn it around so that you see the silver lining in that storm of your life. Then express gratitude for that silver lining.
  • Look for ways that others are doing something nice for you and thank them for their service. It will not just make you more observant of things to be grateful for, but you might make someone else’s day in the process.

About the Author

2014-04-07 07.07.08Cygnet Brown has recently finished her first nonfiction book: Simply Vegetable Gardening: Simple Organic Gardening Tips for the Beginning Gardener She is also the author of historical fiction series The Locket Saga Cygnet Brown resides in Springfield, Missouri.

Get a free copy of her newsletter and a free pdf copy of her e-booket: Vegetable Gardening in the Shade.

Day 18 Overcoming Fear Challenge ©2014 Donna (Cygnet) Brown

Day 17 of the Overcoming Fear Challenge

Develop Faith That Overcomes Fear

Faith is not something that once you get it you can put it in your wallet, stuff it into your back pocket and say that you have it. To have faith you must develop gratitude. You develop gratitude, you must work at making it a habit. The only real way to work at making gratitude a habit is to take the time for gratitude every day.

river meditation

I started a gratitude journal so that I will become focused on gratitude first thing every day. For fifteen minutes I focus on writing down all the things and that I am grateful for. This I do in addition to meditation, doing a Spanish lesson, yoga, and daily hygiene. It happens every day whether I feel like doing it or not.

It has not been easy for me being grateful every day. Since my last post, I lost my sister after she lost a year and a half battle against cancer. Less than six months ago, my brother died of a heart condition, and my father died from a stroke. I am older than both my sister and my brother who died and during the process I realized just how little I have done to accomplish those things that I know I am to do before I leave this life. I have a sense of urgency that I never had before. I have things to do, and I have a limited time to do them.

I think what I find that is difficult for me in having gratitude every day is that I have difficulty understanding why my sister who always seemed to have only kind words to say to people, who showed positivity every day of her life, should have died the painful death that she had to die. Yes, she was surrounded by family and friends and she was loved. The problem is, those family and friends who surrounded her are forever scarred over the hell she went through during her last days. I am having difficulty understanding how a loving God can let someone he loves suffer like that.

I know that gratitude is the right thing for building faith, but for me right now, it is a struggle.  I struggle everyday to remain grateful. It is very difficult for me. I can’t help but feel as though I am pitiful and unlovable. I have gotten to the root of my fear. The fear that I am not worthy of being loved by anyone including God and certainly not myself. I have not been faithful in giving the gratitude for what I have been given. I am not worthy. What scares me is the fact that if someone like my sister should suffer even when she was so friendly and so giving, then what chance to I have for ever being good enough or grateful enough. It is a hard thing to face, but definitely a fear to be reckoned with. I will not stop the struggle until this fear and the pain associated with it are no longer an issue.

About the Author

2014-04-07 07.07.08Cygnet Brown has recently finished her first nonfiction book: Simply Vegetable Gardening: Simple Organic Gardening Tips for the Beginning Gardener She is also the author of historical fiction series The Locket Saga Cygnet Brown resides in Springfield, Missouri.

Get a free copy of her newsletter and a free pdf copy of her e-booket: Vegetable Gardening in the Shade.

Day 17 Overcoming Fear Challenge ©2014 Donna (Cygnet) Brown

Day 16 of the Overcoming Fear Challenge

What is Faith?

earthWhat is faith? Faith seems like an intangible, but in fact is is a real as fear is real. You can’t say that fear is not real because its substance paralyzes. Faith, on the other hand, motivates and encourages. It is the power and the passion that keeps us going even when the circumstances around us say that what we are wanting is impossible to get or achieve. Faith is the opposite of Fear. Fear and Faith cannot exist in the same space and time. You cannot be fearful and faithful at the same time. Now that we know what faith is, the question next that needs to be asked is: Where does Faith originate?

We get Faith Through the Mind of God

Yesterday we said that faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. It was the word of God that created the universe. It was something that was thought up in God’s thoughts and spoken into existence. Scientists today call that the “big bang”.  How literally someone wants to take the creation story has little significance because the results are the same whether an individual believes in an old or a young earth. Most miss the more important part of this dramatization is that an idea that became words came the creative force that brought the universe  into existence. That is faith in its purest form.  According to the Bible, we were created in the image and likeness of God. We were created to be like him. We were designed to exude this kind of creative faith. We were designed to expand with the universe and to ever increase. It is through this voice that created the universe that we too can do great things. The question then becomes: How do we hear the gentle reassuring, creative,  prodding voice of the one who created us? In other words, how do we become in harmony with Creator of the natural and the universal laws upon which all life is grounded?

We Get Faith Through Gratitude

In Philippians chapter 4:6-9 the Apostle Paul explains how we get this kind of faith.

  1. Set aside specific times to think about all the good things that are in your life and put your wants and dreams into God’s hands (verse 6).
  2. If you’re in the right place, you will sense God’s peace in your heart and your mind will feel rested (verse 7).
  3. You focus on the good things around you. Feel the gratitude for all that you have been given.  (verse 8).
  4. You acknowledge the negative, not so good things and then put them into God’s hands (verse 6).
  5. You must begin doing the things that involve faith which include creative projects and giving to others who are not able to give back to you. Be grateful that you are able to create. Be grateful that you are able to give. Do whatever it is that you can do to make the world a better place.
  6. Your gratitude must not be given in order to get something in return. It must given freely and without expectation.

 

 

About the Author

2014-04-07 07.07.08Cygnet Brown has recently finished her first nonfiction book: Simply Vegetable Gardening: Simple Organic Gardening Tips for the Beginning Gardener She is also the author of historical fiction series The Locket Saga Cygnet Brown resides in Springfield, Missouri.

Get a free copy of her newsletter and a free pdf copy of her e-booket: Vegetable Gardening in the Shade.

Day 16 Overcoming Fear Challenge, What is Faith? ©2014 Donna (Cygnet) Brown

Day 15 of the Overcoming Fear Challenge

The Opposite of Fear

Once fear is recognized and asked to leave, fear must be replaced by something more powerful than itself. The best way to fill that void where fear was is to fill that void with faith?a_place_to_meditate

What is faith exactly? According to Hebrews 11:1 Faith is the substance of things hoped for. What is this substance called faith and how do we get it?

Although faith is often considered a religious term thrown around in religious circles, faith is not as esoteric and many people seem to think that it is. In many ways it is as substantial as the wind or your breath and in many ways just as powerful.

Fear paralyzes, but faith empowers. Faith sees the vision of what we have hoped for. It creates the details of our imagination. It fires the motivation and action that follows. It dominates the human willpower and makes things happen.

How do we get faith? The Bible says that “faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God.” Too often people think this means that we need to read our Bibles, but I don’t think that is what this verse is really saying. I think that what it is actually saying is that the voice of the creator is whispering ideas of great creative service into your mind. Listen to that voice and recognize the spark. Kindle that  spark of inspiration with the power of faith and act upon it.

Faith without works is dead. Faith without action is as good as the fear it replaced. It has no value at all. If we want our faith to grow, we must act upon those God-given (some people would term them universe-given) breaths of inspiration. What inspirations have you been given? Fan them today with the power of faith. Fear will flee. The life that was so small in the darkness of fear will ignite into an inferno once a spark of faith has touched it.

 

About the Author

2014-04-07 07.07.08Cygnet Brown has recently finished her first nonfiction book: Simply Vegetable Gardening: Simple Organic Gardening Tips for the Beginning Gardener She is also the author of historical fiction series The Locket Saga Cygnet Brown resides in Springfield, Missouri.

Get a free copy of her newsletter and a free pdf copy of her e-booket: Vegetable Gardening in the Shade.

Day 15 Overcoming Fear Challenge ©2014 Donna (Cygnet) Brown

Day 14 of the Overcoming Fear Challenge

Our Favorite Excuse

Yesterday on this blog, we saw a YouTube video talking about how excuses prevent us from getting what we want. Excuses are akin to fear.  They are fear’s greatest ally. In the video, he mentioned that we use our relationships as excuses for not doing things. Here are a few others and with them some good reasons why they are irrelevant reasons.

Excuse: I’m too old.

Back in 2008, many people over 50 lost their jobs because of cut backs, their jobs have never returned, and now they face the task of looking for more work. What they used to do has been taken over by technology or through a business structure change. Many of them feel as though they are too old to start over. However, that is often further from the truth. What older adults have that a young person doesn’t have is experience and the wisdom of time. What experiences do you have to bring to the table? How can you re-spin those experiences into a new purpose? Make a list of your experience in the area in which you are using that excuse. Focus on the value that you could bring to the situation rather than letting fear get the better of you. older_workers_chart1

Excuse: I’m too young.

This one comes in various forms. It could be I’m not old enough. It could be I don’t have enough experience. It could be I haven’t worked here long enough. To overcome this excuse, focus instead on what you as a younger, newer person have to bring to the table. You’re young. You’re educated in the latest technology that many older people don’t understand. You probably have more energy than older people. Because you’re younger, you can recover more quickly so you can take more risks.

Excuse: My Health Isn’t Good Enough

If health issues are on your list of excuses, start doing something to help improve your health. There are very few of us in this country who have perfect health habits, so if bad health is your excuse, find ways to improve it. Talk to your doctor about ways that you can improve your health.  Quit smoking, eat healthier foods, get more rest at night, cut down or eliminate alcohol, and exercise. Don’t try to do it all at once, but incremental changes start showing results quickly. If you have physical problems that prevent you from doing certain kinds of exercises, see a physical therapist to find exercises that are appropriate for your condition.

Excuse: I’m not Smart Enough

Never underestimate your own intelligence. We all have areas of our lives where we have intelligence that others have. True common sense does not exist because no intelligence is common to everyone. What do you know that your next door neighbor does not know? I learned a few months ago that I know a lot about gardening that many people don’t know, and that with the price of food going up every day, gardening has become a hot topic. I started sharing that knowledge with others even though I am not an official master gardener.

When I started my college education, I thought that I would have to study hard to learn a lot, but what I learned most was that I didn’t have to learn that much. I already knew a lot of it, and what I did not know, I could look up. Since the advent of the internet, this excuse is out the window. If you don’t know the answer to a specific thing, my simple answer is Google it. Find someone who is doing what you want to do and emulate them. If you don’t know how to do something, look up someone through Google who does. Whatever it is that you are wanting to do, write down the questions that you feel you must ask and find someone who has the answers.

Excuse: I’m Just Not Lucky Enough

leprechaun

To parody a song by Tina Turner, “What’s luck got to do with it?” Luck is what happens to people who are good at what they do and do the right things to get into a position where when the climate is right, they take advantage of it. Take, for instance, my friend, Laura McHugh. She spent a year writing her book: The Weight of Blood and once she submitted the book to publishers, there was a bidding war for her book! That’s unheard of in this publishing climate and most people would put that down as “a lucky break”. What most people don’t realize is that she has been honing her skills since grade school. She has a master’s degree in Librarian Studies. She has numerous short stories under her belt. Her book may have had over night success, but she’s worked hard for a number of years to get there.

If luck seems to be holding you back, take good long look at the circumstances in which you believe that luck has played a factor.  Were you really as prepared as you could have been? I am one of those who are guilty of trying to take the shortcut by taking what I think is an easy way. I’ve done it with diets, get rich quick schemes, and I have done it in my writing. I had to learn the hard way that shortcuts do not lead to success. It is said that luck is when opportunity meets preparedness and that saying is very true. I have had to stop blaming luck for my own lack of success.  I am responsible for my own destiny.

Excuse: I Can’t Because. . .  (you fill in the blank)

Although these are a few of the most common excuses, I’m certain that you can come up with more that fear has adopted to prevent you from getting what you want out of life. Look for your excuses, examine them carefully and find you need to do to prove their irrelevance. I would love to know what your excuses are, and what you intend to do about them.

 

 About the Author

2014-04-07 07.07.08Cygnet Brown has recently finished her first nonfiction book: Simply Vegetable Gardening: Simple Organic Gardening Tips for the Beginning Gardener She is also the author of historical fiction series The Locket Saga Cygnet Brown resides in Springfield, Missouri.

Get a free copy of her newsletter and a free pdf copy of her e-booket: Vegetable Gardening in the Shade.

Day 14 Overcoming Fear Challenge ©2014 Donna (Cygnet) Brown

Day 13 of the Overcoming Fear Challenge

Excuses: Fear’s Biggest Ally

Why is it that we don’t do what we really want to do in life? We make excuses for why we can’t do what it is that we say we want to do. Why do we do that? We do that because we cloak fear in the shroud of what many call “being realistic”. Its not realistic to dream, we are told and since whoever it is we are listening to cares about us, we internalize “being realistic”. When we do step out and begin to entertain our dreams, the voice of “reality” gets louder in its support of these excuses. In this TEDx video: Why You Will Fail To Have Great Career  by Larry Smith, he examines various excuses that we use and challenges us to step beyond those excuses.

When I started this series, I had no idea where each of these posts would lead. I had no idea what answers I would discover when I began writing. All I knew was that I needed to start this 30 day series for my own benefit. I have heard that when you ask for something, God will bring you the answers to your questions. This morning when I awoke, I had no idea that this video by Larry Smith would be included in this series, but when I saw it, I knew that it was a piece of the puzzle and it was something that I have been struggling with for a long time. I hope you gain new insights as I have from this fifteen minute video.

About the Author

2014-04-07 07.07.08Cygnet Brown has recently finished her first nonfiction book: Simply Vegetable Gardening: Simple Organic Gardening Tips for the Beginning Gardener She is also the author of historical fiction series The Locket Saga Cygnet Brown resides in Springfield, Missouri.

Get a free copy of her newsletter and a free pdf copy of her e-booket: Vegetable Gardening in the Shade.

Day 13 Overcoming Fear Challenge ©2014 Donna (Cygnet) Brown

Day 12 of the Overcoming Fear Challenge

When Fear Holds Your Dreams Hostage

“When you do what you fear most, then you can do anything.”

During the night last night, I awoke and I thought about my current circumstances and how fear has kept me from reaching my dreams. It is as though there is an energy within me that is holding me back and making it difficult for me to do what it is that I want to do. It reminds me of gravity. This it is as though it would take superhuman strength for me to be able to resist the power that fear has over me. It is as though fear holds my dreams hostage.

space shuttle

Put the rocket of action to use to propel out of the grasp of fear.

I knew that there must be some way to break free of these fears. I knew that the discussion that we discussed in yesterday’s blog was not enough. I knew that there had to be something that I needed to do in order to free the captive dream. What is it that I need to do?

I didn’t know. I am still not exactly certain, but I do know one thing. In order for fear to no longer hold my dreams hostage, I had to do something. It takes action to break free of fear.

I learned something else yesterday that is very important to this situation. I learned that in order to free myself of fear, I need to use willpower and that I am allotted a certain amount of willpower every day. To break free of fear and remain free of that fear, it is important to use the willpower early in the day. I will do what I fear most first. This means that I must not procrastinate. I must let fear know that I am serious when I say that I no longer need him to protect me from the dreams that fear holds hostage.

 

About the Author

2014-04-07 07.07.08Cygnet Brown has recently finished her first nonfiction book: Simply Vegetable Gardening: Simple Organic Gardening Tips for the Beginning Gardener She is also the author of historical fiction series The Locket Saga Cygnet Brown resides in Springfield, Missouri.

Get a free copy of her newsletter and a free pdf copy of her e-booket: Vegetable Gardening in the Shade.

Day 12 Overcoming Fear Challenge ©2014 Donna (Cygnet) Brown

Day 11 of the Overcoming Fear Challenge

exit interview

The best way to get rid of fear is to let hm know that he is no longer needed.

 An Exit Interview with Fear

Yesterday we talked about how fear is like a protective coating that protects us from things that can harm us, but in order for us to grow, we must tell the fear that it is no longer needed.  Its not as though we need to get angry or upset with fear. The truth is, it is best when we address our fear that we are calm and don’t get excited because excitement makes fear raise up its defenses. We do much better if we can address fear with a coolly, rationally and lovingly.

The best way to get rid of fear is to let hm know that he is no longer needed.

Imagine that you are an employer and that fear’s job has been terminated. Treat this conversation like an exit interview and fear is getting the ax. Here is how such a conversation could go:

In an interview room, two chairs are facing one another. I am sitting in one. Fear enters the room. He is standing very militarily. His eyes are ever watchful. He is proud of the work that he has been doing.  I motion fear to take the seat facing the one in which I am sitting.

Me: Hello fear, I see that you have been very busy taking care of business. I see that you are trying to protect me from failure, and I appreciate your efforts.

Fear: Well, thank you. It is nice that I am appreciated.

Me: You’ve come to work every day, did your time, did your job well. Too well in fact. However, I have bad news for you. The job that you have been do no longer is needed so I have to let you go. It is time for me to grow, and the job that you have been doing is hindering that grown. I’m sorry, but I have to let you go.

Fear: But I like it here. Please keep me on.

Me: The truth is,Your job was supposed to have been a temporary one. I have kept you on far longer than I should have.

Fear: But if I leave, you’ll be more vulnerable. I won’t be here to protect you.

Me: But if you stay, I can’t grow and grow I must.

Fear: I see. I understand. I wish it were different. I really liked working for you.

Me: And you did your job well. It is just that I no longer need the services you provide. Good-bye fear.

Fear: Good-bye.

(Fear gets up. He is stooped over, his head low. He walks out of the room. I sort of feel sorry for him, but I know that it is for the best. It is time for me to grow.)

About the Author

2014-04-07 07.07.08Cygnet Brown has recently finished her first nonfiction book: Simply Vegetable Gardening: Simple Organic Gardening Tips for the Beginning Gardener She is also the author of historical fiction series The Locket Saga Cygnet Brown resides in Springfield, Missouri.

Get a free copy of her newsletter and a free pdf copy of her e-booket: Vegetable Gardening in the Shade.

Day 11 Overcoming Fear Challenge ©2014 Donna (Cygnet) Brown