Day 20 of the Overcoming Fear Challenge

Getting Rid of the Victim Mentality

faith-is-not-believing-that-god-can-quotes

We hold ourselves hostage when we allow fears to dictate how we will conduct our lives. The biggest problem with our fears is that they are often entrenched in our daily habits. To add insult to injury, we have family and friends who tell us why we are unable to do the things that we dream about doing. Whenever we hit a snag in our plans, these same people are quick to say “I told you so.” rather than offering genuine service toward helping us determine our next course of action. Because the thoughts inside our heads are telling us that we can’t and our family and friends are reinforcing that victim mentality, it is no wonder we are stuck in the frustration that nothing is working. So what do we need to do? How do we break free of this cycle of being stuck because of fear?

First thing we have to do is to exchange our negative fearful thoughts with thoughts of faith. The important thing is however is to take baby steps. As much as we would like to, we cannot change over night. Habits of negativity have to be exchanged for habits of positive action a little at a time. We determine what is our toughest daily challenges first and then do what remains with the time left.

We need to begin raising our standards on a daily basis and become more self-reliant. We need higher personal and professional standards than the negative people around us. Begin by taking the best care of yourself possible. We should put our best foot forward in everything that we do. Think quality rather than quantity. Think excellence rather than just doing enough to get by. When getting ready to take risks, acknowledge your fears. We need to recognize that true security does not originate in others. Weigh the benefits against the risks. Know that you have a plan and that by taking the risk, you are becoming more independent. Like a swimmer at the end of a diving board, jump in head first.

 

Next we need to exchange the time we spend with our negative family and friends for people who encourage us and help build us up. We need to prepare ourselves for the knowledge that those negative people are not going to change simply because we change. If anything, they are likely to become more resistant to our growth. Some people we will need to eliminate entirely. Others, we will need to simply learn to tune out until it becomes clear to them that they really were wrong about us. We need to have faith in ourselves that someday we will become their role models.

 

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 20 Overcoming Fear Challenge ©2014 Donna (Cygnet) Brown

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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

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 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 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

Achieving My Greatest Goal

There is no limitation to the mind except those we acknowledge, both poverty and riches are the offspring of thought.”-  Napoleon Hill

Can you believe that we are already a quarter of the way through 2014? Are you on track for reaching your annual goals? I am a member of a Mastermind group and Monday afternoon, the leader of the group was instructing us on how to achieve our biggest goal for the year, and the information was so significant, that I knew I had to share it.

me_on_the_laptop

The first thing we have to do, of course, is to determine exactly what the goal is. I knew from past experience that goals should be SMART goals. Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic, and Time Sensitive.

I didn’t really know what my goal was until he asked Monday what our most important goal was. I suddenly knew what it was and wrote it down.

“I will make $2000 a month writing (net) by the end of 2014. “

It fits all the criteria of a SMART goal. What this goal is not saying is that I expect to make money from the novels that I have written or from the books I have written, but that writing will be the main component of achieving this goal.

The First Question he asked that we answer about the goal that we set was: Why do you want to achieve this particular goal?

“I want to make this particular goal because I want to make my living by writing because I am good at it and I have a passion for writing.”

Second Question: Who is the ONE person who can be a big help in your reaching your goal? This person does not have to remain the same person. It can change as situations change.

“The Leader of My Mastermind group.”

When will you contact this person?

“I already have.”

What is the biggest change I have to make in my daily life in order to reach my goal?

“I need to change my focus, at least for now. I need to get in contact with more people on a daily basis.”

What do I have to do to make the change happen?

   “I need to get the courage to contact more people by email, by phone, and in person.”

What are the 3 Biggest Obstacles to achieving this goal?

1. No Sales Plan

2. No Marketing Plan

3. Other projects to finish

How can I overcome each of these obstacles?

1. Create a Sales Plan

2. Create a Marketing Plan

3. Finish Current Projects and don’t start other projects

Write out your affirming Goal Statement:

“I am doing what I need to do now so that I will be earning $2000 (net) by writing by the end of 2014.”

I already know that these questions are helping me become more focused on obtaining this goal. Let me know if you answer these questions and if you see how they help you focus on obtaining what you want in 2014.

The Evening I Met Laura McHugh

cygnetSupporting Another Author

Wednesday evening I went to the Library Station here in Springfield, Missouri to support Laura McHugh’s success with her debut book: The Weight of Blood. Laura and The Weight of Blood have had rave reviews in literary circles here in the United States.

The Weight of Blood debuted on March 11 of this year and already has 3000 reviews on Goodreads, and 28 reviews on Amazon. Here’s what Publisher’s Weekly says about her book:

In this clever, multilayered debut, McHugh deftly explores the past of an Ozark Mountain family (think doublewides, pickups, and possum stew) with plenty to hide and the ruthlessness to keep their secrets hidden. Seventeen-year-old Lucy Dane, from Henbane, Mo., is grieving for her murdered friend, Cheri, and her mother, Lila, who vanished soon after Lucy was born. Determined to solve both mysteries, Lucy never realizes just how close the answers might lie. Her father, Carl, and her uncle, Crete, are not forthcoming about what they know, which only makes her more curious.

I made certain that I was the last person to talk with Laura and get her to sign my book.

When I went up to the table she said, “Donna, you made it!”

We had never met, but we became friends on Facebook, so I was shocked she even recognized me from my Facebook avatar, and I told her as much. I then told her that I was so jealous of her success, and we both laughed. Yeah, I’ll admit I’m jealous, but truthfully I am very happy for her.

Laura and I have an unusual connection in that in addition to both being authors here in Missouri, (although she certainly has much more notoriety than I), she is also my step-daughter’s aunt. (She is my husband’s ex-wife’s youngest sister.) She signed my book and then I gave her signed copies of both of my published books When God Turned His Head and Soldiers Don’t Cry, The Locket Saga Continues Laura is not only an accomplished writer, she was a gracious host. I look forward to seeing her again next year at my step-daughter Chelsea’s wedding. I also look forward to the publication of her next book which she is currently drafting. She has given me hope as I continue putting words to print. For a copy of The Weight of Blood head to Amazon.com.

“Man can live about forty days without food, about three days without water, about eight minutes without air, but only for one second without hope.”- Hal Lindsey

This Day in History As It relates to the American Revolution

On this day in history, 1742,  America’s first official town meeting was held in Boston’s Faneuil Hall. Located near the waterfront and today is the Government Center, it  has been a marketplace and a meeting hall since 1742. This was the site of several speeches by Samuel Adams, James Otis and others speaking out for American independence from Great Britain. This building is now part of the Boston National Historical Park and is part of the Freedom Trail. It is often referred to as the “Cradle of Liberty”.

A Blip in History

On this day in history, March 3 in 1791, the United States created its first federal tax. My upcoming novel relates to the backlash that started because of that decision to tax whiskey sales. I call this novel In the Shadow of the Mill Pond and as yet, it is still sitting in my computer archives waiting for me to take it from first draft to finished book. It is a mystery based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania when it was little more than a hub on the Ohio River. The story occurs during the event known as “the whiskey rebellion”.

Whiskey RebellionI have done some research on the subject and in the process, I have come to understand why the whiskey rebellion occurred. These western farmers were many of the same Americans had recently fought a war which they believed was against taxation and here the government started taxing them. No wonder these former revolutionary war soldiers were angry enough to come to arms. Tensions rose as the realization that anger like that could easily spread across the countryside infuriating patriot after patriot until full blown civil war broke out ending the infant nation. George Washington was wise to send troops to quell the uprising when he did. By his quick actions, what could have been the first civil war in the United States ended up becoming simply a blip in history.

Sending troops to western Pennsylvania ended the Whiskey rebellion, and the whiskey tax continues to this day. The only time the tax was not in effect was during prohibition when selling whiskey was illegal. The reason we have income tax today was because plans had been in the works to prohibit whiskey sales. The dilemma that created was the fact that the federal government needed some form of revenue because whiskey tax was the only tax the government required prior to prohibition. Of course, when prohibition ended, the whiskey tax resumed. Resuming the whiskey tax did not end income tax, however. Now our government has the legal privilege to tax us with both.

With Editing, Cliches Become Blips In History

avoiding veryAlthough In the Shadow of the Mill Pond is currently in mothballs, that does not mean that I am not currently working on fiction. Currently I am working on editing my third novel in The Locket Saga called A Coward’s Solace. Editing takes as much work, if not more work than writing the book in the first place.

Just as the rules changed after the Revolutionary War from no taxation by the national government to taxation of the federal government, so rules change when a writer goes from utilizing the creative work of the muse to the diligent work of the internal editor. Certain words or phrases known as “cliches” need to be replaced by more descriptive, words that “show rather than tell” the story. One word that writers often have to get rid of is the word “very” above is  simple chart showing different words that a writer can use as a substitute for “very”.  This, of course, is one word of many cliches that each writer uses as a go to word or phrase. I have been learning mine and have done to prohibit using those words in the final draft. It is all part of my growth as a writer. Soon, any struggle I have with these cliches will become blips in my own writing history.