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

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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

Day 10 of the Overcoming Fear Challenge

Fear is like the Protective Coating of a Seed

When you’re green you’re growing. When you’re ripe you rot.”- Ray Kroc

germinating seedIt is a natural law that  if something is not growing, it is dying. As Ray Kroc so eloquently said, when something is green it is growing, if it stops growing, it dies. Nothing stays stagnate. After I read the quote I thought about seeds that are planted in the ground. Imagine what it would be like if a seed stubbornly refused to grow. That seed would be become useless and rot. Yesterday we spoke about the fear of success and after I thought about that, I realized how stubborn fear is.

Fear refuses to allow us to grow because growing requires risk and risk means that something could be lost. A seed, when planted in the ground, is coated with a tough outer shell that protects it, however in order for the seed to grow, the seed must break through that tough outer coating.

The seed, once free of the tough outer shell becomes vulnerable, but it become vulnerable if it is meant to grow, and grow it must. Like the seed, we too must free ourselves of the fear that is protecting us.

Our fear is like that protective covering on the seed. It has been designed to protect us, to keep us from harm. Fear is not a bad thing when it is appropriate. Just as there was a time for the seed to have an outer coating to protect it, fear is designed to protect us too. The fear may have had a purpose, but the fear stubbornly hands on even after its usefulness.  I am learning that I must be grateful for the fear and its stubborn service to serve me, but its job shouldn’t last beyond its usefulness. I have to recognize when it is time to become vulnerable and become willing to grow. For me the time is now.

 

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 10 Overcoming Fear Challenge ©2014 Donna (Cygnet) Brown

Day 9 of the Overcoming Fear Challenge

The Fear of Success

        Self Confidence VS Self Esteem

Laura McHugh and Cygnet Brown

When another person reaches the dream that you have been trying to reach, celebrate their success!

A couple of days ago I was participating in my mastermind group when the issue of the difference between self-confidence and self esteem came up. The discussion opened my eyes to my own situation and how the difference related to me and this series I am doing.  Often people use the term Self confidence and self-esteem interchangeably. This is a misconception. They are different and the ways in which self confidence is built is different than the ways that self esteem is built primarily because self confidence and self esteem originate differently. Self Confidence is based in the way a person thinks about his or her abilities. Self esteem is based in the way a person feels about him or herself.

 

When a person has low self confidence, they do not think they have the knowledge that it takes to do whatever they want to do. To build self confidence, an individual needs to obtain knowledge and skills concerning whatever it is that the individual needs to know about whatever area that the person needs confidence.

 

A person with low self esteem however feels as though he or she does not deserve whatever it is that he or she is trying to accomplish. A person with low self esteem could have a lot of confidence in his or her abilities and still have low self esteem.  A person who has low self esteem, for whatever reason, feels as though he or she does not deserve whatever he or she has worked to accomplish. A person with low self esteem is afraid of being undeserving of whatever reward comes with accomplishment. Many individuals with a lot of confidence, have low self esteem. All the skills of confidence building does nothing to fix self esteem. Low self esteem is based feeling. The feeling in which low self esteem is based is the fear of success.

 

The Fear of Success is the Basis for Low Self Esteem

 

If the fear of success is the basis for low self esteem, it is very difficult for someone with low self esteem to success. I should know. I don’t feel as though I deserve success. This is my fear. I am afraid that others will find out that I don’t deserve success, so I make sure that I don’t have it. Rationally, I can see where I deserve it as much as the next person. I work hard at what I do. I am highly knowledgeable in many areas. I have the confidence. I know a lot about gardening, natural remedies, and cooking food from scratch. I also have learned and have become quite adept at writing my own books, editing, formatting, publishing and marketing. Almost single handed, I wrote (my husband Jeff designed the cover) my most recent book. If you’ve never written a book and self published it, you have no idea how much work goes into publishing a book. I’m good at what I do. I don’t however feel as though I deserve success so anytime I come close to succeeding, I sabotage my own efforts. When I come close to making breakthroughs, I drop the ball and sabotage my own efforts.

DuSable, the founder of Chicago didn't let his dark skin keep him from being a successful business man.

DuSable, the founder of Chicago didn’t let his dark skin keep him from being a successful business man.

This begs the question; what do I do about it? Learning new skills isn’t going to do it, because I probably know enough right now to be far more successful than I am. The idea that some offer of “faking it until I make it” won’t work either. I know I’m faking it so how could that help me feel as though I deserve it?

 

I don’t have the answers, but I do have a next step. When this issue came up in the mastermind group, the leader of the group suggested that we read the book Seeds of Greatness by Denis Waitley written in 1984. I have requested a loan copy from the local library. It will be in the local library in the next day or two. Its also available new or used on Amazon in hardcover or paperback. My next step is to read the book. I’m certain there will be more on this in an upcoming post.

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 9 Overcoming Fear Challenge ©2014 Donna (Cygnet) Brown

Day 8 of the Overcoming Fear Challenge

Discovering Our Options for Overcoming Anxiety

Yesterday we identified an area where we felt stuck and identified what we were afraid of losing in that area where we felt as though we were stuck. Today, we are going to look at this even more and determine exactly what we can do with the power that knowing what we are afraid of losing can do for us. It is the first step in discovering our options for overcoming anxiety and overcoming fear as it relates to feeling stuck.

glasses

Seeing that you have options is one of the first steps in overcoming the fear that has you stuck.

Let’s look at the example of:

Feeling stuck in my current dead end job. (This isn’t the area where I am currently stuck. It may not be the area where you are currently stuck,  but it is an area where many people are stuck. It is a good example, so I will use it. )

What am I afraid of losing if I decide to leave my current dead end job?

Our home?- Probably

Our 401K- probably

Our self respect- possibly

our spouses respect-possibly

our spouse-possibly

not being able to pay my own bills-if you’re like most people who work paycheck to paycheck, most definitely.

Well, I don’t know about you, but losing those things could be pretty devastating. This is a dose of reality. No wonder you’re afraid of leaving your dead end job. So the next question that comes up would be: How could I keep from losing all those things and still leave my current job? The answer to this question starts opening other possibilities.

Discovering Your Options Empowers

The quickest way of leaving your current job might be to write a resume and sending that resume out to various other jobs that perhaps are not so dead end.

Another option, which is a far more drastic measure, would be to say to heck with it all, sell the house, leave the wife, leave the job behind, and go live under a bridge. None of it was worth keeping any way.

Other, less drastic means of breaking out of the rut take a little longer. For instance you could go back to school, get a better education and then fill out the job resumes toward a better job.

Another might be to start your own home business while still doing the current job. Go to part time after a while and gradually work into working the part time business full time.

Another might be to study short term to get a real estate or insurance license, sell a few things to tide the family over and try to live on the wife’s income until you really start making an income.

By going through this exercise, I realize that I don’t have to stay stuck in a job that I hate. I may have to continue doing it for a while, but refusing to stay stuck in a dead end job isn’t my only option. I have ways of getting myself unstuck if I simply look at all the options that might be available to me.

We now have an example of an area where a person could feel stuck. We have identified what we could lose if we were to simply let go of where we are stuck. Finally, we have identified ways that we can become unstuck. Now it is time for the real work. Where are we stuck? What are we afraid of losing? What could be done about it? Finally, we must weight the options and determine which option we will take in order to move past the fear into freedom.

 

2014-04-07 07.07.08About the Author

Cygnet 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 8 Overcoming Fear Challenge ©2014 Donna (Cygnet) Brown

Day Seven of the Overcoming Fear Challenge

“When you find yourself stuck, you know you are dealing with fear.”-Cygnet Brown

Do you ever find yourself stuck and don’t know where to go next? The underlying feeling of being stuck is based in fear. When you see yourself stuck the first thing to ask yourself is “What am I afraid of?”

Stuck in a dead end job?

Stuck in what to do next in business?

Stuck in a certain level in your business?

Stuck in a bad marriage?

Stuck in a cycle of poverty?

Stuck in a rut of any kind?

What are you afraid of? Whatever it is that you are afraid if is keeping you from moving forward. A more precise question would be “What are you afraid of losing?” Before you can forward, you must deal with this one key element. “What are you afraid of losing?”

vampire movie

Shining a light on what you’re afraid of losing is a very scary thing even after you do it. If you want to move past the fear, it is necessary.

This is the boogie man in all the resistance you sense as you move forward. Identify what you’re afraid of losing, and that lose loses some of its power over you because you have identified it. More on this tomorrow.

This weekend I took a step forward, but it was a difficult one for me because when I admitted it, I realized that I had been holding some fear that was very scary to me. I think I had mentioned that I had been planning to publish Simply Vegetable Gardening and that I was later at getting it out than I had originally planned. Part of the reason was that I had not finished because I thought that I could finish it more quickly than I actually was able. The big reason, however was that I was procrastinating getting that project finished. We discussed procrastination back on Day Three.

I finally got the book published late Saturday night on Kindle. The book looked beautiful. I compared my work in that book with the books I had written in the past and it looked great. Editing wise, formatting wise, writing wise, it was the best work I had put out thus far. Not only that it was a book from the heart. I loved the work, and I loved the end result. In a few days, when my husband Jeff finishes the design on the back cover, we’ll be publishing the print book. You would think I would be happy, but I wasn’t.  I was a wreck. Fear raised his ugly head. What if nobody liked it? What if I put it out there and no one thought it was worth buying and reading? What was I afraid of losing? I was afraid of losing “My Dream”.  I put my heart and soul into this. I am invested in this book. What if no one valued my book? If people reject my book, then I felt as though people will also reject me. I was afraid of rejection.

Now that my book was published, I was facing the fear of rejection head on. Did publishing the book make me feel the fear less? No, I felt it more, but I was dealing with it. I’m still dealing with it. Now that I recognize it however, I realize that what I am doing now is a brave thing. I am facing my fear and pushing through it. Yesterday though it started with me feeling like a loser, by the end of the day, I felt as though I had accomplished much. I even got a few sales. There are at least a few people who do like me and my work. I’ll bet there are at least a few more. I must simply go out and find them.

 

Day Six of the Overcoming Fear Challenge

“When you are grateful fear disappears and abundance appears.”- Anthony Robbins.

We are revisiting the same quote that we shared yesterday because it still suits today’s topic as you will see. Three types of people exist in the world. Most people know about two of them. They are the givers and the takers. However, a third type exists. This group I call the fearful.

dead sea

The Dead Sea is dead because water flows into it, but it doesn’t flow out of it. For us to be truly alive we must allow things to flow out of us as well as into us.

The givers give to this world. These are the people who when they leave the world or even the room make you feel good that they were there. They always have a positive outlook on life. These are the people who always leave more behind them than they take. These are the people who are always sharing what they have with others and others love them for it. What they give can be material, and often is, but it can also simply be an attitude. What they give, however always has substance. These are the people who when they share something with you, don’t remind you that you owe them. These people are secure in the fact that reciprocity exists. They know that what they give will always return to them bigger and better. They know that the more they give, the more they will get in return. They always see the world as a place of abundance and that plenty exists for everyone. they know that it is the giving that produces the abundance.

The Takers,  on the other hand, are those people who always make you feel as though they have gained at your expense. WhenTakers come into the world or into a room they leave behind them negativity. They suck the life out of everyone and everything around them. They are like the Dead Sea in that they always receive, but never give.  These people are the consumers that take more than they give. They may be able to convince you in the moment that they are doing you a favor, but it doesn’t take long to learn that they have taken advantage of you. These people see the world as having limited resources and that in order to have it, they must manipulate it from you.

We are all familiar with the givers and takers, but few of us recognize the fearful. Their goal in life is to enter the room and leave it without being noticed. These people are those who might say of themselves “I didn’t come into this world with much, and I still have most of it.” They don’t take much from the world, but they don’t give much either. These people are often hardworking, but they never seem to get ahead. They wouldn’t dream of taking advantage of anyone, however, because the world is limited, they cannot see how they can give away anything either. These people see the world as being a hostile place that takes from them and never gives back. Because they see the world as hostile, they tend to be tight-fisted with with what little they do have. They neither give nor take. These people live in poverty and squalor and hoard what little they do have because they are afraid of losing what little they possess. This is true about not only their physical possessions, but their mental and emotional abilities as well.

The Takers nor the Fearful can truly be grateful for what they have only the givers have that quality. to become a giver, the place to start is to recognize the abundance that is in your life. To become a giver, you must be grateful. Even the fearful can give thanks. Giving thanks is an easy place to begin our giving. Today’s homework is to create a gratitude list of all that we are thankful that we have received. What are you grateful for receiving. Write your list, and I will write mine.

I have to admit that I am numbered among the fearful. It’s time fir me to step out of my comfort zone and start giving.

 

Day Five of the Overcoming Fear Challenge

Finding Gratitude Converts Fear into Opportunity

“When you are grateful fear disappears and abundance appears.”- Anthony Robbins.

When I was a Navy Corpsman reservist, I had been trained to go out with the Marines. The Marine Corps turns every problem into a mission by doing so turn the impossible into the possible.

A marineThe secret behind this magical fete was that they had what they called a “can do attitude”. This can do attitude was based in having gratitude for the opportunity to make a difference. By finding that gratitude, they are able to look for the solutions rather than look for excuses.

An attitude of gratitude is the most powerful tools that a person can use to overcome fear. As Anthony Robbins said in the opening quote, fear and gratitude cannot co-exist. How can I apply gratitude to my situation today? How can I use it to make a difference?

piccinni roland operaThe first thing that I believe that I must be grateful for is my past. It is my past that got me to the point where I am now. It is the past that has led me to this point in my journey through life. Without it I would not have the experiences that I have now. Without my past I also wouldn’t be at the point that I am so that I know that I can now face my fears.

My current mission is in the opportunity that I see in front of me. I can plow through the fear and get through to the other side. The list of fears that I created earlier in the week is simply a list of opportunities for me to grow and for that I am also grateful.