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 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.

Day four of the Overcoming Fear Challenge: Where am I?

“The offspring of fear is mediocrity.”-Hilton Johnson

When I was a reservist, we would sometimes go up to Fort Leonard Wood on maneuvers and one of the things that we did was go out to the woods and learn how to read a map.

monkey

Trying to find a way to get out of the cage that others have placed around you is not an easy task. It is even harder to realize that it is not others that are keeping you there, but rather it is fear inside yourself.

In order to determine how to find our way to where we wanted to go, we had to shoot what they call an azimuth or a direction in which to begin moving.  Before we could shoot the azimuth, however, we had to figure out exactly where we were. It is certainly a rule that we cannot get to where we want to go unless we first know where we are right now.

If you ask anyone what the number one thing that you need to do to overcome fear is “to face it”, but that’s a just a meaningless cliche that everyone uses. It doesn’t really mean anything. What does it really mean. For me, I have to first face the fear of where I am and understand how I got here. I realize that I can’t get to where I want to go without first understanding where I am.

I know I can express to people how important it is to have courage. The mentoring that I got from my mentor when I was a child was to play it safe. He tried to give me what he thought was good advice, which was  not to do things that were too risky.

Orangetang

Even when you have a big orange ego, you’re still not big enough to beat down that door and you feel at times as though you should just give up. Instead of giving up, t is time to look for a key instead of looking for something to use to beat down the door.

I rebelled against that advice and determined to find another way to get out of the situation I was in so I determined that I took a trip from Pennsylvania to California where I didn’t know anyone and thought I would get a job. I returned to Pennsylvania after just a few days because I knew I would never make it. I had not prepared for that transition. I then tried to get a job, but only could find mediocre jobs that hardly paid the bills. Therefore I joined the Navy so that I could get away from the situation. The list of situations goes on. I can name situation after situation where I would try to find the shortcut to the success I was looking to find. My life was like a fad diet. A get rich quick scheme. It never led anywhere, but toward looking for the next and better shiny object upon which to set my sights, always desiring, never achieving, never attaining the success to which I searched. Even though I seemed to be taking risks, those risks were motivated  by fear.

Put in the work, I saw the moves as a means to an end to get me to where I wanted to go in my life. How were those things to help me take me to where I wanted to go rather than going to school and getting my degree, I was looking for a shortcut. I was looking for a shortcut because I was listening to fear, and I set my course to show my mentor that he was wrong. I thought that doing these things would be the easiest way, but it was motivated by fear because I was afraid that he was right. I still hear that voice in my head telling me that I am not good enough and that I am not able to do what it takes to fulfill my dreams. I have been listening to a lie and trying to run from it. Instead of becoming the writer that I know I can become, I have settled for a life of mediocrity.

As Thoreau said in Walden, “The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. What is called resignation is confirmed desperation. From the desperate city you go into the desperate country, and have to console yourself with the bravery of minks and muskrats.”

I know where I am. I have my bearings. I have found the underlying fear that motivated me thus far. I know the landmarks of this place and have found it on the map of my life. I know my destination and I can now begin shooting the azimuth and begin my journey out of this valley of mediocrity.

April First-Day: List my Fears

Just the other day, a wise woman told me this:

“What holds you back Donna, is your own fear of Self. You often fail to see the brilliance that lies beneath your insecurities… but I promise – all you need to do is let your True Self shine through!”

This is part of the reason that I decided to use the month of April as the month that I take the time to face my fears and deal with some of the most debilitating fears that I have. I know that I am intelligent. I know that I am capable. I know that I have not been living up to my full potential. A lot has happened in the past few months. My Dad died which was expected, but then my brother died which was not. All this has made me realize that I have not been who I know I am capable of being. The reason is fear. I am afraid to step out of my comfort zone and do the things that I really want to do in life.

We don’t venture out and explore new ideas when we are afraid. Fears are what keep us in our comfort zone. To determine how I will face my fears this month, the first thing I must do is list them as I think of them. Listing them gives me a perspective. Some of the fears are related, some are not. Once I have listed my fears, I will prioritize them to determine which ones to face first, and which ones will take time. I will determine which ones are steps I must take to help me face the larger, more important fears. By keeping a list, I will be able to develop a game plan for the month.

Do you have fears? Sit down and list yours while I list mine. Come on this journey with me. Perhaps you too can grow with this journey of stepping out of my comfort zone and facing my fears that are keeping me from doing the things that I really want to do.  I begin by creating that list of fears. I’ve got nothing to lose but fear itself!

 

Diving into April with a 30-Day Challenge

Can you believe that it is already the last day of the month? How time flies whether I’m having fun or not! Tomorrow starts a new day, and I am diving into what is called a 30 Day Challenge. Every day I will be facing a challenge that has been plaguing me so much that I have devoted a whole month to conquering it.

skydiver

This skydiver certainly has learned to face his fears and this month, I am planning to face a few of my own.

I have decided that the biggest thing I need challenged right now “FEAR”. Everyday, for the next thirty days, I am going to something to help me face some fear in my life. Everyday I am going to post some intent and then post what I did to face down that fear and overcome it. No, I am not going to face my fears concerning bungee jumping or skydiving, I plan on being a little more practical than that. So everyday for the next month, you will be seeing a post from me concerning some challenge that I am putting out there. If you know of any unique ways of facing fear, comment below. I would love to hear your insights.

Do you face areas of fear in your life? Perhaps you too would join me in this challenge.

bungee jumping

This will not be on my list of fears that I plan to challenge this month, but the ones that I face will definitely be as frightening for me as bungee jumping!

What is it that you fear? What do you think that you need to do to conquer your fears?  Write in the comments below what fears you have to face, and perhaps list a thing or two that you will use to confront it. If you can’t think of way to confront your fear, write down your fear anyway. Perhaps we can both gain a better perspective by dialoguing about it.

If you haven’t yet received your copy of Vegetable Gardening in the Shade, do so now by clicking on this link and receive a subscription to my newsletter Cygnet’s News as well. In this newsletter, you will be able to keep up with events that I will be attending, updates on my books, and articles that bring the conflict of the American Revolution to life as well as timely gardening tips from what to plant, how to plant it using organic methods, how to keep it growing and how to use it after harvest.

© Copyright, 2014, Diving into April with a 30-Day Challenge, Donna (Cygnet) Brown