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


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

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

“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”.