When I decided to turn comments off here at Productivityist, it had me thinking about how I look at – and face – Fear.
(Fear deserves to be given a proper name in this instance because it is just so prevalent and real. Just like Pressfield has with The Resistance, I have given Fear its due.)
I’ve written about my passion for all things Green Lantern here before, and I still wear my ring most of the time. I always wear it when I’m feeling like I need the willpower to move forward with something (the process of writing, when faced with making tough decisions, etc.), and it does help me face the Fear that I find comes with moving forward. Why do I believe that Fear pushes its way to the forefront as I try to make progress? Because I’m often entering (somewhat) uncharted waters.
In the instance of turning off the comments here on the blog, I’ve never had a blog without the comments turned on. I’ve left the comments on – even when others turned them off – to keep an open room and discussion happening here on the site. But I’d been contemplating turning them off for a long time because so much more conversation is happening over on social media sites and the spam comments are becoming increasingly worse and more frequent.
Ultimately I decided to turn comments off. I risk lowering engagement here and, in turn, needing to spend more time on Facebook and Twitter. I am afraid of splitting my focus because of this decision. I am afraid of the overall conversations surrounding our content dropping. I am afraid of backlash.
But I need to say no to Fear. The best way I can do that and mean it is by ensuring I pay attention to those social sites. That will boost my confidence and go a long way towards keeping Fear at bay.
Make no mistake, Fear loves to show up and rain on parades as often as possible. Over the years I’ve been presented with a slew of great opportunities, many of which “The Resistance” (another name for Fear as coined by Steven Pressfield) has tried to – and continues to try to – sabotage.
Fear has told me that I’m not ready for these challenges. It has said that I’m not good enough to make the most of them. It has said they will get in the way of other things. It has said that something will go wrong.
And something will go wrong if I don’t acknowledge what Fear is saying and strive to avoid those pitfalls. Fear is trying to tell me what stands in my way – Fear itself isn’t in the way. That’s what my ring does for me. It acts as a means of helping be aware of what Fear will show me and furthers my resolve to make sure I don’t fall prey to those concerns. Because if that was to happen, then those concerns have become far more than that. They’ve become fact.
Besides the ring I wear, the tools I use act as a saving grace as well. The foundation I’ve laid with my task manager, the TimeCrafting methodology I’ve adopted (and adapted over time), and the strategies I employ all help to keep me anchored. When I feel like I’m going astray, all of those things either bring me back or keep me on track. Just like Fear, they are touchstones that keep me informed so that I can better perform. And then get even better at performing.
Remember the slogan “No Fear” that was so prominent in the late 80s and early 90s? I think it makes more sense to have a comma inserted between the two words instead. After all, we need to acknowledge that Fear is going to turn up in our lives – we just need to say “No, Fear” after we let it do its job and say “Yes” to what we want, need, and should pursue afterward.