Attack Fear With Unlimited Lives
Once upon a time, your boy grew up as a pretty hardcore gamer. As a young lad in the early 90’s, I remember watching my two older sisters throw down on Super Mario on the Nintendo. Safe to say, I was captivated yet terrified of Bowser and his minions.
As I got older, I became borderline-obsessed with all the gaming systems and games like Mario Kart, ShaqFu, Final Fantasy, Crash Bandicoot, Zelda, Pokemon, Spyro, Skyrim, etc.
What did these games have in common? There’s always a Boss you have to defeat to unlock the next level.
Facing a new Boss always gave me a nervous pit in my stomach. If you wanted to get to the next level, you had to face the Boss and defeat it. If you didn’t succeed the first time, you had to stay persistent and keep trying.
The more I played these games, the easier it was to defeat the Boss. It became a normal routine after I figured out what did and didn’t work. A Boss isn’t so intimidating once you’ve faced it a few hundred times.
Isn’t it funny how this world of video games parallels life and our creative pursuits? There are so many things we want to accomplish, but each dream requires facing some type of fear. You have to slay the Boss to unlock that next level.
The following is meant to hype you up and prepare you to face the Bosses in every facet of your daily and creative life. Treat it like a game with unlimited lives, and use your fear to your advantage.
Using Fear to Your Advantage
Fear disguises itself as your enemy. It’s always trying to wedge itself between you and whatever you desire to do or become.
I grew up terrified of the world, and fear wedged itself deep in my life.
I was scared of practically everything: taking risks, talking to girls, sharing my art, standing up for myself, standing up for others, and most importantly, being my true self around people.
Feeding into this fear robbed me of finding out who the real Scotty was and robbed me of the great experiences could’ve had earlier in life. It’s caused a lot of pain and a lot of regrets.
Within the past five years, I’ve started seeing fear differently. I’ve slowly realized the things that scared me—like blogging, speaking, teaching, and podcasting—were really the things I should be pursuing. When I started attacking my desires and dreams like I was facing a Boss in a video game, it became much easier to normalize the task at hand and defeat my fears.
From my experience, I’ve learned the things that scare you are really the things you should be seeking. I strongly feel that fear is your intuition attempting to pull you toward the person you’re supposed to become. You can use this to your advantage.
However, our ancestral instincts wire our brains to protect us from potential harm. The fear our brain signals to us can hold us back from taking the risk. This, in turn, holds us back from experiencing the reward or potential breakthrough that can follow.
So how do we unlock that next level and put ourselves in a position to experience these breakthroughs?
As odd as it sounds, I say let’s attack fear and make it our bitch.
New Dreams = New Boss
Let’s lay out a few scenarios you may relate to on your creative path.
Scenario 1: Getting Started
Maybe you want to build an audience or land killer freelance jobs, but maybe you aren’t sure where to start?
In my opinion, the first step is to start sharing your work online. This forces you to overcome the discomfort of having the world consume your unpolished skills.
True story: I kept a sketchbook glued to my side from elementary to college. No one was allowed to see it because I terrified of what people would think. People didn’t even know about my little sketchbook secrete until mid-college, when my friend Tyson discovered my stash of sketchbooks in my dorm room. He then proceeded to relentlessly pester me until I finally began sharing my doodles on Facebook. Those early albums still exist on my profile today, believe it or not.
The Boss I had to defeat—getting over my lack of confidence and hitting publish on Facebook.
This helped me slowly get comfortable with sharing my developing skills publicly. It eventually landed me random drawing jobs like tattoos and gifts for $50 a pop from friends. Yes, this bought me some groceries and a 30 pack of Busch Light on occasion. More importantly, it taught me the early stages of working with clients.
Scenario 2: Evolving to the Next Level
Alright, so now you’re comfortable with sharing, but you want to to take your creative side hustle to the next level?
Maybe you’re interested in vlogging, selling products, public speaking, or teaching workshops?
Some of the Bosses you’ll need to slay in these worlds are:
- Overcoming the fear of imperfection or failure
- Hitting publish then hearing crickets
- Learning new programs or platforms
- Establishing new processes or routines
- Getting in front of cameras and rooms full of people
- Researching vendors, materials, shipping, and promotions
The list could keep going, but you get my point.
Find Your Next Boss & Attack
Whatever you’re wanting to accomplish in life, there’s most likely a Boss you’ll have to defeat.
When aggressively seek out and attack your fears, those once-intimidating tasks will become routine.
It’s like replaying an old Boss in a video game: you don’t have to think about it anymore, you just beat it.
Sharing my work online is second nature to me now. Blogging, speaking, and podcasting are now part of my routine too. These are things that used to scare the shit out of me.
However, in the beginning, it took a lot of effort to slay those Bosses and to work my way up to whatever “level” I’m on now.
You won’t always be able to slay the Boss on the first try, and that’s totally okay too. Approach the challenge like you have unlimited lives and keep putting quarters into the machine.
Fear is your intuition pulling you towards the Boss you need to slay.
Attack fear and use it to your advantage.
If it scares you, do it. Take it one Boss at a time.
- Dose of Inspiration: @lanceinkwell
- Podcast Editor: Aine Brennan
- Shownotes Editor: Paige Garland
- Podcast theme music: Blookah
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