The Ability to Overcome Great Fear

I am scared.  And excited.   Scared and excited.  It sounds a little confusing, but so is my life right now.  I am working on opening my own comic book store.  Many small businesses have come before, as will many come after, so I am no different than millions of others.  But this is a first for me and I am operating far outside of my comfort zone.

Now, it is not the what I am afraid of.  I am a big comic book fan and have been for years.  Naturally, there are bigger fans out there, but I know quite a bit about the world of comics.  It is the process of the how that is torturing me.  I have never done anything like this before.  I have found the steps I need to take and I am following the paths of those that have come before me.  I have asked for advice, opinions, input and help.  I have a wife that has supported and pushed me farther than I have been before.  But, at the end of the day, it’s all up to me.  And that’s where the fear kicks in.

The ability to overcome fear is the core of Green Lanterns power.  That, plus willpower is what gives a Green Lantern their strength.  I think, subconsciously, that is what drew me to the character.  When I was young, I thought it was cool that he could “make stuff” with his power ring.  But as I got older, I realized there was more to the mythology than just making cool stuff.

Perhaps this is a good place for a little Green Lantern background:

Imagine if the ring on your finger was more than a piece of gaudy jewelry. Instead, it’s the universe’s most powerful weapon. It can create whatever you wish out of pure energy, its might limited only by your imagination and will. And with it comes exclusive membership to an exclusive intergalactic police force with alien officers spanning the cosmos.

 The only catch? Mastering that power and being a Green Lantern means facing your fears, and for headstrong Hal Jordan, that’s something he’s been avoiding his whole life.

When just a boy, Hal witnessed his greatest nightmare—his pilot father dying in a tragic plane crash. Nevertheless determined to follow in his footsteps, Hal repressed his fears, becoming a reckless, defiant test pilot. But when a dying alien crashes on Earth, the irresponsible Hal is chosen to be that alien’s successor in the Green Lantern Corps, a universe-wide peacekeeping force over 3,600 members strong.

And his life only gets wilder from there. Alien romances. Intergalactic wars. Power-hungry super-villains. Wielding a Green Lantern power ring—a weapon fueled by willpower—he can fly and create constructs made of pure energy, generating anything from massive green fists to emerald rifles that can snipe from a planet away. But while Hal tends to ignore his fears, he’ll learn the only way to truly master his ring’s power is by confronting and overcoming them.” (from DC Comics website)

So where does my fear come from?  Obviously not from piloting experimental airplanes, but maybe from the same area.  As a test pilot, Hal Jordan needs to know what to do at the exact right moment and make split second decisions or his life is in danger.  He must be alert, he must be focused and above all he must be present.

My fears stem from things such as:

  • is this the right location?
  • is my budget correct?
  • will I make my projections?
  • will anyone come?
  • what if I screw up on my books, taxes, etc?
  • what if I fail?

This last one preys on my mind a lot.  As the old saying goes, “he who never tries, never fails.”  And my consequences are not as sever as Green Lanterns.  The Earth won’t explode, nor will Sinestro take over the universe.  So what will happen?   Worse case, I wind up loosing a lot of capital and end up with more comic books then I could ever want.

No Sinestro war.

No Earth exploding.

So in all of this, I try to remain present.  And I must say it is hard.  I focus on what the business needs now, while still being mindful of the future.  I’m not spending my time fretting about what could, might or may never happen.  I try to have the confidence to do what needs to be done right now and not mindlessly worrying about the unknown.

I keep these things in mind and work on it everyday.  I am getting better at it.  I also try to remember that no hero’s journey is easy.  And whether it is a bright day or a black night, remember to stay present, positive and confident.

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