I went to a men's training program on Saturday, and one of the questions that we were asked was this: "If your life in the past year was a movie, what would be one of the recurring themes of the film?"
After thinking about all the things that'd I'd done in 2019. (Including being part of several jobs as a freelancer, starting my own business, and reaching out to two different coaches during the year) I was able to say that one of the recurring themes of the past year was fear.
Fear was my primary antagonist during 2019, and while I made a lot of progress during both my business and my personal life, fear certainly held me back and stopped me from doing much more. So one of the goals throughout the training program was to let go of the fear and get rid of the things that would hold us back.
So I knew I wanted to get rid of fear, but I had no idea how I was going to do that. I went home from the training program and, as I often do, I started reading a comic. That comic was 'Forever Evil' and I was reading a certain part that really got me thinking about fear and the one way to make sure it never got in my life again.
'Forever Evil' is about a doppelganger group of supervillains from Earth-3 called the Crime Syndicate who take over Earth-1, defeat the Justice League, and hand the world over to the bad guys of Earth-1. However, Lex Luthor teams up with several rogue criminals and attempts to fight back.
The part I was reading detailed the battle between Lex Luthor's group of criminals and several supervillains loyal to the Crime Syndicate. And I'd like to focus on the Green Lantern doppelganger: Harold Jordan, aka Power Ring.
Now, Power Ring is very different from his Earth 1 counterpart. Unlike a traditional Green Lantern whose ring is powered by willpower, the ring of Harold Jordan is powered by his own fear. The ring is a parasite that gradually causes its host to wither, and amplifies Power Ring's own insecurities.
Throughout the comic, Power Ring is either whining and trying to get the ring off of him, or begging other supervillains to help him out during battles. But in this fight, he manages to get a spur of confidence, even overpowering a yellow lantern powered Batman with his ring. Until Sinestro, the creator of the yellow lantern ring and one of the principle fear causers in Earth-1, shows up and engages Power Ring in battle.
And this is where we get to the important part.
Power Ring initially hides from Sinestro, despite his ring attempting to get charged, and later urging him to fight. Saying this: "I can make you more powerful than him, all you have to do is wish it."
So Power Ring lunges out of hiding and lashes out, managing to down Sinestro with a blast from his ring, and keep up his brave front for a few panels before being overpowered and killed.
Now, I know comics can make it seem like every character is easily knocked down and out, but let's not forget Sinestro is the warrior who wrote the book on fear, fighting against one of the most cowardly characters in the DC universe. But the coward manages to down the fearmonger, by simply not taking it anymore.
By being tired of being afraid, he was able to channel his energy to action and knock the fear down with one powerful blast.
Your fears are strong masters, but once you stand up to them and push back, you find that they fall down before you rather easily, you just have to take action and fight back.
So what are you afraid of? Maybe it's being scared of starting a new job, giving a presentation, or sparking up a conversation with that cute coworker who sits two desks down. Now, I want you to think about how long that fear has been holding you back from doing more in life.
The ring might have been wrong about a lot of things in the comic, but you can be far more powerful than your fear. You just have to wish it, and then make one crazy action to knock it down and out for good.
There's an old saying that says you just need 20 seconds of insane courage to change the world, and that's a true statement. For this year, I've been embracing that 20-second rule and trying to knock fear down and out in my life.
I'd encourage whoever is reading this article to do the same. It sounds hard because fear has been the master for so long, but once you stand up and push past the fear, then you can floor it without any trouble. In fact, you might even be surprised at how easy the specter of fear gives way before your determination.
Then you can figure out who you are without terror holding you back, and what type of person would you be without fear? Someone who talks to the cute coworkers, makes strides in their business, or does what many other people consider impossible?
Trust me, on the other side of fear is greatness. While it might be a tired cliche, from someone who has started fighting fear, trust me it is true. It's just the first full week of the year, and I've done a lot already just by fighting fear... so I'm excited to see what happens next as the weeks and months go on for my business.
Will you come with me and knock down the fear that's holding you back for a better 2020? If the most cowardly character in comicdom can do it, then you should be able to as well. Just make up your mind that you won't be afraid anymore and then you can start fighting back.