Seth Godin calls it ‘the Lizard.’
Steven Pressfield refers to it as ‘the Resistance.’
I haven’t come up with a clever nickname for that annoying monologue that keeps running in my head… The one constantly trying to convince me that I shouldn’t… Or, can’t… Or, couldn’t… Or, won’t!
The one that rejoices in crushing my ambition by continually undermining my self-confidence, with taunts of: You are sure to fail… You will certainly hurt yourself… Everyone will laugh… Why would you even want to… And, my personal favorite:
What makes you think you will succeed when and where everyone else – everyone smarter, stronger and infinitely more intelligent – has failed!
Have you heard that still, small voice whispering to your conscious mind from safe within the confines of your subconscious? Have you been formally introduced?
However you choose to identify it: whether you call it the Lizard or the Resistance or anything else you think might be appropriate, it’s hard to coax the little bastard out in to the open so you can confront him. She’s a lot more comfortable in the dark: infinitely more secure when he can poke at you from the icey blackness of your worst nightmares.
The problem is impunity! She likes it… It suits him… She’s used to the dark. Most comfortable when unchallenged!
Over the years, my relationship with the Lizard has been contentious at best, completely debilitating at its worst!
I don’t keep score… I’m not sure I ever have… But, until very recently I’m sure the wretched little beast was ahead on points. But, with the help of Seth Godin and the altMBA Program, I’m certain that is no longer the case. In fact, I’m convinced I have developed the tools necessary to at least break even when it comes to conquering my worst fears!
What I’ve learned is simple enough – a lesson I should have been able to take from the Mindfullness Movement or from Zen – And, that is to embrace the Fear: to accept it, appreciate it for what it is. What I learned was to recognize the immutable fact that engaging the Lizard in battle: in direct confrontation, will more than likely result in defeat!
The Resistance has no interest in logic or reason! The Fear has no language skills, nor does it have an interest in developing any! The Lizard is real! It is primal and has learned its craft well after millenia of perfect practice!
There is no real chance of defeating her! There can’t be… You exist in the Frontal Cortex and he owns the dark, hidden and obscure convolutions of the Amygdala!
To over come the Fear… To defeat the Resistance and subdue the Lizard… The only chance you have is to accept her, embrace him, acknowledge its existence and then dance with her! That’s right! Walk directly up to the Lizard, bow, extend your hand, pull him close, embrace her and then follow the music of your head and your heart…
What you cannot do… What you must not do… Is allow The Beast to lead! What you must guard against with every ounce of strength, every fiber in your body, is allowing Fear to dictate the terms, conditions, nature or tempo of the dance!
Lead and the Dance is yours… Lead and the Resistance will have no other alternative than to follow…
And, yes, this explanation… This admonition… Was written as much for me as it was for you!