Or: how to stop sabotaging your comic book and learn to love the Lizard.
Almost all failure comes from self-sabotage.
We say we want to be thin, but we order a burger with fries. And there goes the diet! We say we want bring our book to the market, but we find excuses to sandbag the shipping schedule. We say we want to be better at our craft, but we allow ourselves to be distracted instead of studying the masters or taking that class.
Self-sabotage is human nature - there's a little lizard living in your brain (psychologists have a fancy word for it: the Amygdala).
Our lizard brain is programmed to take the easiest way out, to avoid the pain, to satisfy the immediate need. It whispers sweet words to you: "Take it slow, fellow. Careful now. Time to back off. Why don't you have a cookie first?"
This is why so many entrepreneurs and artists don't succeed. They are a slave to the lizard. They fear the critics, look to compromise. The bigger the challenge, the more resistance the lizard will offer. After all, if we don't do it, we don't have to be subjected to the risk of harsh criticism of the world. We are safe.
But we will also amount to nothing.
So you've got a choice: you can listen to the lizard's voice, it will never go away, it is part of your brain. Or you can argue against the lizard. Tell it that you will commit to the pain, that you will allow yourself be subject to risk and ridicule. Because no matter how harsh the world treats your book, you are learning. With every embarrassing failure, you learn new tricks, you get stronger.
It won't be easy. You are in it for a long haul. Malcolm Gladwell tells us in his book Outliers that it takes 10,000 hours to master any craft. But that also means that every hour you spend failing is an hour you chip off that 10,000 hours. You are now one hour closer to becoming the master of your craft.
Tell the lizard you will take the pain. Savor it. That you are playing the long game: you are putting yourself out there because it is the only way to become a master in your craft. To make a difference.
To be someone.
Panels from Injustice: Gods Among Us
My name, is Oliver Queen.
I must be someone else.
I must be something... else.
Become another person!
From the pages of Astonishing X-Men #15
You may be wondering what is going on here. Don't worry, Wolverine is still the badass as you've always know him. In this issue, Cassandra Nova regressed his mind to when he was a little kid.