‘Tis none for you; there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.”  W. Shakespeare

Fear can over ride your intuition. When that happens creative solutions to problems are hard to find. Better to step back and reduce the fear.

I’ve got a case of the “I can’ts”.  It’s a toxic mixture. Part fear of failure, part not good enough and part nobody wants what you create. The mixture equals a fear toxin more powerful than anything concocted by the Scarecrow from Batman. These negative thoughts do not help me perform at my peak. I need my creative mojo.Scarecrow from Batman: The Animated Series
What did I do about it? I reached deep and got bold. I shared my negative feelings with Erika. She probed into the cause. Didn’t try to fix it. Gave me space. We talked about how Protagonist Lab has grown and how it is time to carry that growth forward with our goals. It was one of the most collaborative conversations.

That conversation starter helped point us to several conclusions. We have collected a lot of data and we need to look at it, study it, uncover the hidden thought gems. Our Website needs to be adjusted to allow for better communicating the Protagonist Lab story and the Study Group App. Finally, build small; scale over time.

Keeping the negative fear thoughts inside just fed the toxin’s potency. Discovering I had a super reliable, creative and motivated partner willing to working over, around and through any obstacle was a fantastic. Better than consuming more fear toxin.

It’s weird and ironic. I am feeling the “I Can’ts” because I am growing. I’m learning what it takes to successfully overcome startup obstacles. I’m working with a creative collaborator – Erika on a study group application that we think will empower people and help them achieve their peak. It’s very growth mindset stuff. I’m getting the benefit from a study group whilst making a study group app.


Paul Mosca founder of Protagonist Lab. MA Social Science, Essex University. Business ideation and execution consultant. Avid reader. Loves playing the drums. Information Technology is only as interesting as the people it serves.