Intelivate’s ‘comic’ series about Lenny, a man paralyzed by anxiety and the fear of imperfection. Follow his journey and learn how fear of failure destroys success. Will he win?


We all have those overwhelming times. Just the thought of overcoming anxiety or the fear of failure seems impossible at those times.

Somehow – we make it through the journey.

So we developed a comic documenting the journey of overcoming anxiety and the fear of imperfection. Yes – a comic. It’s three comics, and they are all here for you.

Career & Life Battles

Those ‘battles’ that are fueled by a purpose of fear (or to create fear), revenge, anger, resentment, hate or are pure in self always end but are never completed; resulting in chaos, division (even if within self) and despairingly cause the question of “Why?” 

Those ‘battles’ that are fueled by a purpose of passion, love, and a  goal broader, higher and greater than the self, indeed never end but are always completed; resulting in peace, unity (even if within self) and fundamentally  ANSWER the question of “Why?”

Chapter 1 – Meet Lenny – A Man Living With the Fear of Imperfection

Lenny is a man and leader who becomes paralyzed by his fear of failure, anxiety, procrastination, and perfectionism on his way towards career fulfillment and a purpose-driven life.

He doesn’t even know how, where or what to begin to overcome his anxiety.

Being smart, Lenny often indulges in many what-if scenarios. This common fear consumes him especially during stages of change management.

This is Lenny. Lenny is afraid.

For many things, that fear is justified.

Fear is his brain telling him to cautiously judge his environment because bad things can happen if he doesn’t. It’s life and death.

Intelivate Fueled By Fear Chapter 1 - Why We Seek Hope and How to Conquer Fear
Part 1: Lenny cannot begin overcoming anxiety and his fear of imperfection. His mind and brain won’t allow it.

Lenny is Smart

He appreciates that his brain is doing him a favor, and he understands the importance of cautious consideration.

Being smart, Lenny often indulges many ‘what-if’ scenarios.

What if they love me?

What if I lose my job?

What if they hate me?

What if I win that promotion?

What if I hit my goal?

What if my goal can never be reached?

What if I succeed?

What if I fail?

Being afraid, Lenny sometimes gives too much weight to the more cautious scenarios.

“What if they love me?”

What if I lose my job?

What if they hate me?

What if I win that promotion?

What if I hit my goal?

What if my goal can never be reached?

What if I succeed?

What if I fail?

Lenny Has Purpose

He, like anyone else, relies on mental and emotional fuel to propel him toward his purpose.

That fuel powers the motivations behind all of his decision making and action taking.

For Lenny, His Fuel is Fear

Fear of losing his job, keeping him stressed and stationary.

Fear of being alone, putting him into relationships he knows he shouldn’t be in.

Fear of being outcast, causing him to live by other people’s standards.

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Fear of imperfection, keeping him on the sidelines.

Fear of not being happy, keeping him from ever getting the chance.

This is because smart Lenny’s fear mechanisms, clever as they are, have mutated into excessively heavy weights:

    • Anxiety
    • Procrastination
    • Perfectionism
    • Self-sabotage
    • Obsessive risk avoidance

Lenny is Trapped By It. Paralyzed.

He has become so tied down, so afraid of not fulfilling his purpose; he cannot possibly fulfill his purpose anyway.

Lenny is Afraid…But Not Alone.

The ‘what-ifs’ can consume you during times of change & transition.

Chapter 2 – Lenny Learns That Fear is Lying to Him

Lenny’s fear of imperfection taught him that fear leaves us weak and without another chance.

Studies have shown that you really do learn more from failure than from success.

Why then is Lenny not overcoming his anxiety then?

This is Lenny.

Lenny has been lied to.

Fear has taught him that failure leaves us weak and without another chance.

Lenny believes that poster platitudes like…

The master has failed more times than the beginner has even tried  – Stephen McCranie

…do not apply not to him, not really.

But studies have shown that you really do learn a lot more from imperfection than from success.

Intelivate Fueled by Fear Part 2 - Why We Seek Hope and How to Conquer Leadership Fear Trevor Finney
Part 2: Fear has lied to Lenny. He has hope for overcoming anxiety and his fear of imperfection.

Most people have experienced it; science and art are built around it.

So what’s the problem? Why do we still have this fear of imperfection?

Because opportunity is uncertain and uncomfortable, and the fear of imperfection is very loud.

Lenny is in the company of greatness.

The excellence of this world was forged by attempt and failure; by losers whose legacy is the passion they brought with them to the opportunity.

They learned the truth: you don’t have to obliterate fear to overpower it.

You only have to nick it.

Hope is the realization that the fear of imperfection is not an end, just information.

Hope allows you to spot opportunities and be excited by them; helping you take action.

Look for the chink in the armor, a crack in the wall.

Shine a light on the usually ridiculous life and death nature of fear by fully thinking through worst case scenarios.

Remember that you don’t need to know the future.

Don’t obsess over preventing failure, just know that you will survive & learn from it.

To assume otherwise is to assume you’ll be less equipped and less capable than you already are right now.

Our heroes slayed dragons by simply refusing to stay down, to stay paralyzed.

This is Lenny. Lenny has Hope.

Chapter 3 – Lenny Takes Action and Change Begins

It was a small and deliberate action; just adopting an awareness.

Am I acting from my fear or acting from hope? Am I even acting at all?

Find out in the conclusion. Is Lenny successful with overcoming anxiety?

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This is Lenny. Lenny has had a fuel change.

It was a small but deliberate action; just adopting an awareness, really.

Am I acting from fear or from hope? Am I even acting at all?

Mechanisms to keep him safe from fear, like perfectionism (the mythical pursuit of a venture free from failure) had trapped him and filtered out his options.

Intelivate Fueled by Fear Part 3 - Why We Seek Hope and How to Conquer Leadership Fear - Trevor Finney
Part 3: Will Lenny succeed at overcoming his anxiety and fear of imperfection and failure?

Perfectionism is the mythical pursuit of a venture free from failure and limits your options.

Will it be comfortable?

Am I certain of success?

Will I have enough time for greatness?

Will everyone like it? Will it help all of them?

Can it be perfect?

When his goal was framed around splitting an arrow, he couldn’t ever finish, or often even start.

He sought new techniques that kept him moving forward; like making decisions as if for someone else.

Just aim and act!

Research has shown that we make smarter decisions when making them for other people.

Lenny Reframed His Dreams

By breaking his lofty nebulous dreams into smaller objective-based goals, Lenny is able to fail productively, stay present and in control.

He Brings His Passion with Him

He doesn’t chase it. Passion is part of his fuel, not a reward.

Lenny tries to practice focus, an active skill.

Remembering that he’s not alone, he helps and connects with others.

Surrounded by things that inspire them and remind them of their fuel; they help each other keep track of their progress.

They do not let the fear of imperfection and anxiety cause them to forget what works and what doesn’t.

Lenny has transformed his environment so that fear can no longer be the loudest voice in the room. He now knows there is life after rejection.

This is Lenny. Lenny Has Purpose.

It wasn’t easy, but Lenny the Leader found his purpose – in leadership and life. He learned that easy is lazy and simple is hard.

He did the work. It started with an awareness of his fear, continued with a feeling of need to change and then transformed into a desire to change.

The purpose Lenny has found will bring him happiness. Happiness will eventually bring Lenny the sustainable success that ignites and builds through happiness.

Fear & Anxiety Are No Laughing Matters

Although a comic might seem like a contradiction, overcoming anxiety and fear is no laughing matter. It’s not something that most people can just switch off like a television.

WikiHow has some great tips on starting the process of beating anxiety. If a friend or coworker approaches you overwhelmed with anxiety or a fear of imperfection, don’t go the route of ‘just give it time.’ It takes more than just time – and for many people, it is beyond the influence and control of themselves.

Regardless of the situation, always remember to be kind to yourself.

You deserve it.

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