Fear has a new name. It's Frank.

frank Meet Frank. He's green and fuzzy with goggly eyes. If Oscar the Grouch and Eyeore had a little brother, Frank would be that kid. This means he's relatively large and has a bit of an attitude. He likes to drop by when you least want him around. Sometimes he comes with an energy drink -- Adrenaline -- and forces you to chug it. Frank is annoying, and he knows exactly how to push you into doing something.

Frank is the name I have decided to give fear.

My colleague Melissa Pelochino and I have come to the conclusion that I thrive on fear -- I mean, Frank. He gets me through tasks that I need to do, but he also drains me, preventing me from doing those things as well as I probably could. He also keeps me from doing the things I want to do.

Write a blog post, or else…

Edit that piece, or else…

Get to class, or else…

Do that interview, or else…

Set up that meeting, or else...

Frank lives in the "or else." That means Frank's around a lot, and he often overstays his welcome. Another colleague, Melissa Kline-Lee, has written that Frank has no place in design. So I'm evicting Frank. I am, after all, Frank's landlord. And here's how I'm going to do it:

#1 - Replace "or else" with positive motivation. That means phrases like, "write that blog post, or else" become "write that blog post, because you love to write" or "set up that meeting, because that person has cool ideas." Doing this is the equivalent of prying off Frank's roof while it's raining.

#2 - Always ask Frank the question: What's the worst that could happen? This will work for just about everything. Frank may win out in life/death situations, but this question will otherwise make him miserable.

#3 - Tell people when Frank's around. So, when Frank comes over to visit, force him to shout over a brass band. He hates that.

#4 - Significantly reduce procrastination activities. (Binge-watching Netflix, trawling through my Facebook feed, etc.) This is like closing Frank's supermarket.

#5 - Block out time in my calendar now for the things I want to do later (gardening, recreational reading, hosting a patio party). I can hear Frank screaming. Yeah. Take that, Frank.

So, Frank, we're done. You can come by once in a while for a day trip -- when I go base jumping, for instance. Otherwise, consider yourself out. Good luck with … oh, forget it. Scram.

Photograph by Flickr user Christopher Sessums.