A few years ago I attended a week long seminar aimed at understanding group dynamics and how individual personalities created that dynamic. At the end we were asked to write something inspirational for each person in our group (there were about 20 of us). One of the notes I received said “You are more than a match for the dragon.”
On the four hour drive home I wondered, “What dragon? What does that mean?” I have decided that it means the person who wrote it believes I have the ability to overcome the obstacles life sends my way. I believe that is true of most people. But you can’t overcome an obstacle until you know what it is. You have to name the dragon.
It sounds simple. But in reality it can be more difficult than you think. Here are a few pointers to get you started.
- Chose one area in your life (work, family, relationship, health, etc).
- How would you like things to be? (For some people that is their dragon. They don’t know where they want to end up so they are unlikely to get there.) Be as specific as possible.
- What is impeding your progress toward where you want to be? (This could be time, fear, lack of ambition, someone holding you back, etc). Be really honest with yourself.
- What are your controlables? All of us have choices we could make which would change our direction or circumstances. What are yours?
- Why aren’t you controlling those controllables?
That why is your dragon. Maybe you are afraid. Maybe you believe the consequences will be too great. Maybe you would rather let other people control things so you have someone to blame if it go wrong. Ignoring the dragon or choosing not to fight it doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. In fact it means it is controlling you.
Repeat the thought process on a different area in your life. You might be surprised to learn that you have one dragon holding you back in lots of areas or maybe you have multiple dragons ganging up on you. Once you know that you can separate them out into workable battles.
Whatever the case you are more than a match for the dragon. It is no longer just a scary beast. Now it has a name and you can start putting together a plan to fight it.
Do you have a dragon you successfully conquered? How did you do it? Share with us.
Next week: Eliminating the Ambiguity that is holding your team back
Last week we discussed how to tell your team you let someone go. Read it here if you missed it.