Slaying Dragons

Oct 01, 2021


When you hear the flapping of leather wings getting louder, it’s time to learn new skills, build more trust, and exert self-leadership.

I have been WAAAYYY out of my comfort zone of late. So far out, that when I turn around to find it, or even tell you what it was like-- I can’t see it or describe it. Ok, maybe that is a bit melodramatic, but I’m sure you can relate to a full schedule, new challenges, and the tug of tasks you have not yet mastered. My husband and I seem to be in the same season in our work, so when he told me about the motivational dragon, I found myself relating quite well. He was describing the one big scary thing that seems to put all of the other difficult activities into perspective.

The dragon represents the biggest thing you are dreading. It’s the task, conversation, or event that makes you want to turn around and run! Dragons are mythical, of course, and depending on the dragon, it can fly, live underwater, breath fire, and demonstrate various other superpowers! Just like the experience we are avoiding, dragons can actually motivate us to do all those other things on the list. All of a sudden, we start organizing a desk drawer or deleting emails from a year ago!

The dragon wants us to feel:

  1. Failure: When we are learning something new, we risk making mistakes or worse, failing completely. Perfection is not really an option (sorry!), we do get to minimize failure by being prepared and asking questions, key components of learning.
  2. Embarrassment: We worry about looking dumb or being exposed. The bigger the opportunity, the more people discover we are developing new skills. Diffusing situations with humor allows leaders to be vulnerable, a key component of trust.
  3. Overwhelmed: New experiences require more time and we are unsure of our developing capacity. Being overwhelmed is uncomfortable and requires us to set priorities and be realistic about our endeavors, a key component of self-leadership.

Why is the dragon so motivating? Because we want to avoid feelings of failure, embarrassment, and overwhelm. We can do the little things without these feelings. …And, strong leaders do big things with these feeling. Strong leaders slay dragons! When you hear the proverbial leather wings of your dragon getting louder or feel the heat of its fiery breath getting closer, remember: For the Scriptures say, ‘He will order his angels to protect and guard you. Luke 4:10 (NLT). We are not promised comfort in our work; we are promised protection of our souls. We are often learning skills, building trust, and exerting leadership, AND that’s not always easy.

When you find yourself color-coordinating sticky notes with your socks, you just might be running from a dragon. Instead, slay the dragon by being prepared, asking questions, laughing at yourself, setting priorities, and remaining realistic about your tasks, conversations, and events. 

Because you have made the Lord your dwelling place— the Most High, who is my refuge— no evil shall be allowed to befall you, no plague come near your tent. For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways. Psalms 91:9-11 (ESV)

by Michelle Sugerman • Leading Synergies, LLC • © All Rights Reserved

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