I grew up as a peacemaker. I had a terrifying aversion to conflict and avoided arguments at all costs. But if you don’t let it come out in words, conflict finds other sneaky ways of making you notice that someone’s overstepped your boundaries or that it’s actually not ok with you that they borrowed your new top without asking. Conflict was my dragon and…
I ran away from dragons until I realised that they come to bring out the best in us.
Instead of dealing with a recent situation with a project team member, I gave prime real estate headspace to being angry about it. I did this for a whole day until I realised that my anger (aka fear pretending it’s a badass) had nothing to do with him.
The real dragon isn’t the person who seems to be threatening you. It’s the part of you that feels threatened. It was the conflict avoidant kid’s fear that you can’t resolve a difference without someone getting seriously hurt.
The real dragon is the fear that tries to protect you because it thinks you’re still seven.
But when you don’t run away from it, you remember that you’re not seven. That when you hear a negative comment or receive negative feedback, when someone questions your ability, you don’t need a mythical creature to protect you because you get decide if you’ll use it to fuel self doubt or whether you’ll let it bring out in you the leader you want to be.
Before I spoke to that colleague, I pacified my dragon by calling on the values I want to embody and the standard I set for the environment that I want to work in. And it worked a lot better than running away or pulling his hair! Don’t be held back from being who you want to be by fear…
Chase the dragon.
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