To Slay a Dragon, Name It

At the end of a seminar a few years ago we were asked to write something inspirational for each person in our group. One of the notes I received said "You are more than a match for the dragon."

On the drive home I wondered, "What dragon?” I have decided the person who wrote it believed I have the ability to overcome the obstacles life sends my way.  

If you are a regular reader here you know my clients hire me for lots of different reasons. For the majority of them, what they think the problem is actually isn’t the problem at all. It is something else entirely. If we were to work on what they thought the issue was we would never solve the real problem. We can't overcome an obstacle until we understand what it is. We have to name the dragon.

How to name a dragon:

  • In what area of your life are you struggling (work, family, relationship, health, etc)?  
  • How would you like things to be (IE what is your goal)? For some people this is the dragon. They can't articulate where they want to end up so they are unlikely to get there. Be as specific as possible. Writing it down can help with clarity.   
  • What do you think is impeding your progress toward where you want to be? (This could be time, fear, lack of ambition or motivation, someone holding you back, etc).  Be really honest with yourself. For this step it might be helpful to talk through it with someone you trust who will be supportive and honest with you.
  • What are your controlables? Sometimes we think we don’t have a choice when in reality we don’t like the possible outcomes of any of the choices. All of us have choices we could make which would change our direction or circumstances. Doing nothing means letting life live you and accepting whatever outcome occurs. Some people do this so they can then complain they were powerless to change it.  There are ALWAYS choices within your control.
  • Why aren't you controlling those controllables? Getting to this why is going to take bravery and honesty on your part; and maybe a few sessions with a professional. 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 goes wrong.
  • That why is your dragon's name. Ignoring the dragon or choosing not to fight it doesn't mean it doesn't exist; it means it is controlling you.

When you’re ready, repeat the process on a different area in your life. You might be surprised to learn that you have one large dragon holding you back in lots of areas. Maybe you have multiple smaller dragons ganging up on you. Once you name your dragon(s) you have a way to think and talk about it/them and can develop manageable battle plans.

No matter the name of your dragon, you are more than a match to conquer it. It is no longer just a scary beast. It has a name and you can start creating a plan to fight it.

What’s your dragon’s name?

As always, I with you the MOST from your potential,

Doc Robyn

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Dr. Robyn Odegaard (aka “Doc Robyn”) is internationally known motivational speaker, executive coach and corporate trainer. As CEO of Champion Performance Development, she works with executives, professionals, athletes, and coaches to help them achieve excellence in all aspects of life through active leadership, powerful teamwork, effective communication, Productive Conflict™ and professional disagreement skills. She is the founder of the Stop The Drama! Campaign and author of the books Stop The Drama! The Ultimate Guide to Female Teams and The Ultimate Guide to Handling Every Disagreement Every Time. To work with her one-on-one, have her present to your team, request a custom workshop or invite her to speak at your event, please call 302-307-3091 or email her at

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