In the last few posts, I have spoken a lot about the challenges The Agile Project Manager will encounter on their journey to excellence. Once you have crossed the threshold into a new challenge, things like headspace and your inner critic might pop up. Notice these things are internal to you, not external. There are always going to be external challenges – difficult stakeholders, a non-responsive sponsor, budget limitations – but most of the challenges you will encounter actually come from within. Which means… your closest friends and allies will too.
Time to Draw on your Strengths
We often reach outside of ourselves for help before realising what is inside us. What inspires you? What makes you strong? What are the things about you that are great? Are you clever? Are you loving? Are you kind? Are you brave? What strengths do you need right now to get through this current challenge? I love The Wizard of Oz, because even though the Scarecrow, Tin Man and Cowardly Lion were real as they accompanied Dorothy to the Emerald City, the represented parts of her she needed to draw from in times of crisis – ultimately enabling her to defeat the Wicked Witch of the West. Before you think you just have to do that one extra training course, read that additional book, buy that product etc, look inside first and take a moment to appreciate your strengths.
Leverage the External
In my coaching blog, I talk a lot about the power of your environment. What we surround ourselves with can determine our success. So, while you are drawing on your amazing strengths, look at what is around you. Everywhere from your chosen work environment to your bedroom. Everything is there because you chose it to be. Is it working for you? The people in your life are there because you chose them to be there. How is that working out for you? How could your friends help you out during this challenge you are facing. The chances are, they can more than you think. I have some amazing friends, and looking back at time when they helped me through things, I realise that the most value they brought was to remind me of my strengths. Sure, there was advice, guidance, love and support – all of which was very helpful (and continues to be). But the thing I remember, is that they reminded me of what I could do. What was possible.
Look Inside, Look Outside, Look Inside Again
Just like when you cross the road – look to the left, look to the right, and look to the left again. Things aren’t always easy on any journey. Look inside and draw on your strengths, look outside for how others could help. Then look inside again. And you will find you have everything you need.