In our lives, we are all faced with a dilemma: to either continue our growth as a human being in all aspects of our lives; or watch and experience our gradual withering and self contraction, where we become the victim in our own life story. The great mythologist Joseph Campbell, said that choices based on fear cause a kind of, 'slow death'.
It could also be described as, 'Consciously or unconsciously choosing security and the known, over the call to adventure' and 'face our dragons'. The word dragon is an apt metaphor for 'that which we fear to face'. It appears to be on the outside, hence the term dragon. But in fact, it is most often an inner insecurity or fear that stops us from moving on. i.e. fear of failure, lack of vision or self knowledge, not knowing what we genuinely want, fearing what others will think of us, etc.
Facing your Dragon is the whole purpose of the Hero's Journey. It is a metaphor and working model that can be used to help us face our challenges in life and leadership.
Some myths, in their underlying message are common across many cultures. Such myths are believed to reflect some basic needs in the human psyche. Campbell (1949) has identified a common myth that occurs in every culture. He calls it the Hero’s Journey. The myth is about personal enlightenment and collective renewal. Campbell begins his description of the Hero’s Journey as follows:
Robert Quinn writes about the Hero's journey: