I Can't Do It!

Jun 30, 2021

Last month my team finished the roadmap planning exercise for the remaining year. Finalized and submitted, we set out to further break it down into monthly milestones.

A couple weeks later…

In one of my 1:1s with a team member, she seemed a bit flustered. This was unlike her. Out of genuine concern, I probed further to ensure everything was alright and if I could do anything to help. And then, she finally opened up to me — “I can’t do it!”

I calmed her down and we dove into problem solving!

For those of you out there thinking “I can’t do it!”, here's a simple framework to self-diagnose and bridge the gap to "I can do it!"


I don’t know what is needed!


Lacking clarity/strategy


Outward: seek guidance from manager, mentor or peers

Inward: envision the end state and work backwards from it


I don’t know why it’s important!


Lacking vision


Outward: build compassion towards the problem by understanding who you’re solving it for (customer obsession)

Inward: find ways to motivate yourself


I don’t know how to go about doing this!


Lacking skills


Outward: delegate/hire someone with the right skills

Inward: learn the chops yourself