Have you ever considered giving up or letting go any of the following? It takes a conscious awareness, choice and practice to limit and change old patterns of thinking and feeling. The following illustrates elements of drama that individuals bring forth yet are challenged at times to admit it. Circle any elements that you might consider letting go of:
Pleasing Others – Understand this; not everyone is going to like us. Wanting others approval is a waste of time and energy. Seeking constant approval can be exhausting and will cost you happiness and well-being. You will also appear needy to others and your self-confidence will suffer.
To help curb the pleasing urge, first notice your reactions and your feelings associated with you thoughts. Gain a sense of wonder about the need to please… go deep into the feeling(s) that surfaces with the need to please. Stay with the feeling long enough to let yourself allow the feeling, then accept the feeling without making it right or wrong. Often when we allow and accept a feeling for what it is, a feeling, it will start to dissipate or evaporate. The longer you can sit still with an uncomfortable emotion the easier it will leave you. Try this with any uncomfortable feeling of pleasing or any other emotions that are associated with the elements listed below.
Focus on pleasing yourself by using incremental changes; practice doing one thing daily that pleases you or makes you happy.
Rescuing Others – Allow others to experience life’s’ challenges on their own, especially your children. Our experiences, not another’s, have been our greatest teacher. So give others the gift of experiencing good or bad situations. It will empower them and it will free you.
Being Perfect and/or Expecting Perfection in Others – Perfection does not really exist. It’s a mindset conditioned by others expectations of us. Just always do your best instead of striving for perfection.
Opinionated – I use to think that others always wanted opinions or advice. Often I found the opposite to be true. Others don’t necessarily want our opinion even when asked, so why bother giving it unsolicited. It’s better to ask questions of their situations and ask them what they think. Prompting questions will help others to think for themselves. Here are some questions you can ask during a conversation instead of giving your opinion:
- What do you think that matters to you?
- Have you thought of other options?
- Are you saying that relationship is okay or not okay with you?
- Is that working for you? Why not? What tells you that?
- Have you thought about getting another job/position? What’s holding you back?
- Are you saying that you are hard on your self? Why do you think that? Would you like to change that? How would you go about doing that?
- Are you noticing any strong emotions with this situation? Can you describe them?
Practicing asking questions instead of giving your opinion will empower you. They will feel stronger knowing they can come up with answers on their own. Trust them in their self-discovery.
Worry – Is a preoccupation of negative thoughts of past or future events. The feeling state associated with worry can be anxiety or fear. Worry has never been associated with finding any peace of mind. That is because it can also be looked upon as negative goal setting. Worry thoughts are fearful negative thoughts of assumptions we make about what we think WILL of MAY happen. In truth no one can forecast all outcomes to life. But by putting worry thoughts into gear that is speaking them out loud or not is like utilizing negative prayers for your self of for others. Thinking is a thought process and thought is energy. It is important not to forecast that what you do not want. Try this, write your worry down on a piece of paper and tell yourself you will handle it later. At a later time, energetically tear up the paper and throw it away. Tear it up using all your emotions surrounding it. Yell out the fear and feel it. Emotionally and symbolically, you have just handled it. Excessive worry can be debilitating, if you experience excessive worry consider professional assistance.
Judgment or Criticalness (of self or others) – This is the BIG ONE! It’s probably the one most effective way of finding peace and compassion; relinquishing criticism of self or others. One helpful way is to focus on goodness or positive traits in others and yourself. Writing down positive traits is a big step toward self-acceptance and peace. I would say to you this…really listen to what words come out of your mouth. If they are not words associated with love or acceptance you are most likely judging someone or a situation as being wrong or imperfect. Listen to the words inside your mind. Are they with love and acceptance? If not, you have just experienced your EGO mind.
Overreacting to Others – We tend to take things personally and then over react and later regret it. Eleanor Roosevelt said it best; “no one can make you feel inferior without your consent”. Start noticing how you react to things. Reactions are carried over from past emotional triggers. Be careful not to make everything about you because generally … it’s not. To curb this you can focus on what your feeling state is, that is your emotions. Your emotions are felt in your body. Notice where in your body you feel emotions, be it sadness, anger, hurt, etc. Then allow yourself to notice it with pushing it down or away. That is what the EGO does. It makes our feelings wrong instead of acknowledging them for what it is; a feeling. Even though we may not like the feeling, it is what we are feeling. Don’t make it wrong or right. Just feel it and accept that it is your body reactions to a past stored memory.
Blaming or Complaining – Many are not aware of the level of complaining, blaming and negativity they emit. Listen to what you say and listen intently. If you justify that your words are truthful because of this or that, you probably are blaming, complaining or judging. When one blames and complains they give up their personal power. They avoid responsibility and develop a “poor me” or victim attitude. Life changes as we accept others unconditionally.
Guilt – Guilt feelings and shameful feelings are another obstacle to joy, peace and success. Guilt is associated with thoughts of having experienced or having done something wrong. It is also coupled with keeping secrets, not feeling good enough, being responsible for others happiness, or not feeling accomplished.
One way of releasing guilt can be done through self-reflection and journaling. List things that you feel guilt about such as past hurts and pain, rejections, things you felt you did wrong (as far back as you can remember) that replay in your mind and how you were wrong but may feel guilty about it. Also include how you felt then and how you feel now.
“The only people, with whom you should try to get even with, are those who have helped you.” Mae Maloo
The Elements of Drama
A comical common term used today to compartmentalize these behaviors is called the DRAMA QUEENS and DRAMA KINGS. However, let’s not label anyone here. Too many labels are put on individuals. Labels are known to keep one stuck in the behavior. We are not our behaviors; we are reacting to our past histories and wounds. We react that way as a way of learning to protect ourselves. Our behaviors and reactions should be noted as something that can be changed over time with proper guidance, knowledge and support.
If one is using any of the above thoughts and actions they are incorporating DRAMA into their life. Drama is the EGO in full play. The EGO tries to justify all of the above elements out of a sense of wanting to be right versus happy or to make one feel ‘above’ another and for a myriad of other reasons. To De-Dramatize your life you will have to step out of your drama whether it being the role of the Persecutor, the Rescuer, the Victim, or all three. Once you recognize and execute this your life will change; for the better. Period. Yes, it’s sometimes easier said than done. Yet it can be done with an ongoing commitment to change.
When working with clients. often they cannot recognize fully their part of the drama. That is why it’s instrumental to work with a trained professional that can help you fully integrate change and advise action steps, specific direction and support. The benefits are enormous and rewarding.
My Stress Reduction and Awareness Plan
“Start Feeling Good About Me and Life”
“If not now, when?” Unknown
Keeping a log of daily practices is a fundamental means to stay aware of the subtle events that eventually lead to change. Use this page to check off your commitments. My Stress Reduction and Awareness Plan
If you find that you get off track at any point just say to yourself “it’s okay” and just get back into your routine.
People that succeed with goals may also fall out of practice, but pick themselves up again and continue where they left off. You can do it!