Drama occurs all around us. We don’t think of ourselves as
a drama queen or king. “isn’t that a movie?” isn’t that a
neighbor, co-worker, friend, or in-law? For artists, drama
contributes to their creative production. There is a darker
side. One we don’t want to admit to. At least not easily.
We add drama in order to make life or situations more
interesting. Artists like to do this when their creativity
is blocked. Drama adds fizz to imagination. We also create
drama when we’re bored or need to shelter our feelings.
Drama, thought of as a serious narrative for fiction, can
also be serious emotional muck that zaps both creativity and
success. Like quicksand, we don’t know you’re in it until
you can’t move your legs.
A friend, let¡¯s name her Jane, phones and pulls you in with
her BMW (bitch, moan and whine). She curls your ear about
life not going according to her plan. You have just become
stuck in her drama. You pat your foot and think about what
else you could be doing. The critic justifies staying with:
“She¡¯s your friend. She listens to your BMW.” Afterwards,
your energy sags.
Drama is easier to see in other people, it is harder to see
the muck we create for ourselves. Here is a process that
will assist your awareness and propel you forward:
Step 1: Recognize when the drama is appearing or when it
did appear. Do you drag yourself out of bed? That¡¯s drama.
Do you moan and groan about something? That¡¯s drama. Our
inner critic has a natural ability to ignite drama when you
don’t want to do something. Did you give an excuse for
something? That¡¯s drama. We’re you late because you
weren’t sure you wanted to go? Drama! Excessive emotion is
Step 2: Acknowledge the event as unnecessary. When you
acknowledge it as unnecessary and you are in a dramatic
moment, the shift begins.
Step 3: Identify what part, or whole, is “just” your part?
Weed out the other players. See only your part. Decide:
Are you going to continue or change it?
Step 4: Begin the transformation. Write or carefully think
through what occurred. If you see the drama unfolding
before you, and it includes other players, stop, don’t
continue just to save face. Once you decide to transform
it, declare it out loud three times.
Let me share with you one of my changing events…
My fought my own thoughts as I moved down the isles. “Yes, I
need these? No, I don’t really need this?” Justifying
with the great price. I stared at items without seeing as
my thoughts fought. “Should I or shouldn’t I.” At the
checkout counter, I couldn’t let go of the items so the
cashier could price and bag them. Slowly I let go.
When it came time to pay, I stopped, looked at her, and
explained that I changed my mind. I apologized, slightly
embarrassed. Not so surprised but delighted from my
explanation, she said thank you, she learned something to.
I said, “Me too.”
I sat on the mall bench in disbelief for quite some time.
It was one of those memorable moments. One I still remember
very clearly today. It took time to process what occurred
but I did see that my spending process changed
significantly. It was one of my shifts in seeing my drama.
Step 5: Make a conscious choice to let it go.
Step 6: Take action. Talk with someone about it — a
friend, clergy, or coach. Just do it. If you prefer to
write your way through the process, do it. Process it
lovingly. For when you see the drama as if it¡¯s a
television soap opera “an out of body view” this particular
drama behavior ends.
Step 7: Repeat this phrase three times: “And this has
passed. I now move forward in joy and success.”
Enjoy the less dramatic you and watch your new success
Your Assignment, If You Choose To Take This On
Make a list, 1-10. Close your eyes and revisit the last 24
hours. See where the drama occurred? What was your
contribution? Was the drama getting the kids to go to bed?
Did you procrastinate on something and then create drama to
get you started? Write down even the smallest memory. Even
the appearances you’re not sure of. Choose one. Start with