Limiting Belief #3: Drama

Guys – it’s the last week of 2018! Who’s panicking? I mean with all the gifts need to be wrapped and cards mailed. And last night I forgot to move that stupid Elf on the Shelf. And don’t even get me started on that tax bill that showed up in my mailbox – I mean, what am I made of money? I cannot wait until January when all the crazy stops…

I recently heard drama defined as emotional waste and it felt exactly right to me. I like the simplicity of that definition. It seems far more accurate than the dictionary’s version of an exciting, emotional, or unexpected series of events or set of circumstances. That seems a little too much like the way Hollywood might define a movie, not how we describe the exhaustive stuff flying around in our brain on the daily – sucking our energy and our joy – that’s right – emotional waste.

How about we actually stop the crazy in January and the rest of 2019! We can control the amount of emotional waste we accumulate or create. We can learn to spot it in our communities and not contribute to it. We can stop bringing it into our homes and workplaces. Here’s the reality – clearing a buildup of waste requires a lot of hard and dirty work. And to keep it from piling up again, we have to develop a system we can rely on to keep it cleared. Take my word on this – not dealing with waste is a big problem – trust me…I’m a plumber’s wife.

Limiting Belief #3: Drama is everywhere. We cannot avoid it. Venting is harmless – I vent to get through the day.

Let’s pick up our shovels and start hauling some of this crap out of here.

Drama does not just walk into our lives. We either create it, invite it, or associate with it.

We Create Drama – We create emotional waste by venting or complaining to others about our daily experiences. We offload our pain by constantly rehearsing the ‘drama’ in our life. The thing is – most of us are still under the false assumption that our happiness is directly related to our circumstances vs. our happiness being correlated to the amount of accountability we take for the circumstances. Drama-free people do not see themselves as victims. Drama free people are too busy taking responsibility for their lives to be constantly complaining about them.

We Invite Drama – We invite emotional waste into our lives when we don’t have the skills or tools to buffer our emotions from other people. We open the door willingly when we underestimate or don’t expect drama at work or in our families and communities. Drama also sticks around much too long when we don’t have a plan for responding to it when we spot it. Drama free people learn how to deal with their emotions, know their triggers and have built-in safety mechanisms.

Associating with Drama – Every human has a heavy load. We all have baggage BUT we don’t need to haul other people’s luggage around because it’s holding a lifetime of emotional waste. There are different levels of ‘toxicity’ in every bag – and you can’t unpack your luggage if you’re carrying someone else’s suitcase. We must stay aware and realize when we’ve consumed a little too much and how to hand those bags off to their owner before it we are overcome.

Why Disrupt This Belief: The average employee spends about 2 hours per workday in drama…did you hear that?! Not only do we waste emotional energy on drama, we waste our most valuable resource – TIME – by creating, inviting or associating with emotional waste. Drama is stealing our joy and perpetuating our misery. Think of getting 520 hours back over the course of a year by simply cutting out our habit of creating spin and being resistant to change or new ideas. That is 31,200 minutes per year – PER PERSON! And yet a lot of women say they’re just too busy for self care and personal growth work…

The Truth: Drama does not come from our circumstances, drama comes from the stories we make up about our circumstances and what we do with those stories. If we aren’t empowered to call bullshit on our emotional waste stories, they become a script played out by the same characters over and over again. We play victim, while we offload all the stress and pain of our lives to someone else. When we take ownership and accountability and limit our emotional waste we do the courageous work of striving to be drama free.

Want to disrupt more limiting beliefs? Download the Limiting Belief Disrupter worksheet.

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Julie Stephenson

Julie is one of the founders of Compounding Courage, a company that provides personal growth and leadership development programs. CLICK HERE to learn more.