We know of a lady who desperately wanted to learn to snow ski. Her family loved skiing and she felt left-out because of her fear of skiing. Finally, one winter day, she traveled to a nearby skip slope to give it a try.
She had taken lessons over the years and knew a little about skiing. It was her fear that crippled her from trying. As she made her way to the beginner’s bunny hill, she saw a woman about her age coming down the hill with her hands and ski poles held high above her head and gleefully shouting: “Yippee! Yippee!”
When the first woman finally got on the ski lift chair she found herself next to the woman she had just seen gleefully skiing down the slope. With fright in her voice the first woman said: “My stomach is in knots and my heart is pounding so hard it feels like it’s in my throat.”
The second woman joyfully proclaimed: “I know. Me too. Isn’t it great!”
In that moment, the first woman realized she had a choice about how her mind responded to her body’s sensations. She viewed the heart pounding in her throat and a knot in her stomach as crippling fear. The second woman felt the same sensations and her mind interpreted it as joy and delight.
You can learn to be with your uncomfortable moments of fear or frustration in skillful ways. Life will always create difficult moments. It is part of the human experience. You can learn, however, to roll with your drama-filled body sensations and still move forward despite your fears.
It is often said that our thoughts create our reality. The story of the two women’s different emotional responses to the similar experience of skiing is an excellent example of how one woman learned to take responsibility for her mind. The first women allowed her mind to be ruled by her fearful emotions while the second made a different choice.
The genius of the Dreaded Drama Triangle (DDT)™ is to help you identify your behavior in response to uncomfortable emotions. The first woman allowed herself to become a Victim to her emotions, feeling powerless and frozen.
Such reactions can happen in any aspect of our lives – at work, at home or being out-and-about. Do you allow yourself to be victimized by your uncomfortable emotions and react to them as a Persecutor?
If so, you can learn to pause and observe your emotions as they move through you, allowing your mind to more clearly understand the situation. With a deep breath and intentional relaxation, it takes about 90 seconds for your mind to relax its grasping thoughts. If this does not happen, you risk your mind slipping more deeply into the DDT.
We encourage you to take responsibility for your mind and interrupt automatically reacting to uncomfortable emotions. By being aware of the anxiety-producing states, you can see them from a distance. You can have your emotions rather than your emotions having you.
In these more spacious and more conscious moments, you can choose to assume that you are safe in the moment.
A colleague compares this experience to being in a theater and watching a scary movie. You feel fearful emotions from the movie and yet you know you are safe in your seat.
Creators cultivate the ability to notice their emotions while still taking responsibility for their thinking mind. By doing so, you are more at choice as to how to respond.