Watching a young toddler play the “peek-a-boo” game is such joy. It’s the laughter and connecting that elicits the giggles each time the toddler yells; “Do it again!”
Wouldn’t it be great if we adults could learn that doing something over doesn’t mean we made a mistake or we are imperfect? Unfortunately, we often hear people become even more self-critical when they learn about TED* (*The Empowerment Dynamic) ™. They tell us that when they understand the Dreaded Drama Triangle (DDT) ™ and the roles of Victim, Persecutor and Rescuer, they believe they “should” be able to stop themselves from slipping into these toxic roles.
Being more mindful of the more resourceful TED* roles of Creator, Challenger and Coach, it is common to think we can live from The Empowerment Dynamic all the time. Breaking ingrained habits of thoughts and behavior is very difficult and takes practice, practice, practice.
Embracing the concept of “do-over” gives you space to keep practicing and reduce your tendency to get discouraged. This attitude has been inspiring to us and has allowed us to be kind to ourselves when we go reactive and fall into the DDT (yes, it happens to us too – it is part of the human experience!).
There may be many reasons why you become triggered and fall into the DDT. You may catch yourself being judgmental of a fellow co-worker, instead of seeing them as a Creator. Missing a deadline you wanted to make, you may beat yourself up, thereby being your own Persecutor. Or you may fall into trying to fix or change someone in your family, adopting the role of Rescuer.
Just noticing when drama arises is a huge step forward. Then you can pause, and say, “I will do this over. I will try again.” You can relieve yourself of pressure and grandiose expectations by just starting over. Whatever your focus and desire, give yourself the gift of space and grace to begin again.
Developing a “do-over” practice will nurture your willingness to stay focused on the outcomes you want in your life. We recommend these suggestions to help you cultivate your “do-over” practice:
- Notice when you get drawn into the DDT. What were the circumstances or situation? Just notice, rather than judging. What is there to learn from the experience?
- If the situation is still active, choose a TED* role and response. If the time has passed, what would you do if you could call “do over!”
- Now “do-over” and begin again with a new attitude of compassion and openness.
Becoming “child-like” and applying the TED* exercise of “do-over” will build your resilience and give you energy to keep moving forward. You are teaching yourself a new way of living, shifting from a reactive, drama-filled way of living to an outcome-based, empowered lifestyle. It takes time and practice, practice, practice.