This past weekend, I found myself thinking about Jennifer’s comment on last week’s “TED* Behind Bars” post – especially her statement about “my own personal prison.”

Over and over, I have seen this in my own life and in my coaching of others.  It is especially true for those of us whose primary role in the Dreaded Drama Triangle is that of Rescuer.

How many times have leaders/managers complained about how overworked and out of work-life balance they are?  Way too many!  As we explore deeper, it is often the case that the have become prisoners (or Victims) of their own making by becoming the “go to person” or “chief fire fighter” or just the “expert” who has seen it all and knows it all.  Over time, the system becomes dependent on their playing the Rescuer (or hero) with all the answers by their employees and/or others they work around.

During this exploration, I will ask what the hoped-for payoff is for being the Rescuer, which is often connected to being seen as important, helpful or (again) the hero.   Then we look at the unintended consequences of playing this role.  This is where they come to see how they have bred dependency – and with everyone now dependent upon them, the pressures and weight of always having to be there becomes their “own personal prison.”

The way to escape this particular prison is to shift into the Coach role of TED* (*The Empowerment Dynamic) and to be helpful in facilitating others’ clarification and discernment of how to respond to situations and create their own outcomes. (For more on this, see last month’s “TED* Letter” newsletter).

BTW, this is also true in family dynamics.  Being the “fixer of others” can become another context for constructing our “own personal prison.”

Thanks, Jennifer, for the provocative (Challenger) comments!


To the Creator in you!