You know her – the woman who’s so uncomfortable when everything is running smoothly, she goes looking for trouble. Her day is always in crisis and if she can’t find a crisis, she creates one. There’s always a massive dramatic reason why she’s late for lunch, missed her appointment or simply didn’t do what she promised she would. And…it’s never her fault. Her life is spiraling out of control.
Most of us have felt that way at least once in our lives. Let’s be honest, sometimes a crisis can make an otherwise dull existence just a little bit more interesting. There’s the thrill of getting through it, the excitement of wondering if things will work out and, of course, the glow of being centre stage as everyone around you ooh’s and ah’s over your latest crisis. We all enjoy a touch of drama here and there.
But when you end up addicted to the adrenaline rush of always having something “going wrong”, you’ve become a drama queen. And that spells trouble.
The Trouble With Drama
When you’re constantly in a state of flux, you aren’t moving forward. You might feel alive – but it’s the kind of ‘alive’ that is only possible on the verge of death.
That adrenaline rush? It means you’re in a constant state of ‘fight or flight’, feeling threatened and unsafe. It causes the human brain to become laser focused on one thing, and one thing only – avoiding the danger and staying alive.
When you’re driving and the car in front of you suddenly brakes, that adrenaline rush is your friend. It allows you to divert all your brainpower and your physical power to avoiding a potentially fatal accident. It is physically impossible in that moment to learn, do, or process anything that is directly related to the immediate crisis you’re facing.
But, when you’re trying to start a new business or make lasting change in your life, constant drama is your enemy. It’s impossible to grow or improve when you’re struggling just to stay alive. Your drama addiction is literally stopping you from getting what you want.
That’s Not Me
Probably not. Most of us manage to function pretty well, most of the time. We aren’t extreme. But it only takes a tiny little piece of drama queen in your character to cause real havoc. Answer these 5 questions to find out if drama-addiction is holding you back.
- When you run into a friend you haven’t seen a while, you:
- Ask about what’s happening in her life, then jump in with a story about your own.
- Hide behind a rack because you look like hell and don’t want her to see you this way.
- Regale her with entertaining tales of your latest crises. And there are plenty!
- Complain about your partner and how miserable he’s making you.
- Have a warm, lighthearted chat about old times and make a date to get together again soon.
- You’ve been working on your home based business for six-months but the website still isn’t live because:
- You spent the time developing a solid business plan so that you could give you designer the information she needs to build you a kick-ass site.
- You’re working on the site in your spare time, learning HTML as you go and it’s taking longer than you expected.
- You forgot to pay your credit card bill and the hosting company shut down your site. Now you’re trying madly to recover all the lost files so that you can get it back up and running.
- Your kids keep taking over the computer when you should be working, so you just can’t get to it.
- What do you mean, the website has been up for months.
- When you review the goals you set for yourself last year:
- You don’t set goals. Why bother, the universe is out to get you anyway. There’s no way you’ll achieve them.
- You decide that they weren’t good goals, and that’s why you didn’t get as far towards reaching them as you planned.
- You get angry because of all the things that went wrong, preventing you from achieving them.
- You resign yourself to the fact that your uncooperative kids, abusive spouse, dis-respectful friends, greedy landlord or some other key person in your life just isn’t going to support you and blame them for getting in your way and pulling you down. Again.
- You realize that you accomplished a lot of them, made great progress on others and let go of a few that sounded good at the time but aren’t really you after all.
- You’ve had three minor car accidents in six months. You:
- Use your sudden fear of driving anywhere as an excuse not to attend networking events or go to the gym.
- Decide that your car is bad luck and go buy a new one, even though you can’t really afford it.
- Tell everyone you meet how you almost died three times this year already, embellishing a few details here and there to make the story more exciting.
- Get really, really mad about how the streak of accidents (that were all someone else’s fault) have ruined your driving record and your premiums have skyrocketed.
- Chalk it up to an unlucky streak and tell yourself you’re fortunate they weren’t more serious. Then move on.
- How many times have each of the following things happened to you in the last 12 months:
- ___ Times you’ve cancelled or postponed a meeting that would move your business forward because of a personal or family crisis.
- ___ Had a major blow-up with an ex that left you emotionally distraught for more than 10 minutes.
- ___ Cancelled your plans to rush to the side of a friend in crisis.
- ___ Had a major falling out with a sibling or close relative.
- ___ Postponed or cancelled a meeting due to unexpected illness or injury.
- ___ Missed an appointment because you slept in, missed your bus or forgot to put it in your calendar.
Questions 1 through 4: For every question you circled answers 1 through 4, give yourself 10 points. If you answered 5, give yourself 0 points.
Question 5: Give yourself one point for each time you’ve had one of these things happen in the past year, then subtract 6 points. Now total up all your points.
If you got:
0 – 10 points: you’re doing pretty well. You’ve got a great handle on crises in your life and don’t let situations get out of control. Other women wish they could be you. You could help them.
10 – 30 points: you function pretty well in most situations, but there are a couple of mental habits that are holding you back from being as happy as you could be. You probably find that some of your most important goals seem always just out of reach, and might find yourself thinking “if only…”. A little coaching could help you get to a real breakthrough that would make a huge difference in your next year.
30+ points: Life is one crisis after another. You go to the grocery store and the guy in front of you steals your parking spot. You can’t seem to break free of a bad relationship, even though you’re both living in different States. You don’t have time to think if only; you’re too busy trying to dodge the next bullet you’re sure is coming your way! You need to take dramatic action, and quickly, if you’re going to turn your life around. Consider investing in a coaching or personal development program and joining a mastermind group with other women on the journey to ensure you have the support you need.