You can put a silver lining on your life’s stories just as easily as you can re-tell the negatives. Sometimes a story has more appeal with the shock and awe of how much you were wronged. And boy oh boy, you have been through the most unbelievable drama. We all have. People can be cruel, both deliberately and cluelessly. We want sympathy, acknowledgement, and to be right. We want to be entertaining. Blame it on human nature, blame it on reality television, blame it on the cabernet. But, telling your past dramas repeatedly can block you from second chances.
Here are 5 Ways Past Dramas Block You from Second Chances:
- Making Enemies is Easier than Self-Acceptance: At first, we don’t believe those that hurt us are awful. We rush into denial and defend them, viciously blame ourselves, and look for resolution to the pain. Once we can no longer deny that someone hurt us, we then race to the far other side and make them an enemy. Running into that anger and hate is typically inevitable. Sometimes it’s even necessary to move us away from an undeserving amount of self-blame. Ideally, we work through that hate, maybe with the help of a coach, and we come to the clarity where we can see fault on both sides. We remove the label of enemy and find healthy boundaries remembering there are always 2 sides to every story. Unfortunately, too many people never get to clarity. They stay stuck in the enemy mindset. Divorce is a great example. If 2 people couldn’t agree on a parenting style while married, it isn’t going to get easier divorced. Acceptance is that 2 people chose to marry and 2 people chose to have a child. The good news is that only 1 person can choose to NOT make the other an enemy. And almost always, when that 1 person changes the enemy story, the other person lightens up in response.
- It’s Not Your Story: I can tell quickly when a client is telling a story that is not their own. They might have personalized a job statistic from the news to the point that they continue to be unemployed. Clients will have so much conviction that there are not good jobs available despite their geographic job market being excellent. The story they create paralyzes them in fear from sending resumes. How about family history? When I hear a client talk about relationships like it’s 1985 or 1995 … I ask them whose voice that is? Whose story is that? It’s always mom or dad. And worse, it’s not mom or dad’s voice from today but from 20 plus years ago. I’m compassionate for children of divorce but allowing a repeated negative story can stop an adult child from seeing that both parents lived happily ever after in subsequent long marriages. Don’t’ their parents get credit for that? Shouldn’t the institution of marriage get credit for that? Be very careful of allowing fear to create a story for yourself from a society statistic used to promote news ratings or a repeated family history past its expiration date. Don’t let someone else’s story hold you back!
- You Don’t Trust Yourself: I’ve known some characters in my life. People who are larger than life and well … 1st class jerks. In fact, I worried for awhile that I was a magnet for the narcissists and con-artists. It’s easy to not trust anyone after dealing with these characters. You can tell yourself that no-one can be trusted, or you can trust that being hurt is what teaches you how to recognize and trust the good people.
- You’ve Become an Addict: Do you know that divorced couple who can’t end the custody battle despite their grandchildren approaching high school graduation? I know that I wasn’t prepared to learn how to function in my life as a healthy person after years of cancer treatment. What would I talk about at dinners? It’s been cancer treatment updates 24/7. We can face the withdrawal symptoms to move our lives forward or stay addicted to the drama.
- You Don’t Believe in Second Chances and Make Assumptions: Were you the one who hurt someone? Do you feel guilty? Do you think you don’t deserve a second chance? Are you terrified of repeating a mistake? It all comes down to confidence. Stop making assumptions! How well do you know that neighbor couple? Imagine that you spend 10 years living next door believing for some reason that they were high school sweethearts. You don’t sign-up for that dating website because you tell yourself you missed out and now can never have the kind of love the neighbors have. One day you finally hear their real love story and the husband was a widower and the wife had been married twice before.
This planet is full of gorgeous second chance stories. If you can’t see that on your own, seek support to stop blocking yourself from your second chances. Life is quite literally made-up of second chances.