Head and shoulders of sad man leaning on wall with blue lighting
  • Drama at home or in the classroom?

  • Kids who are anxious or fearful?

  • Standards and other goals not being met?

Removing Anxieties, Fears, & Drama

One of the biggest causes of drama and anxiety is also a major reason people fail to achieve resolutions and goals. Past, current, and future fears cause drama and keep people stuck. When we set intentions or commit to something new, old ingrained fears will rise to the surface often stopping us from achieving our desires. Clearing out the drama and seeing our fears for what they truly are – stories – can help us move forward.

To begin unwinding fears, use a simple tool that will help shift the stories you tell about your experiences. Dissolving painful stories frees us up to create the lives we want. Humans can’t help telling stories about themselves and their experiences in life. We often tell these stories in our own minds and sometimes to anyone who will listen! Storytelling is a marvelous aspect of humanity, but unchecked stories can become very painful, cause us fear and anxiety, and can also hold us back. Here’s a simple process you can use to remove painful stories and turn them into positives. This simple process creates freedom or at the very least, can help you let go of fear, anxiety, anger or sadness.

Find the Facts – Robot Style

Every event, person, and experience in our life is an opportunity for storytelling. Think about something that happened recently that was upsetting, uncomfortable or created drama for you or your students/kids. Write the story down in your own words. The holidays are a prime time for many of us to experience painful events.

Use these prompts to help you tell the story:

I felt _______________ when _____(insert person or people)_________, did / didn’t do __________________________.

Or,

I felt ________________ when ___ (event or experience)________________________ happened.

Continue writing and fill in all the details of your story. Don’t hold back. Get it all out.

Check out the following example:

“My boss is so mean. He didn’t give me a holiday bonus. I work SO hard and I deserved it. I had to buy just the minimum for Christmas gifts. It felt awful not to give more. It makes me sad. I need to find another job. My boss doesn’t appreciate me. I need to find someone who does.”

After writing out your painful story, pretend to be a robot and find up to three facts in this otherwise painful experience. Robots do not feel emotion. They only see what’s in front of them. They can’t add judgment to the things they see. To do this exercise properly, you will want to think about finding only the type of facts that could be “provable in a court of law”.

Facts from above story example:

Fact: I have a job.

Fact: I have a boss.

Fact: I bought Christmas presents.

These are the ONLY facts in the story example. The rest of the story is filled with judgments and emotions about the actual facts. This a common type of story example that I hear from clients when we first begin working together. In fact, these are the types of stories I used to tell about my own life. Another person with these same facts might tell the story completely differently. They might see the fact that they have a job, and a boss and were able to buy Christmas presents as a HUGE plus in their life. The story they tell about these facts would cause them to feel full of gratitude.

Finding the facts about your experiences and the people in your life offers a truthful, neutral place to observe the facts of your everyday life. From this place, you can choose to learn from the events that happen in your life. You can choose to look for the positive in everything that happens to you. When you look for the positive, the amazing thing that happens is that you attract more positive into your life. Changes that you want to make become a lot easier than before.

Once you’ve identified the facts or the truth of what happened in a particular experience, you can then choose to tell your story of what happened in a way that feels better than the original story. An important caveat: When you re-tell the stories of your experiences, you must tell the story in such a way that you believe it. We are not making things up or coming up with affirmations. Creating a new story that you believe and that feels better might be difficult at first. For many people, simply getting down to the facts of what happened is enough to take the pain and drama out of their experiences. There is not always a need for a new story.

How can I Remove Drama and Work Towards Goals?

First, Find the Facts in all of your experiences. Help your students and your kids do this, too.

Let’s say you encountered someone who was in a bad mood. Instead of reacting to them or telling the story about how mean they were, your story about your interaction could go like this: “I met this person. Their face was squinched up in an interesting way and they said words to me.” You could choose not to feel attacked by this person or to call them a jerk. Here’s a great quote from Plato:

“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”

I believe it is much easier to be kind to others when we are first being kind to ourselves. Finding the facts in your experiences and interactions is a great way to begin being kind to yourself.

The more kindness you give to yourself by Finding the Facts, the more positive feelings you will experience. This will help you create the clarity and the initiative to reach your goals.

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About The Author

Katie McClain SEP's picture

Katie McClain, SEP is a Somatic Experiencing® Practitioner, author, and certified life coach. She’s been coaching for 25+ years and uses Somatic Experiencing®, a gentle body-mind method, to support her adult and child clients in releasing stress, growing self-compassion, and restoring goodness to their lives. Katie’s book, How to Tame Your Thought Monster, is available in multiple formats (English, Spanish, coloring book, and app) and presents mindfulness and positive thinking tools for adults and kids so they can feel better and do better. Visit Katie at her website, www.katiemcclain.com, follow her on Facebook  and Instagram.

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