I am a professional storyteller. As a publicist, I get paid to embellish the truth and spin a story to be as positive or as negative as possible, depending upon the intention. I like to think I am quite good at what I do, but even I am an amateur compared to my Inner Drama Queen (IDQ). You see my IDQ can turn a simple event, such as someone not calling me back, into a conspiracy theory and movie length story that would surely stand a chance for an Academy Award.
We all have our own IDQ and it exists because somewhere we have convinced our self one, or both, of the following ideas are true-
- ‘The universe revolves around me’
- ‘There is no such thing as a simple explanation’
There is what happens to us in life, and then there is what we tell our self about what has happened. Often without us consciously deciding what we believe, our IDQ takes over and turns a molehill into a mountain.
Let me give you a recent and amusing example of my IDQ in action.
I have a friend I have known since high school. We do not see each other often but I have always had a real soft spot for her. She is incredibly likeable, down to earth; and one of those rare individuals, that can make anyone feel comfortable in her presence because she is genuinely lovely.
We both had babies around the same time and I remember clear as day her coming over for a play date and telling me all about a business idea she had to help mums get back in shape after having babies.
Fast-forward five years and she has created a fitness empire, she has featured on the cover of magazines and is about to launch her business internationally. I could not be happier for her and it is so exciting to witness her success.
Even with all this said, my IDQ was able to turn this beautiful friend of mine into a foe. Here is how it unfolded in my mind –
I had a business opportunity that related to the world of fitness and I knew this particular friend would be perfect to speak with. Given she had been so busy building her empire we had not spoken for a while. Instead of calling I decided to send a message and make a time to see her in person. I waited patiently for a reply.
A week later and still no response, my IDQ went into overdrive and had me start to think along the following lines- I was no longer good enough to be her friend, she had changed and not in a good way and it was better for me to simply let go and accept our friendship had ended. Crazy right?
This was all until I received a message from her husband apologising on her behalf and letting me know her Grandmother, of whom she loved dearly, was close to death. My friend had stopped everything to spend the last precious moments with a woman who had shaped her life in everyway.
My heart broke for my dear friend and all I wanted to do was give her a hug. Beyond my initial shock, I took the time to become aware of the crazy thoughts I had entertained all because I had not received a message back. This was the work of my IDQ, so pointless and potentially damaging.
We all do it and as much as we might say that is just the way we are, it is not the truth. Each of us has the power to control our mind and put our IDQ in her place. In my own life I have found the following 3 actions help me bring about a new perspective and keep centered in truth-
- Write it out- put pen to paper and write out the conspiracy theories, stories and excuses that are circling in your mind. Most of the time you will see how ridiculous they are. It also gives you an opportunity to literally rewrite the thoughts there and then.
- Give it a positive spin- instead of simply going along for the crazy ride my IDQ was taking me on, I had the option to stop and create other possible reasons my friend had not got back to me. These could have included- she was busy brokering an international deal or travelling the world and in a different time zone. If you are going to make up a story, why not make sure it is positive and one that makes you feel good.
- Go with the flow- I went from feeling offended to upset to angry all because my IDQ wanted to create drama. I could have easily said to myself, she will get back to me at the perfect time and that would have been the end of it. Life unfolds as it is meant to.
The difference between a simple life and a complicated one is what happens in your mind. The long and short of it is drama is not necessary.
We all fear the unknown to some degree and I believe drama is our way of filling in the blanks. If that is the case I would like to suggest we fill in the blanks with stories of love, hope and gratitude. Basically if you are going to make something up, do it to make you feel good.
Sure our IDQ may come in handy when writing the script of that Academy Award winning movie length story but other than that, let go of the drama and keep it simple.
Love and Magic