1999 - Slaying the Personality Dragons
- Overview of the Dragons (June, 1999)
- The Self-Destruction Dragon
- The Greed Dragon
- The Arrogance Dragon
- The Self-Deprecation Dragon
- The Impatience Dragon
- The Martyrdom Dragon
- The Stubbornness Dragon
- Resources (books)
Dragons (Continued from June, 1999)
We started the topic of slaying the dragons last month.
To recap, the best ways to slay the personality dragons are:
- Become aware of them
- Acknowledge that they are keeping us from getting what we want from life
- Learn their symptoms and how they affect our life, our health and our relationships
- Learn how they appear to others
- Ask our friends and other supporters to help us get them under control
- Learn how to lessen the stress in our life that feeds the dragons
- Actively take part in slaying our personality dragon.
Each of the dragons has a place of vulnerability; therefore, it can be beaten.
According to Jose Stevens, writing in Transforming Your Dragons, "The
dragon's arsenal of tricks is awesome and it takes more than a little discipline to fight
them. However, keep in mind that no matter how puny you feel in the face of the
dragon, you have resources that the dragon does not. As in the fairy tales, there
are secret weapons that allow you to slay the dragon ... At this point, your
path is blocked by the dragon at the narrowest point between the canyon walls: there is no
scaling cliffs; no side path; no turning back; no tunneling underneath; no way to jump
over the dragon. The only way to transform the dragon is to face it down. That
is secret number one."
Other secrets to slaying the dragons:
- Each of the dragons share the same weakness — they need fear and insecurity in order to
remain well fed.
- When people have balanced lives — when they are well-rested, unstressed, have time to
play and enjoy others — the dragons are weak and can be slain more easily. We have
talked about the Four Pillars of Vitality (True Work, True Study,
True Rest, True Play) in other articles. Maintaining balance is possible, in spite
of the pressures of our culture.
- The dragons do everything they can to make us believe that we cannot kill them.
The truth is, we can kill them by knowing what to do and being willing to do it.
- Dragons operating in one person can trigger dragons in others. Learning to be more
aware of this can help face them down.
- Look beyond your own fears and those you know — try to see the "real" person
(not the dragon) and have faith in a person's ability to slay their dragons. Don't
allow the dragon to delude you into thinking the other person is simply "being a
jerk" or some other negative label.
- When a person's dragon is in control, the dragon does everything it can to create
dissention between people, driving them further apart.
- As Ken Keyes says, "People are illogical,
unreasonable and self-centered; Love them anyway." That also means that when
you are being a jerk, be patient with yourself and be aware that your dragon is kicking up
its heels. That is just the time when you can catch it unaware and deal it a death blow.
Slaying the dragon is an ongoing process that must be done time and again. Each
time you attack the dragon, it gets a little weaker. If you are diligent, you can
completely slay it. Just because one attempt doesn't do it, don't give up. The
dragons keep us from fully enjoying our life and our relationships. They keep us from
being completely healthy and successful.
Specific tips for dealing with each of the dragons:
- Admit that you are not in control.
- Ask for help and allow others to help you slay your dragon.
- Face the situations in your life where you have been abused, and where you have abused
yourself and others.
- Learn to recognize the signs of the dragon and plan your assault.
- Discover that life really does have meaning and make a commitment to slay your dragon,
no matter what it takes.
- When you feel that life is not worth living, the Self-Destruction dragon is acting up.
That is when it is vulnerable and you can gain the upper hand.
- You do have the power to slay the dragon. Do it!
- Allow yourself to have what you want in reasonable amounts.
- Don't deprive yourself because you feel unworthy.
- Learn generosity. Remember that the wealthiest people have learned the secret of
- Learn how to give instead of always taking from others.
- Put extra money in the charity jars. Give extra attention to someone else.
- Ask for help in dealing with your dragon.
- When you catch yourself being afraid there isn't enough, the Greed dragon is fully
engaged and can be slain. Do it!
- Try new things. Take risks, explore life — you can do it!
- Don't apologize for yourself, ever.
- Trust that you can do those things you set your mind to. Be determined to fight
your dragon when it appears.
- Ask a friend to help you develop a better image of yourself.
- Make direct eye contact with others, rather than looking away.
- Learn to breathe deeply (in and out), especially when feeling stressed or fearful.
- When you catch yourself feeling less worthy, the Self-Deprecation dragon is out of its
hiding place and can be attacked. You can do it!
- Allow yourself to be "ordinary" and like everyone else.
- Try new things and take risks.
- Be willing to make a fool of yourself (if you don't, the dragon will do it to you).
- Relax!! Stop worrying about what everyone else thinks of you. Stop judging
other people harshly — let them be just who they are.
- Ask a friend to help you when you feel insecure.
- Learn to breathe more deeply (in and out), especially when feeling stressed or fearful.
- When you catch yourself judging yourself (or others) harshly, the Arrogance dragon is
out to play and can be destroyed. You can do it!
- Learn to be still, not frantic.
- Learn how to waste time.
- Do something completely for the fun of it, without regard to how much time it takes.
- Walk aimlessly and notice what is going on around you, without thinking about what else
you "should" be doing or where you "should" be.
- Know that you can control time. Cut your "to do" list in half.
- Ask a friend to help you when you feel stressed.
- When you feel a sense of "there's no time for ... " the Impatience dragon is
active. You can slay it!
- Learn to take responsibility for your own life.
- Stop blaming others for everything that is wrong.
- Learn how to deal with your suppressed anger.
- Be able to feel your anger and that it is OK to be angry at times.
- Learn how to express anger at another person appropriately.
- Learn to deal with your frustrations and resentments in appropriate ways.
- When you feel that "life is doing me in" the Martyrdom dragon is in its glory.
You can kill it!
- Learn to be flexible
- Learn how to compromise
- Learn how to "go with the flow."
- Learn how to relax your body and your muscles so your body is not so stiff and rigid.
- When something happens that makes you fearful or uncomfortable, imagine you are a
babbling brook and allow yourself to go around, over and under any obstacles that arise.
- If you feel yourself resist an idea or a suggestion, ask for a few minutes to gather
your thoughts. Take some time to re-consider rather than just refusing to consider
- When you feel yourself "dig in" the Stubbornness dragon can be seen and
killed. You can do it!
Acknowledgement: Dealing with the dragons is explored in depth in the
book Transforming Your Dragons by Dr. Jose Stevens and in his workshops on the subject held around the
world. For more information on workshops, contact Pivotal
- Transforming Your Dragons by Dr. Jose Stevens. Bear & Co; (July 1994)
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