Monday, October 03, 2005

Houston Astros: Emotional Blocks

Oy. The Astros are at it again. Squeaking into the post-season. Losing in the first round, if the script stays the same. Which good money says it will.

"That's the Astros' way," Craig Biggio said, "The only way we know how to get it done." Indeed.

The team reminds me of some people (me included) who keep finding themselves in the same situation. These people make life difficult for themselves for no apparent reason except that it keeps life exciting--or excruciating depending upon your emotional health.

Individuals, teams, families and businesses all fall into the repeated unhealthy emotional script routine. No less than Albert Einstein himself said that the definition of insanity was "to do the same thing over and over again and expect different results."

The Astros are insane.

Here's an exercise for you today: what chronic, persistent grief exists in your life? Having the same argument with your spouse? Still fighting an in-law? Wondering why you find yourself working under a lunatic male boss who reminds you eerily of daddy dearest? Haggling with a co-worker and it is reminiscent of battles with big sister? I could go on and on....

Work through the grief on paper. What triggers the script? What factors aggravate the script? Most important: what do you get out of keeping the script alive?

Then, work out a way to change the script. Challenge your long held beliefs, emotions and actions. Do you really believe that you'll get fired if you create that boundery? Must you get angry every time someone questions your intelligence regarding your area of expertise? Is it necessary to go play a round of golf in spite, when you're frustrated rather than talking about it?

My guess about the Astros? The Killer B's thrive on being heros. So much so in fact, that they will create a crisis in order to "save the day". Thus, they find themselves in danger at the end of every season, but like a good comic book, da-de-da! all works out.

But this script consumes huge amounts of emotional energy that could be spent preparing for the next round of battles. Other teams who clinch their play-off berths much earlier, have the emotional space to enjoy their winning seasons and prepare mentally for the next round. The Astros are deprived of this needed time.

The Astros meet the post-season physically and emotionally wasted. Then they lose. The team simply runs out of steam.

This script obviously pays more dividends for them than winning handily and going strong into the post season would. In fact, my guess without working with their team (oh, would I love to work on 'em), is that playing out this script is more satisfying than winning the Pennent.

No way, critics would say. "You just don't know how hard it is to make it in the pros into the post-season." "You just don't understand how long a season can be."

Individual clients say, "You just don't know my boss, my husband/wife, my mother-in-law or father-in-law, my sad history...."

True. But I do know what I see in front of me. And past behavior on the client's part is the best predictor of future behavior. The thing is, while following the script offers temporary pay-offs (martyred myrtle, win-the-argument willie, hero hal) , ultimately we feel like big losers--again.

Mindlessly following a script gets you in the same place. Unconscious emotional barriers often exist in these scripts--and to remove those barriers you need the help of a trained Neuroemotional Technique doctor. But there is much work that you can do to explore these "life themes" yourself.

The Astros need some serious help. They are a fascinating case study in "stuck scripts". I would offer my team-building program to them free today if they would take it. Maybe then Houston's hometown heroes could remove their unconscious barriers to winning it all instead of just "saving the day."
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