Category: Therapy

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What is your life script?

Ever feel your history keeps repeating itself….

Let’s look at your life script.

typewriter

FYI: Life script is a term coined by psychologist Eric Bernes, founder of transactional analysis, and famous for the concepts “I’m ok, you’re ok,” and games people play. Heard of him?

We see things in our lives through a certain lens. This lens acts as filter, filtering in certain people and experiences and filtering out others! The lens is our LIFE SCRIPT.

Sometimes we get stuck in a “nothing will ever change for me so why bother,” script. This happens when we feel that what we do makes no difference in getting us what we want.

To demonstrate, imagine a 5 gallon clear glass jar full of 500 houseflies free to fly around. Now put a piece of clear plastic wrap over the mouth of the jar and shake it up. No worries, there are approximately 48 hours of air in the jar for the flies. The flies will begin buzzing around the jar, banging into the sides, the bottom and the top. They can see the outside world but they can’t get to it. When researchers removed the plastic wrap less than 48 hours later, 99 percent of them stayed in the jar! Why? They have learned that no matter what they did, they could not get out so they stopped trying.

THIS HAPPENS TO US. Based on our life experiences, what people have told us and what we have told ourselves, we make decisions about what we can and cannot do. If those decisions are of no hope and futility, this becomes our life script.

WISE WORDS: As Henry Ford once put it, if you think you can or if you think you can’t, you are right!

Repetition Compulsion

It’s hard to break out of this cycle. Instead, we often make the same mistakes repeatedly. Neglected children often neglect others. People seek out difficult relationships over and over again. Freud spoke about this as the repetition compulsion. It is the tendency to do things over and over again in an attempt to get it right.

The End Is Written

Our scripts have a beginning, middle and end. If you are now living a life whereby you believe you are doomed never to get married, f0r instance, either because there is a shortage of the opposite sex around, or because you believe you are unlovable, then the end is written!

Subconscious Mind

The power to sabotage ourselves lies in the subconscious rather than conscious level. You may think you’d like to have a million dollars, meet the person of your dreams, or become successful in the business world. But if unconsciously you have accepted a script of poverty, rejection or failure that is all you will experience. You will destroy, unconsciously, anything that will take you away from that pattern or belief.

Conversely, if you believe that you are a pleasure to be with and deserve all that you ask for, you will act accordingly AND allow into your script winners and success.

Choose a Different Script

The good news is that because we chose our original script we can choose to change our old script and create a new, healthy, winning script to live by. Here is a man who did.

Alfred Nobel invented the modern form of dynamite long before he created the Nobel Prize award. His brother had died and due to a mix up by reporters, the area newspaper published his obituary. He was described as the man who invented dynamite so powerful that it could instantly reduce high buildings to debris. Nobel did not want to be remembered for such a destructive invention. So Alfred the philanthropist revised his life script. His will directed his fortunes to be used to establish a foundation that awarded a yearly Nobel Prize in the areas Physics, Chemistry, Physiology and Medicine, Literature, and Peace.

Alfred Nobel serendipitously read his obituary while still alive allowing him to see if he was happy in the direction that his life is going. What would happen if you did? Would you be happy with what you read or would you want a different life script?

TWO TIPS FOR CHANGING YOUR LIFE SCRIPT

  1. Take responsibility and change your behavior.

You can break these negative cycles. How? By changing the way you react. For instance, let’s say you fell into the trap of creating resolutions that can be reached only if others change first. For example, “I wouldn’t scream and yell at my son if he did his homework or took out the garbage,” or “I would be nice to my wife if she were more loving towards me,” or “I would have time to exercise if my boss wasn’t so demanding and I didn’t have to stay at work so late.” In this situation, you have a mindset that relinquishes personal control and responsibility, rendering change problematic.

Now switch this by changing how you react. If your son failed to do his homework, instead of flying off the handle, you counted to five and kept calm. With equanimity, you asked him why he didn’t do his homework. He said he didn’t understand it. You helped him out and he finished it and aced it. By taking responsibility for your emotions, you changed your script.

WISE WORDS: George Bernard Shaw has beautifully captured the power we have to shape our attitudes and behaviors. Said Shaw, “People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I don’t believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and, if they can’t find them, make them.”

  1. BE UNCOMFORTABLE!

More than 2000 years ago Socrates discovered the laws of effect. When we repeat the cause we get the same effect! If you are not happy, don’t keep doing same thing. Rather, change the cause to get the effect you want even if this means feeling uncomfortable!

Change represents venturing into unchartered waters. We are all fearful of leaving our “comfort zone,” even when this so-called comfort zone is anything but comforting. Although we consciously wish to change, our self-defeating actions reflect the anxiety of giving up the known for the unknown. Some people would rather remain in a job or a relationship that brings little joy or satisfaction than risk of moving into a situation that they fear may lead to more stress rather than exciting opportunities. They are imprisoned by self-doubt and fear that lessens the possibility of creating new, invigorating scripts for their lives.

And now you have to ask yourself, “Can I really change my life script? Am I really author of my life or I am determined by my destiny and harsh environment?” If you think you have no control, then this is your script. Change it! Every seer from Jesus Christ to Buddha believed that we make our own reality. You too can make yours!

By Lynne Woolfson copyright@2015