Recreate Your Life Story, Change the Script & Become the Hero
Updated: Jan 23, 2020
Recreate Your Life Story, Change the Script & Become the Hero
We create stories about our lives, what they have been and what they will be. This starts in childhood where we weave our perceptions of ourselves and of the world around us into a narrative about what we can and will do.
These life scripts then continue to have a deep and unconscious effect on how we live our lives. They affect the decisions we make. They control what we think we could easily do and what we perceive we could never do. They shape our self-image. And yet we seldom realize where they come from or even do not know that they exist at all.
A life script is another way of describing the meaning we attribute to the events that happen to us. Depending on our script, we can interpret an event in a number of different ways.
Psychologists believe that our life scripts are usually created in childhood. Understanding our particular script can help us to see how it might be influencing our thoughts and may help us to come up with more positive thoughts and actions.
Your life script is individual to you, but many follow a common theme. To uncover your own life script, it helps to explore the patterns in your life - particularly if you suspect that there are destructive themes in your script.
Our life scripts are often encouraged and shaped by parents and other family members, teachers, coaches etc. whose life scripts were shaped by their parents and other significant people in their lives and so on. In this way, we become a product of others history and cultural and societal influences.
Life scripts are not all the same as they may also be significantly affected by individual events, such as being criticized by a teacher or bullied by other children. They also are constrained by inherited characteristics. For example, it would be unusual (but not impossible) for a shorter person to include being a basketball player in their life script.
There are often overall shapes to life scripts that can be expressed very simply, for example 'I am a loser,' or 'I must help save the world'. Life scripts can be very detailed, and they can be very vague. They can be very empowering, yet they can also severely limit our lives. There are “goof” scripts and even “neutral” scripts. All scripts, even the good ones, impose sever and unnecessary restrictions on our freedom.
'People always leave me'
This is the fear that we will always be abandoned by those we love, no matter what we do. We anticipate being left, perhaps because of misfortune, illness, or someone better coming along. Because of this, we act defensively, and may try to drive people away, to pre-empt their desertion.
Possible manifestations: You wait for invitations rather than invite people to events, as proof of your popularity. Or you get jealous very easily, and invent reasons for arguments, to test people's love.
'I always put other people first'
The desire to look after others and subjugate our needs and desires to theirs. This may arise from guilt over feeling selfish, or the need to be connected to those we perceive as helpless. Often results in resentment towards others.
Possible manifestations: You go out of your way to do favors for other people. Or you feel that you are more generous than the people around you.
'I'm not good enough'
The belief that we are somehow inferior or defective, and that one day we will be exposed as such. This may cause us to become overly sensitive to criticism or comparison, and we may take any perceived rejection as confirmation of our failings.
Possible manifestations: You self-sabotage, creating excuses for your anticipated failure. Or you avoid competitive situations - even playing board games or sports - because you fear coming last.
'I can't do it on my own'
The assertion that we are too weak, or not intelligent enough to perform everyday duties without help. Often leads to dependency in relationships.
Possible manifestations: You're attracted to people who you see as being stronger than you are. Or you're the first to admit that you lack common sense, or that you're hopeless around the house.
'Bad things happen to me more than they do to other people'
May result in an exaggerated fear of disaster and a belief that we are particularly vulnerable to things such as attack or disease. Often characterized by excessive worry and strong feelings of helplessness.
Possible manifestations: You find it easy to imagine the worst possible outcome. Or you have regularly been accused of being overly cautious and protective.
As humans, we create stories to help make sense of the world. We put ourselves in the place of the protagonist or other players, feeling what it may be like. And the greatest story for each of us is the story of our lives. We constantly re-tell ourselves what has happened to us, replaying the internal video and attributing good and bad roles to the various players in our lives. We also project into the future, wondering what might be.
And underneath all this, often unrealized, is the great story arc that we made up long ago. These life scripts shape our thoughts and actions and the stories we tell ourselves. If my life script does not contain being a doctor, then I will never wonder about such a career or wish I could be one. If I have thought of myself as inferior, then my life script will position me as such.
The greatest power of understanding life scripts is in the ability this gives you to change them.
Take action to discover your life scripts (or help others to do so). Listen to yourself. What are the stories you are telling yourself about your life? When do you say, 'that's not me' or 'I couldn't do that'? What are the patterns you seek and avoid? What excuses do you make for not doing things?
And then consider how these could change. A life or career coach can often help you uncover the stories you subconsciously tell yourself. Rewriting your life script will change your life for the better. Yes, it is scary. Yes, it is exciting. So, what is stopping you? Your current life scripts.