With age, the impulse to follow unconscious scripts from experience becomes stronger.
We each approach and view situations from different perspectives. While someone may see an opportunity to do something different, others may experience fear – it all comes down to the details we ‘stick’ with or focus on. This stickiness is what can stand in our own way.
Life scripts are seemingly mindless actions that shape moods, relationships and daily decisions and we create these stories to help make sense of our big, crazy world.
Perhaps you have stories or scripts that you have taken with you on your own life that still remain. Psychologists believe these are stories that our parents developed from a young age that led us to believe are factual. These are the most common hurdles I see as Health Coach.
Negative examples such as
“You don’t have an ear for music” – You’re not good enough
“You’ve never liked vegetables’ – Things never change
“Stress is always something you’ve struggled with’ – You’re a non adaptive person
“Why are you crying? You’re ok” – It’s not ok to show emotions
Notice the narrative comes from a place of good intention at the time (parents trying to counter effect a negative into a positive) but unfortunately also leads to feelings of not being good enough or always doomed for failure.
When we repeat an action (or even hear it or say it), it becomes a habit or ingrained script. A process that happens in the background we aren’t even aware of. It’s after you really, and I mean REALLY think about how and why you actually do something, habits will continue to shape your daily lifestyle.
Over the next couple of days try catching yourself in the moment of what you’re stories you’re telling yourself. Notice them throughout the day. Perhaps you may begin to feel frustrated about something, jealous, angry, hurt, happy or sad. Feel this moment of reaction and what may begin to feel a little sticky.
Now, you may ask – What has this got to do with Health Coaching Karla? Ah, I can see your point but when we begin to get caught up in reacting to emotions or following scripts our healthstyle choices take a downward spiral. Emotional eating, making excuses for not showing up to a workout, allowing stress to take a strangle hold – all stem from unconscious life stories. Remaining in an unstable relationship affects our thought patterns of not being good enough let alone allow the time to look after ourselves through proper nourishment and care. I call it the ripple effect.
So, we all love a good fix, or at least strategies to help become mindful of times stories or scripts are ruling our life. Mine are pretty simple and something I practice myself.
3 Steps to Overcoming Life Scripts
1.Feel the emotion and tell yourself it’s ok and natural. Don’t act out in any way but just observe what’s coming up. Feel the empowerment that doing this brings. If you never acknowledge, you can never change a thing. Realise that thoughts do not define us and it does not mean it’s a weakness. It can change if you want it to.
2. Remain the observer in the situation – likened to a 3rd party watching from afar. See the story as not necessarily being true and only a belief that has been presented to you. Keep coming back to the present moment. Like any muscle or things we try to strengthen, it takes time and practice so don’t beat yourself up if you keep getting drawn back to a strong emotion. Just start at the beginning.
3. Allow the feeling to release and flow out of your hands and feet like a free-flowing tap. We need to acknowledge that issues may have originated from adolescent years but as an adult we have the choice to the parts of childhood we hold on to and what we need to let go of.
Each time this sequence is practiced you will find that it will become easier. Hopefully less caught up in what the trigger was and more aware of how you react. The most important thing is that you’ve recognised a pattern and stepped away from it. Better yet, write it down and think of an alternative action (positive self -soothing techniques) that you can repeat to form a new habit.
This can be confronting and take a lot of effort to develop but at the same time this is what allows us to step out of the shadow of us being us, and giving ourselves permission to let go of old beliefs that may be holding us back from success.