Rewrite this Story: Identifying & Rewriting Bullshit Scripts

December 2, 2015 LifepsychologyThoughts  No comments

 

Scripts are those stories that are so ingrained in us that they are our truth. For good or for bad, they determine our lives. 

It’s only by becoming aware of them that we are able to challenge and rewrite them. 

In my last post, I delved into the dirty details of my scripts so that you could have some concrete examples of what they look like, how they manifest themselves, and the seeds of where they come from. 

So how do you start to identify your scripts? 

Let me start by saying, the best way to do this is to see a therapist. Because that is what they’re trained to do. (As I am not a trained professional, just a mere Psych major with many a year spent in therapy and self-exploration, what I’m about to share with you is not to be taken as the utmost authority on the subject matter.)

In lieu of that… These are the things I did to help myself figure out what was driving me in the wrong direction. 

You have to be ruthless with yourself. You have to dig deeper than you probably ever want to go and be fucking honest with yourself. Give yourself time, space, and patience to explore your mind. It doesn’t happen overnight. 

  1. Start by asking yourself: What stories have I been telling myself? 
    You probably know some of these stories without having to do much digging. Maybe it’s the story that you’re not worthy of love until you reach your goal weight. Maybe it’s the story that you will never have the life you want because there’s never enough money or resources to go around. Maybe it’s the story that you’re a worthless piece of shit unless you make X amount of money a year. Maybe it’s the story that you’re not allowed to pursue your passion because you “have to” do something respectable like being a lawyer or a doctor.

  2. Get all Meta on your thinking. 
    Practice mindfulness. Be aware of what you are thinking as you go throughout the day. Give your thoughts a safe space free of judgement and take note of where they go when there is no pressure placed on them. This means that you don’t have to believe everything you think. Because sometimes thoughts are just thoughts. And you don’t have to believe in them if you don’t want to.

  3. And then challenge everything.
    As a thought process comes up, challenge it. Is it actually true? Do you actually believe that? Does that vibe with you? Or is that just something you picked up somewhere? 

  4. Look for patterns.
    What do you keep coming back to again and again? When you look back on your life, what repeats itself? What do your ‘mistakes’ have in common? 

  5. And thoughts that come out of left field. Or in the dark of the night. 
    What do those demons scream at you? What thoughts scare you so much you’re afraid to even give voice to them?

  6. Think about major life events. 
    How have they impacted how you view the world? Is it how you want to think about things? 

  7. What feels wrong even when everything else is right?
    What gets you down? Makes you feel like shit?

  8. Tease apart your goals.
    List out your current goals in life. Whatever they are, what’s driving them? Why that goal, specifically? What does it mean to you? Is that what you really want? Or is it something you’re “supposed to” want? Is it just something you “should be” doing? What did your ten year old self want out of life? What would your ten year old self say about the goals you currently have set in your life? Know why you want what you want. 

  9. List out your fears.
    This simple action has a way of making your biggest fear go up in smoke and disappear. Be fucking honest with yourself and list out what you’re afraid of – your deepest, darkest fears. Then ask yourself, if this comes to pass, what’s the worse thing that can happen? Can I deal with it if it happens? 

  10. Write two obituaries. One for the life you’re currently living. And one for the life you want to live.
    Do they match? If not, what do you need to change in the life you’re currently living to get the one you want to live? (Yes, I realize this is a rather Goliath-sized task. Take it one step at a time.)

  11. If you have someone close to you, who knows you well, and who you trust inexplicably, you can ask them: What do I do that doesn’t seem in alignment with who I am? What do I do that stands out to you as self-destructive or off? 

    And once you’ve done this heart-wrenching work… comes the good stuff.
    Because you don’t have to keep listening to those old scripts. Those stories are just that… stories. And you have the power to rewrite old scripts for new ones.

  1. Identify your core strengths and values
    You might also find it helpful to identify your Myers-Briggs personality type
    These are all ways of identifying your unique talents and value in the world. Know what makes you you, you unique snowflake you. 

  2. Spend some time exploring what you truly want.
    What truly feels good to you when you strip away all the obligations, expectations, guilt, fear, doubt, past history, prior mistakes, resentment, grudges, and rules?

  3. Notice what you’re doing when you feel the most alive, when you feel really good. 
    Does it match your current goals? Do you really get in a flow state when you’re working with numbers, but you’re pursing a life as a pet groomer because you believe that you’re not cut out to be a mathematician? Are you stuck in a retail job when you actually want to be a hair stylist? (I know, sometimes my examples are complete shit. I apologize.)

  4. My absolute favorite part. Write a new story. 
    Some suggestions: Open a blank Word document or pull out a piece of loose-leaf and title it “My New Story” or something equally as cheesy, and write the story you want to believe. Write the story you want to have. It’s probably going to feel ridiculous. And some of the sentiments are going to be downright laughable. I don’t care. The more audacious and ludicrous, the better. 

    Write out some new affirmations: simple mantras or sentences you can write out or repeat to yourself. You can find these online (I use these ones). Or you can write out your own. Every morning (okay, well maybe not every morning… most mornings) I fill one page of my journal with whatever affirmations I need to hear that day from a list about three pages long. I update them as needed. 

 

Cause listen, guys: this is your life. There is nothing more urgent or more important. Don’t live a life less than you’re capable of. You deserve more. 

And so do I. Even if I have to kick myself in the ass to get there.

 

Are these steps helpful to you? Did I miss something? Did something else work for you? I’m insatiably curious and nosey, so let me know. 

 

Until next time, farewell, & may your life never cease to be filled with wonder and curiosity.

 

photo credits: Aberrant Beauty

 

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