Saturday, October 29, 2011

Life Scripts: Are They Unconsciously Running Your Life?

PatternsImage by Bill Gracey via FlickrBy Eoin Meegan

What are life scripts? Nothing mysterious, they are patterns of thinking which at one time we learned and adopted. They give us certain results, sometimes helpful, more often not. We can identify scripts by the things people frequently tell themselves. For example:

'I get impatient easily', 'I have a quick temper', 'I never get anything finished'.

Let's look at each in turn.

The impatient script

If you were told to 'hurry up' as a child you might have got the idea that there isn't enough time. The impatient type may be useful in the corporate world, where the tacit bully can be seen as an advantage. He will probably land a good job.

He may not be very well liked, but this type isn't likely to set much store by that anyway, (actually wanting to be liked is another script, a more insidious one). He gets results, an immediate need is satisfied, but he's still trying to feel accepted, worthwhile.

Another way we get scripts is through learned behaviour. A child sees a parent act with impatience and they imitate what they see. And in time they think it's natural. There can be an element of self-protection here too. If you're hit on as a kid you may develop various defence mechanisms which turn into scripts, being the victim is one, or being a protestor another (defending yourself from those you see as attacking you).

What about quick-tempered guy?

This is a very id centred script. These people think if they shout loud enough or slam their fist on the table hard enough they'll get attention. It's the mindset of a small child who thinks if they throw a tantrum their parents will give them what they want. This, as we know, is rarely the case. Indeed demanding we have our way is usually a sure way not to get it.

A quick temper can land you in trouble. In fact it has landed many in jail. However, for most people with a quick temper or a short fuse it results in low levels of anger, or irritability. The result constant rows, getting annoyed over stupid things, and a general level of discontent. When we get mad it seems that it is wholly outside our control, but this is not so.

By learning that at some level we are responsible for all our actions (including re-actions) the unconscious elements of this script comes to the surface, where (if needs be) it can be dealt with, or it falls away.

The procrastinator

'I can never get things finished' is really an "I'm helpless" script. The payoff is big here. Basically, it gives the helpless person permission not to do anything. It creates dependency. If someone never takes risks they won't get hurt, so it appears to benefit them. Problem is they won't create anything either. Generally this script convinces people they are subject to the vagaries of life and not in control of things themselves.

The thing is people think their scripts are natural, same as having blue eyes or red hair. But scripts are not genetic. They are all adopted. At some time those people learned to be impatient, short-tempered and indecisive. They made a decision this is how they would be and then they forget they made it.

Are scripts ever beneficial?

An argument could be made that at times they are, but I disagree. Take the impatient guy. He may get the job done, but is he happy? He's deluding himself and I think that's a high price to pay for a well-paid job where people do your bidding but laugh at you behind your back.

If you're angry much of the time chances are you're jeopardising your peace of mind, your relationships, and possibly even your health. Many studies have shown a correlation between an imbalance in mental states and physical illness.

And by telling yourself that you can't get stuff done you may be robbing yourself of finding your true calling in life, and the great rewards, financially and otherwise, that go with it.

Scripts are not authentic. If Jane learned impatience from her mum, or if she adopted it because it served her at some time, then it's obviously an accretion, something added from the outside, and not really her. Once she comes to realise she's playing the game 'I'm impatient' and that she's not only manipulating others, but herself as well, and short-changing herself big time into the bargain, then she can stop. She now has a choice.

Call yourself on your scripts. You do this by examining your life carefully, what your constant pattern of thoughts are, how you react to external stimuli, to unwelcome news, what you tell yourself constantly. It was Plato who said a life unexamined is a life not worth living. And the kid knew a thing or two.

Whatever you adapt will show up in your life. Decide to change today. Get unscripted.

copyright Eoin Meegan

Eoin Meegan writes on self development, mind matters, spirituality, relationship, and awakening to higher consciousness on his site http://www.the-unscripted-self.com which he updates regularly. The articles on the site help people to identify their scripts or programs and clear them.

When not writing Eoin enjoys walking along Dublin's scenic coast or visiting the many coffee shops in the busy Irish capital. He is a rebirther and life coach by profession but spends most of his time these days writing. His first ebook "Birthing the New Consciousness" is available at http://www.the-unscripted-self.com/consciousness.html

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