At this time of year we often reflect and set goals for the future, so we asked psychotherapist Emmy Brunner to explain the idea that we all have a preconceived ‘life script’ but that we can re-write ours if it’s not working…
“Much of my work is focused around helping people to achieve their highest vision for themselves. Many of the people who I work with want to create changes in their careers, love life or family dynamics but become overwhelmed and frozen in knowing where to start. For me, the work always begins with identifying the internal narrative we each have and highlighting the limiting thoughts and belief systems that are holding us back. I call this our ‘life script’.
During our childhood years we form a ‘script’, the basis of which informs all of our decisions and choices. ‘Life Scripts’ are not something that were introduced to me during my clinical training, but actually a concept I’ve discovered since I embarked on my own journey of self-healing, and that insight has facilitated the most incredible transformational shifts for me and for all of the clients that I’ve come to work with.
I grew up believing that I had to work all the hours god sent in order to have a shot of being successful. I thought that all marriages were hard-work and volatile. I deemed that my core value as a woman was based on how I looked and my age. These ‘core’ beliefs framed everything I did in my life, from the jobs I applied for to the relationships I pursued. Through my work I came to understand that these beliefs were rooted in a ‘script’ that had been formed many years earlier.
A life script is a subconscious life plan that we each create in childhood through the interactions between us as children, and our primary caregivers. We often have no idea that we’ve constructed this script or where it comes from, but never-the-less its power can impose destructive and unnecessary restrictions on our choices as adults. We are also drawn to people and experiences that reinforce this script.
When we stop to think about it, many of us feel uncertain about what we really believe in. Are our political views ours or are they inherited? Are we seeking a partner based on our own wants and needs or do we have ideas about who they ‘should’ be from the people that raised us? Do we pursue careers based on what makes us feel joyful or because it’s what we feel we need to do?
You weren’t born with this narrative, it’s been put together over a number of years and if aspects of it aren’t working for you, then you CAN rewrite the script.”
My 5 tips on changing your narrative:
- Spend some time reflecting on your core beliefs and where they come from. Give yourself permission to be a witness to this and to observe without judgement.
- Write a list of 10 things that you feel passionate about or inspire joy in your life. This is an opportunity to connect with your ‘true voice’ and to begin to shape the life that you really want.
- Write a list of 10 things that you would love to do if you weren’t held back by fear or limiting self-beliefs.
- Set yourself three small tasks each month that will help you to embody your new narrative, for example: “I will prioritise my self care in my day”.
- Write your life story as if you are already living it. You can do this in as much detail as you’d like, but the more you are able to visualise the life that you want, the more likely it is that you will achieve it.
Observing the root of our belief system is one of the most powerful things we can do for ourselves, to create the life we want. Starting with small steps makes this a fully realistic transformation.
Emmy Brunner is a Psychotherapist, Personal Empowerment and Transformation Coach, Hypnotherapist, CEO of The Recover Clinic London, Author of Trauma Redefined and Find Your True Voice, Founder of The Brunner Project and Speaker with more than 20 years’ experience in trauma and mental illness, across both the business and clinical worlds. For more from Emmy follow @emmybrunnerofficial or visit www.emmybrunner.com
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Can a ‘life script’ be changed?
Yes, a ‘life script’ can be changed by identifying and challenging limiting beliefs and replacing them with positive ones.
How do I know if my ‘life script’ is holding me back?
If you feel stuck or unfulfilled in your life, it may be a sign that your ‘life script’ is limiting you.
What are some common ‘life scripts’?
Some common ‘life scripts’ include the ‘victim’ script, the ‘perfectionist’ script, and the ‘people-pleaser’ script.
How can I create a positive ‘life script’?
To create a positive ‘life script’, focus on your strengths, set realistic goals, and surround yourself with supportive people.