Tuesday, 18 October 2016

When History Keeps Repeating Itself

Do you often find yourself making the same poor choices over and over again?  For example, it might be dysfunctional relationships, unsatisfying jobs or poor lifestyle choices.  You might have vowed to make changes because these choices don’t make you happy but yet you find yourself back in that familiar place time and time again.  It’s like you’ve written a ‘life script’ but don’t know how to ‘break’ it, so where do you begin?
Our ‘life scripts’ or fixed beliefs about ourselves are usually written relatively early in life, through the messages we got from our families, friends and teachers, amongst others. Examples of life scripts might be: ‘People always leave me’ (so you act defensively and drive people away); I’m worthless (so you engage in behaviours that make you feel bad about yourself); ‘You should always put others before yourself’ (so you become a martyr, while resenting others for not helping you); ‘You’re not able to do things for yourself’ (so you might find yourself in relationships with people you judge to be stronger than you, potentially leading to you being exploited).

Notice that the behaviours keep the ‘script’ intact because we need to protect what we believe to be true, no matter how dysfunctional that might be.  Just trying to change your behaviours doesn’t usually work, since it’s an understanding of what drives your script that is required.  Identifying the script and understanding where it came from is likely to help you feel less angry at yourself, which may just lead to acceptance of yourself. This could help you to become who you really are and not who you think you should be – a struggle which most of us can relate to.  

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