Scripts are stories that are created from the perceptions of people we interact with on a daily basis. They range from our families, teachers and colleagues to the general community we live in. Scripts can also be developed through our experiences and culture. If you grew up in a community where finishing school was unheard of, then you might think that finishing school is out of limits.
We unconsciously allow our lives to be led by invisible scripts some of which are imposed by other people, while others are self-imposed.
The first time I went for a driving test, everyone I tested with passed. I failed.
The instructor told everyone who was willing to listen that some people are just too bad with machines to handle driving. It was quite a frustrating experience but I chose not to believe him. Instead, I improved my driving skills for a few more weeks and I passed my driving test the second time around.
I got my driving permit two weeks later. If I had believed the instructor’s words, I would never have got the courage to sit behind the driver’s seat again. I would have let someone else tell me that I could not never drive and as a consequence, lived my life according to a script that someone else had written for my life.
Now that has been said, let’s bust some negative scripts.
Script 1: Perfection
How many times have you failed to do something just because you thought you could not do it perfectly?
You wait for the best idea to execute yet, the people who are able to do great things execute ordinary things in an extraordinary way. You don’t have to read all guides about starting a business. There is nothing like a perfect guide out there.
We often let lack of experience or education deter us from achieving what we want in life. By focusing on perfection, we are not able to make much progress.
Script 2: There are no opportunities in my country
The most exciting thing about Africa is that not everything has been done. There is a lot of capacity for new ideas but you keep putting everything you want to do off just because you think there is no capacity to do what you want to.
If you don’t do something, someone else will. So, would you rather take baby steps and see yourself prosper or would you rather wallow in self-pity?
You can find ways of how to connect to your dream. The internet has made almost anything achievable whether it’s learning computer programming or starting an online business. You can achieve your dreams in your country.
Script 3: I don’t have the time to pursue my passions
We have all used this line at some point in our lives. It’s the perfect excuse when there is something you have always wanted to do but you just have not got down to doing it.
Somehow, we can’t do the things we are truly passionate about. It could be writing a book, pursing a hobby, singing in a music band, or even going for further studies in a field you care about.
The way you spend your time really tells a lot about what you value in life.
Now that we’ve busted these scripts, here are steps to rewriting your life script.
Understand the scripts that you have put on your life
Understanding the life scripts you have placed on your life is the first step to changing them for the better. Be attentive to your thoughts. Listen to how you speak to yourself and to what you say.
Any thought that starts with “You can’t do that” is a red flag. Write them down and get to the root of them. Ask yourself what could have caused them and how they are impacting your life.
For example, you might think that you will never reach top management level at your company because of a boss you had who broke your self-confidence through very harsh criticism.
This could be impacting your relationships with leaders who are capable of limiting your upward mobility in the company. Make a conscious decision to break free from negative perceptions of yourself. This will take some time but the most important thing is to take steps every day.
Create systems for the life you want
Systems make your life easy and they are what every organization needs in order to be successful. So, why not implement them in your life as a way of breaking free from negative scripts?
Say you want to retire by 35 but everyone else around you says you should work till you’re 60. You could create systems that help you save your money, pay your bills, budget and invest. These will make your goal much easier for you as you will concentrate on other harder aspects of reaching financial independence like earning more money.
If you have heard of the Pareto law, you know that 20% of input will account for 80% of output. You can drown out the noise from negative perceptions by creating deliberate systems. Every day will be productive, taking you one step closer to achieving your goals.
What scripts have you allowed others or yourself to place on your life? What internal rules have you subconsciously ingrained in your mind and embraced as your reality?