And the award for “Best Screen Writing” goes to….
You are the head writer for your life script. What does your script look like for today? Have you given yourself every chance for success? What lines are you choosing to say out loud?
Sometimes, we may find ourselves rehearsing a “bad script” that needs to be re-written. Can you think of any scripts or scenes that are being repeated in your life? If so, take heart. This crash course in “screenwriting” may help.
Step 1: Identify Recurring Scripts
Identify the scripts that are playing in your mind. We often repeat scripts without being aware of them. Begin listening to your inner dialogue today.
What positive messages are you sending to yourself? Positive messages support our success. They feel good when we say them. They give us positive energy. They reinforce our positive qualities.
Positive messages take some form like the following:
“I am good at….”
“People enjoy (blank) about me.”
“I am (insert a positive statement about yourself).”
As you identify positive messaging – take note. Write them down. Then…read them. Think them. Say them out loud. Repeat.
Alternatively, “bad scripts” contain negative messages, or limiting beliefs, that do not support our success. When we repeat these scripts, they do not make us feel happy. These messages de-energize us. Bad scripts have the power to catch us up in a hamster wheel of non-productive thought. To jump off the wheel, tune in.
Here are some of the phrases that may call for a re-write:
I am (followed by a negative sentiment).
I could never….
Make note when you say something that doesn’t feel good. Recognize that these statements do not elevate you. Decide to re-write the script.
Step 2: Write a New Script with a Happier Ending
Script-writing is an important life skill – and you are fully capable! It requires self-awareness and conscious effort. The process involves replacing a limiting belief with an empowering one. The empowering statement has to be sincere/believable to you – that’s where talking to a trusted friend or coach may help. Rehearse a believable script that incrementally improves your chances of success!
As a communication expert, I am honored to coach people through a fear of public speaking – a fear that many of us share. Some of the bad scripts that accompany this fear sound something like this: “I hate speaking in public.” “Public speaking never goes well for me.” “I get so nervous when I speak in public.” They may appear to enjoy telling stories about times when they “flubbed up” in front of a crowd.
This person typically shies away from public speaking opportunities. Generally, they anticipate not doing well. Their bodies respond with predictable physiological responses: sweating, racing heartbeat, shaking limbs, etc. Their physiological response, triggered through negative anticipation of the situation, is likely to result in a performance that reinforces the original conclusion: I am not good at public speaking.
This is commonly referred to as a self-fulfilling prophecy - a prediction for the future that, by virtue of speaking it out loud, informs our words and our actions in such a way that the prophecy becomes true. Scientific research has proven that self-fulfilling prophecies can work either way – and we can choose to use them to support a successful outcome.
All we need to do is reach for an incremental, positive change. Select something you can believe in.
Here are some re-writes for the public speaking script above:
I am well-prepared.
I have a message that I am passionate about.
I am focused on my audience – rather than myself.
People want me to succeed.
I know how to calm myself down.
I can visualize this going well: I see smiling faces; I am smiling.
I am relaxed and confident.
Think about a script that you want to re-write. How can you incrementally improve your chances of a happy ending? What changes can you make?
Replace the limiting beliefs with empowering ones. Select your positive messages – write them down.
Step 3: Rehearse the New Script – Practice Makes Perfect
Now that you have written down some ideas for your new script, begin rehearsing. The rehearsal process for this script should feel a lot better than rehearsing the bad script! Rehearse the new script – again and again. Do not allow the old words to come out – and when they do, put a “STOP SIGN” into your mind. Replace the old words with the newer, more positive script. Commit to forgiving yourself when the old script surfaces – and immediately disallow it, replacing it with the new, more pleasing version.
By the way – if you put any “bad scripts” on paper – re-write them and throw away the old script. No one needs to read a bad script.
Write down the new script.
Say it out loud – with emotion.
Imagine it happening.
Your thoughts are completely within your power. What positive visions can you integrate into your thinking today? Let it put a smile on your face as you think about it. Commit to becoming a better screenwriter. The rewards will be amazing!
© Kathy Sturgis, Ph.D. Kathy is founder of Refreshment Zone and is an organizational and personal development specialist with a doctorate in communication. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on motivational programs.