Life Script

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Demands from our parents in our childhood aimed at stopping us from doing something. All of these things informed the life scripts we created in our childhood, which we have taken with us into adulthood. These are all examples of life scripts. We can start to believe them and let them define us and how we live our lives.

If history always seems to be repeating itself, maybe it is because the same script is playing over and over. He argued that these patterns are common to everyone. They feel that everything they desire is out of their reach.

These people believe they will pay the price in the future for doing something fun in the present. These people are always one step away from getting what they want.

Life Script — The end is written in the beginning – romasharma – Medium

Even if they do achieve their goal, they will not be satisfied with it, but immediately look for the next one. These people reach a certain point in their lives and find themselves lost. They might have looked forward to something in the future, but when it happens, it does not give them happiness. Look for recurring patterns relating to your beliefs, desires and decisions. I have added my own life script to my Book Of Life.

You inherited your script from your childhood. If you were starting to write your story now rather than when you were 4 years old, how would you write it? It is the belief that people have basic value, worth, and dignity as human beings. That people are OK is a statement of their essence, not necessarily their behaviour. This position is characterized by an attitude of trust and openness, a willingness to give and take, and an acceptance of others as they are.

People are close to themselves and to others. There are no losers, only winners. Operating from this place, people have lost interest in life and may see life as totally without promise. This self-destructive stance is characteristic of people who are unable to cope in the real world, and it may lead to extreme withdrawal, a return to infantile behaviour, or violent behaviour resulting in injury or death of themselves or others.

In reality each of us has a favorite position we operate from under stress. The challenge is to become aware of how we are attempting to make life real through our basic life position and if necessary, create a healthy alternative. That is, to establish and reinforce the position that recognizes the value and worth of every person.

Life Script

Transactional analysts regard people as basically "OK" and thus capable of change, growth and healthy interactions. Related to the concept of basic psychological life positions is the life script sometimes called childhood scripts.


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Put simply, the life script is the pre-conscious life plan that governs the way our life is lived out. This script is developed early in life as a result of the messages we receive from parents and others and the early decisions we make. It can be seen as a well-defined course of action that we decide on as a child and which is maintained by subsequent events.

A potential script decision is made when a person discounts his own free child needs in order to survive. Only after several discounts does the decision become part of the script unless the situation carried a great deal of significance such as the death of a parent or sibling.

Life scripts have a deep and unconscious effect on how we live our lives. They affect the decisions we make. They control what we think we could easily do and could never do. They shape our self-image. And yet we seldom realise where they come from or even do not know that they exist at all. Life scripts are not all the same as they may also be significantly affected by individual events, such as being criticized by a teacher or bullied by other children.

They also are constrained by inherited characteristics. For example, it would be unusual but not impossible for a short person to include being a basketball player in their life script. There are often overall shapes to life scripts that can be expressed very simply, for example 'I am a loser' or 'I must help save the world'.

Life scripts can be very detailed or they can be very vague. They can be very empowering, yet they can also be severely limiting. People follow their script because of the pay off, a familiar feeling, attempting to avoid the loss of love and in an attempt to gain love. This is reinforced by parental figures and other caregivers. As a result many men find it difficult to connect with their emotions as adults. Another example, is that of a child, brought up in poverty, who sees celebrities on television and hears her grandmother telling her that she can be like that, and how there are people on the TV screen who started with nothing, just like her.


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  • She consequently creates fantasies and plays games of being a celebrity. Other children join in, but with her it runs much deeper. For example it would be unusual but not impossible for a shorter person to include being a basketball player in their life script.

    Script analysis

    There are often overall shapes to life scripts that can be expressed very simply, for example 'I am a loser' or 'I must help save the world'. Life scripts can be very detailed and they can be very vague. They can be very empowering, yet they can also severely limit our lives. A child brought up in poverty sees celebrities on television and hears her grandmother telling her that she can be like that, and how there are people on the TV screen who started with nothing, just like her.

    She consequently creates fantasies and plays games of being a celebrity. Other children join in, but with her it runs much deeper. She works hard and always volunteers, even after forgetting much of her conversations with her grandmother.

    The meaning of life scripts

    She ends up working in television, not as a celebrity but behind the scenes. Whilst she feels good being close to the stars, there is a strange sadness about her when she returns to her small apartment at night. She still works hard and the deep belief that celebrity success will find her drives her on. As humans, we create stories to help make sense of the world. Stories run through time like our lives. We put ourselves in the place of the protagonist or other players, feeling what it may be like.

    And the greatest story for each of us is the story of our lives.

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    We constantly re-tell ourselves about what has happened to us, replaying the internal video and attributing good and bad roles to the various players in our lives. We also project into the future, wondering what might be. And underneath all this, often unrealized, is the great story arc that we made up long ago.

    These life scripts shape our thoughts and actions and the stories we tell ourselves. If my life script does not contain being a doctor then I will never wonder about such a career or wish I could be one. If I have though of myself as inferior then my life script will position me as such.

    Life scripts are defined within the field of Transactional Analysis and as such are often viewed within the frame of the parent-adult-child model. Script messages are seen as coming from:.



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