Here is a link to an outline of the below presentation that I am available to share through zoom or in person.
Living with a Brain Injury and the Messages We Tell Ourselves
In living with the impact of a brain injury and an invisible disability I needed to examine. Needed to examine messages, scripts and the stories that I told myself.
What I Needed to Understand about Myself
Through my process I have come to better understand myself. I am a body, that houses my spirit that is directed by my soul. My soul is understood through my mind, intellect and emotions.
My mind, body, spirit, soul and emotions interpret my reality.
My body is the house in which I live in and through while I am here on planet earth. My soul (my mind, will, intellect and emotions) directs my body. My spirit gives me the ability to connect my mind to my heart as I express myself on a daily basis.
My spirit gives me the opportunity to be led by the Spirit of a loving God. My spirit gives me the ability to be present.
My spirit transcends my five senses and provides a spiritual window to perceive beyond my comprehension. My soul gives me the ability to understand, interpret and adjust to what is transpiring in my world. My emotions display my passion to create
My spirit, soul, body and emotions empower my creativity.
As with a computer that has been programmed to operate on a specific set of commands, so am I. My body, soul, spirit, mind and emotions operate based on a set of commands. Commands that I believe and tell myself. Messages and scripts that I hold as true.
Messages and scripts, that in practice inspire the behaviors that I use to live my life. Behaviors that can either get in my way or that can empower my life, well-being and relationships. Messages and scripts that can block or open the door of creativity each day.
Messages, scripts and behaviors thus become my channels. Channels that direct, express and motivate my emotional and spiritual energy. The energy that either contracts or expands my creative capacity in mind, body, spirit, soul and emotions.
I Began to Realize that I had a Choice
Through a series of events, I began to realize that I was participating in behaviors that no longer worked for me. As I began to examine why these behaviors no longer worked for me, I discovered a common theme. A theme that I could change.
What I Told Myself
What I believed and what I had been telling myself fueled the substance of behaviors that limited me. Not only did the messages and scripts that I told myself, limit me, but they also sought to validate these behaviors, as normal and acceptable.
Messages, scripts and the things we tell ourselves.
Messages and scripts given to us through various people. Messages and scripts that we then internalized that became our internal beliefs. Beliefs about ourselves that may have gone unchallenged for many years. Beliefs that kept us stuck.
Becoming Aware of the Impact of Messages and Scripts
As I examined the messages and scripts that I had been believing and telling myself, my eyes slowly opened. Opened to how these messages and scripts were and had been influencing my life. How they were being used to control, manipulate and divert.
My awareness Gave me Hope
As I became aware of how these messages and scripts influenced my life, I realized I could do something. Do something to change how these messages and scripts impacted my life. I discovered that I could replace these messages and scripts.
Instead of continuing to be controlled and manipulated, I could change the messages and scripts to work for me, instead of against me. Instead of having my emotional and spiritual energy distracted, I could own my power. I could direct my energy.
Message, Scripts and Beliefs Set by Expectations
Messages, scripts and beliefs set by a diagnosis, prognosis, label, stereotype and stigmatization. Messages, scripts and beliefs that sought to minimize, marginalize, dismiss and discount my great worth and value. Great worth and value as yet to be expressed. Expressed through my creative capacity/empowering behaviors.
Making a Conscious Decision – Clearing the Channels
When I discovered that the messages, scripts and beliefs (that I told myself) promoted limiting behaviors, I made a decision. A decision to challenge the messages, scripts and beliefs that sought to limit me in a “box” of expectations. A decision to begin to clear the channels of expectations to escape the “box”.
“Decision is the spark that ignites action. Until a decision is made nothing happens.” Wilfred A Peterson
This decision gave me the motivation to look for “triggers”. Triggers that led me to believe/hold limiting messages and scripts.
“Success is not the result to spontaneous combustion. You must set yourself on fire.” Arnold S. Glasow
Clear the channel (s) so that my spiritual and emotional energy could flow freely. With my awareness, I discovered that by confronting the limiting message and limiting scripts I was able to create space. Create a space to replace limiting messages and limiting scripts with ones that would instead empower my process.
Replacing Limiting Behaviors with Empowering Choices
By replacing limiting messages and limiting scripts, with empowering messages and scripts I empowered new behaviors. As I empowered new behaviors, I experienced a new freedom.
A new freedom that empowered my ability to use my spiritual and emotional energy. Use my energy to enhance my quality of life.
“Opportunity is often missed because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” Thomas Edison
Use my spiritual and emotional energy to create in ways that work for me, instead of continuing to feel compelled. Compelled to defend why I could no longer had stay in the box of expectations. The “box” of expectations set by a diagnosis, a prognosis, a label, a stereotype and a stigmatization, because of my brain injury.
Channeling Emotional and Spiritual Energy
By letting go of feeling compelled to stay in the box of my and other people’s expectations, I experience new energy. A new energy through empowering behaviors. New behaviors to channel my energy to use my gifts, talents and abilities. To move from a feeling of helplessness to being empowered in ways that work.
“Nothing in the universe can stop you from letting go and starting over” Guy Finley
“We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us.” – Joseph Campbell
Understanding Limiting Scripts and Limiting Beliefs
I have been thinking about how self-talk messages and scripts affect me. The messages and scripts that I tell myself, about myself, and my experience. The stories that I tell myself.
Like in a Play or a Movie
Scripts, like those that an actor uses — in a play or a movie — to set the stage. Set the stage for how the actor is to play their part.
Like an actor who plays a part in a play or a movie, scripts are (messages) that I tell myself as I go about living my life.
Living my life by the messages and scripts that I tell myself.
Messages (scripts) that I tell myself about my life and well-being.
Messages (scripts) that I tell and believe about myself.
Messages (scripts) that other people tell me that I buy into.
Messages (scripts) that I want or need to believe about myself so that I do not have to…
Messages (scripts) that other people want or need me to believe about myself so that they do not have to…
Messages (scripts) that I tell myself about myself, so that I remain in my own denial.
Messages (scripts) that other people tell themselves and believe about me to remain in their denial.
Messages (scripts) that I use to justify the way that I treat myself.
Messages (scripts) that justify the way other that people treat me.
Messages (scripts) that may have unknowingly kept everyone in denial (and stuck) for many years.
But the Good News is that We have a Choice
Being aware of these limiting messages and scripts can give us the ability to change what we tell ourselves.
Change and replace what we say about ourselves.
Change and replace what we believe about ourselves.
Change the messages and scripts that we buy into each day.
Change and replace to experience new behaviors to empower.
The Benefits or Replacing Messages and Scripts
By taking note of what we are telling ourselves we can explore.
By taking note of what we are telling ourselves we can create a good life for ourselves.
By taking note what we are telling ourselves we can follow our dreams, one day at a time.
By taking note of what we are telling ourselves we can create hope in our lives, a little at a time.
By taking note of what we are telling ourselves we can make the best use of our time, one skill at a time.
By taking note of what we are telling ourselves we can improve our relationships, one behavior at a time.
Messages and limiting scripts that you may be telling yourself.
As you find yourself identifying with these messages and scripts, replace them. Replace them with messages and scripts (a little at a time) that no longer limit you in your life and relationships.
“Be miserable. Or motivate yourself. Whatever has to be done. It’s always your choice.” Wayne Dyer.
“If you take responsibility for yourself, you will develop a hunger to accomplish your dreams.” Les Brown
Below are some Limiting Messages and Limiting Scripts
- What I think does not matter.
2. What I feel does not matter.
3. No one will care.
4. Don’t trust your perception.
5. Don’t feel your anger if you are mad.
6. I don’t care.
7. It doesn’t matter anyway.
8. Nothing ever works out for me.
9. Relationships just don’t work out for me.
10. Life has got to be hard.
11. I can’t have…
12. I must be…
13. Good girls always do what other people want.
14. A man must take care of everyone.
Children are to be seen not heard.
16. Be right.
17. I must perfect.
18. Be good.
19. You think you have it bad. When I was your age, I did not have…
20. You are as selfish as your father was…
21. You are as cold as your mother was…
22. You are not good enough.
23. I am not pretty enough.
24. I am not smart enough.
25. I am not talented enough.
26. Do for us (your parents/significant other) and do without.
27. Always obey the authority.
28. Never question the rules.
29. Don’ think for yourself.
30. Speak only when you are spoken to.
31. Being emotional is weak.
32. The only thing that matters is wealth and intelligence.
33. People are disposable.
34. Some people are made to be used.
35. Spirituality is for kooks.
36. God does not love me.
37. I have to perform to be lovable.
38. I only exist to be beaten.
39. Don’t talk.
40. Don’t trust.
41. Don’t Feel.
42. I can’t be happy unless you are…
Today’s thought to Consider
In the event that you find yourself being limited by messages or scripts, I would encourage you to examine those messages and scripts. Messages or scripts that you or other people may believe or have told you to believe for many years.
People who may no longer be living. Messages and scripts that may have been passed down to you from people who were misinformed. Misinformed, misled and limited themselves.
Making Peace with Your Past and with Yourself
Examining the origins of these messages and scripts may help you to make peace with your past. Not only can we make peace with our past, but will help us to be aware when we hear similar limiting messages and scripts.
Being aware will help us to recognize when people seek to control and manipulate. Control and manipulate you through limiting messages and scripts. Recognize when people seek to undermine you and your relationships with messages/scripts.
By taking note of what we or other people may be telling us, we can change. We can change limiting messages and limiting scripts with ones that encourage. Encourage, motivate, empower, inspire and give us hope in our lives and relationships.
Several years ago, I wrote an article to share what helped me to make peace with my past. To make peace with my past to be able to begin identifying limiting messages and limiting scripts. The information in the article may also help you, too. Help you to make peace with your past to identify limiting messages and scripts.
Click on this link to read what helped: Making Peace with my Past
I have also created 18 other presentations to share what helped me. Helped me to replace messages and scripts. I am available to share these presentations. Click on this link to schedule: Availability.
Believing in Ourselves through Self-Advocacy — A Guide to Owning Our Power after Brain Injury and Stroke Presentation
12 Ways to Enhance Our Lives, Well-Beings and Relationships after a Brain Injury and Stroke Presentation
Living with a Brain Injury, an Invisible Disability and Change after Brain Injury and Stroke Presentation
To read more about my process and journey click on the green link.