In a recent interview we were asked about the “it’s too hard”, stigma attached to eating healthfully. While we know that you know, it doesn’t have to be, this question got us thinking about the invisible scripts and unconscious beliefs that guide (and govern) our lives. The stories we learn throughout life that shape who we are and how we behave in the world.
In the self-help sphere we often label them as “limiting beliefs” because spoiler alert… they’re usually limiting, but Ramit Sethi, author of the NY Times Bestseller, I Will Teach You To Be Rich — and, according to us, one of the three people every entrepreneur should follow (Marie Forleo & Derek Halpern are the other two), reintroduced us to this concept dubbing them “invisible scripts”.
Uncovering invisible scripts
Invisible scripts are the underlying assumptions and deep-rooted beliefs that dictate our worldviews. They’re usually so deeply embedded in our subconscious that we’re unaware of them. We pick them up from our parents, society, the media, friends, peer groups, and they stick to us like glue. A few that come to mind are:
Eating healthy is really hard.
Eating healthy is really expensive.
You have to go to college to get a good job.
More education will bring you more opportunity for success.
Get married → have kids.
Quitters never win.
Be really good at what you do. It will be noticed, and you will succeed.
If you’re not working for a local, recognized, “secure” company, you don’t have a real job.
The harder something is to attain, the more valuable it is.
Women are supposed to do the cooking.
Rest is for the lazy.
The busier you are the more important you are.
If I don’t post to social media every day I will become irrelevant.
Change doesn’t happen overnight.
Skinny = healthy.
Recognize any of these playing out in your own life?
Here’s the thing with invisible scripts: While they aren’t inherently “bad” (a discussion for another post), they are subjective, and often hold us back from reaching our potential (which is why they’re considered limiting).
How they work
Invisible scripts create a powerful invisible barrier (in effect, a glass ceiling), that constricts our ability to act without influence and therefore, dictates how we show up in the world.
We see “eating healthy is really hard” and “eating healthy is really expensive”, all the time in our work. Clearly limiting, but both are actually very easy to reverse. It all comes down to prioritization, letting go of the stories you’ve attached to eating healthy, and replacing them with new ones.
Rewriting invisible scripts
To help you rewrite the underlying assumptions currently controlling how you show up in the world, we’ve created this simple step-by-step tutorial. While this process isn’t exactly easy, it is straightforward. (And we would never give you something you can’t handle.) So without further ado, let’s rewrite our scripts.
1. Identify your scripts
Awareness is the first step to changing anything because you can’t change what you’re not aware of, so step one to rewriting your scripts: Identifying your scripts. Pinpoint what invisible scripts you’ve been living by and whether or not they’ve been holding you back. We like to write them down (pen & paper is powerful).
2. Disprove to dissolve
Once you’ve identified your invisible scripts, begin collecting evidence proving their falsity. For example, let’s take a look at the all too familiar, ‘eating healthy is really expensive’. Yes, stocking up on the latest superfoods, exotic fruits, and organic everything can add up, but that isn’t the only way to eat healthy. Take advantage of the bulk section at your local grocery store, shop online at places like thrive market or amazon for great deals and discounts, frequent your local farmer’s market, embrace cooking at home, stick to staples not superfoods, etc. Disprove to dissolve, it’s freeing and refreshingly liberating. (This method also works for dissolving negative thoughts.)
3. The rewrite
Now that you’ve collected evidence clearly disproving your invisible scripts, it’s time to rewrite them. Sticking with the above example, ‘eating healthy is really expensive,’ the rewrite becomes: Eating healthy doesn’t have to break the bank.
A note on guilt
While this simple three step process works wonders to abolish invisible scripts, we thought it was important to touch upon the internal guilt cycle invisible scripts can perpetuate. This is (without question) the most difficult aspect of rewriting your scripts.
Danielle LaPorte said it best, “Loving yourself may mean that you appear to be unloving to others at times.”
Be OK with that.
What are the top 2 invisible scripts that have influenced you?
Leave your responses in the comment section below. If you can’t think of any answer this instead: What are the top 2 invisible scripts that have influenced your friends? Start the conversation. “See” you in the comments!
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Erika & Jess
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