Gaining Self-Awareness: Flip That Script

by UMaineCLASAdvisingCenter

Are there habits and patterns in your life that are getting you off course academically? Do you know how these habit patterns developed? Do you know that you can you revise self-defeating patterns that are keeping you from realizing your full potential? The key is to first recognize that you are indeed veering off course and that you need to figure out how to get back on track. Easy enough, right?

Well, yes and no.

The forces that tend to pull us off track may not be visible to ourselves and others. They are usually internal scripts that we have learned to live by. They become the lenses through which we see ourselves and those around us. We may not even realize we are responding to these deeply embedded “mental tapes.”

These scripts are made of two parts:

The first part is that part of our consciousness that tells us how we think, feel and behave. These thought patterns include habitual self talk such as I am bad at math, I write well, I am always too busy, I like to socialize, I always get bad grades no matter how hard I try. The emotional patterns are habitual feelings such as fear, anger, anxiety, excitement or joy. The behavior patterns are habitual actions such as never arriving on time, exercising regularly, cramming for tests, not asking for help, etc. These patterns may be obvious to yourself and others around you, but not always.

The second part of our scripts lie deeper within our unconscious mind. These scripts may be called our Core Beliefs and they form our unconscious judgements about the things we think, feel and do. They become the lenses through which we view the world. These judgments can become a form of self-sabotage if they are negative ones such as; the world is a dangerous place, everybody hates me, my teachers are all out to get me, I am not intelligent enough for college level classes, and on and on and on.

Though these scripts may be invisible to us we can usually see their negative influences in our lives. Do you waste a lot of time doing unimportant stuff? Do you often turn in assignments late? Do you get nervous around your instructors? Do you have test anxiety? Are you highly critical of yourself and others? Do you feel uncomfortable asking for help? Do you daydream in classes? Do you hang out with people who do not support your academic goals? If you can answer yes any of these questions you might want to dig a little deeper and write yourself a new script!

Start by identifying your self-defeating habit patterns. Try to identify your unconscious limiting beliefs about yourself and the world around you. If you are constantly running late for class revise your mental script and tell yourself that you are a dependable student who always arrives on time. If you continue to feel you have professors that do not care about you reevaluate your own actions. Are you paying attention in class, are you emailing your professor, do you make eye contact, do you make appointments to meet during their visiting hours? If things are not going the way you want them to, take a step towards making the connections between your belief habits and what is happening in your life. Gaining self-awareness is an important part of being academically successful.