As you may already know, journaling is one of the most powerful ways to both understand our anxiety and release ourselves from it. While I’ve experimented, and continue to experiment, with different journaling processes (because I just find it fun!), scripting is without a doubt one of my favourites.
So, what exactly is “Scripting”?
The process of Scripting is all about the imagination ― something that most of us haven’t exercised since childhood. In Scripting, we essentially pretend that we are magical writers, and anything that we write down comes into fruition exactly how we’ve written it. It’s a process that’s meant to get your creative juices flowing about specific situations in your life that you’d like to see become a reality. Your only job in this writing process, then, is to describe exactly what you want in great detail.
In this process, it’s important to note that we should write in either the present tense (which I highly recommend) or in the past tense, but never in the future tense. The reason for this is very simple: We want to get used to feeling present and believing that new realities are possible for us now ― not in the long-awaited realm of “someday”. We want to feel and know that we can absolutely live realities that are free of anxious and doubtful thoughts. When we suffer with a never-ending laundry list of anxious thoughts, it’s because we’re stuck in the past or the future. We’re overanalyzing and picking apart our past words or actions, and we’re stressed out about how we’re going to achieve and fulfill all the goals, dreams, and responsibilities we foresee in our future. With Scripting, we get present in the ‘now’ now.
Here are 3 ways Scripting can help free you from anxiety:
1. Scripting Gives You Greater Clarity On What You Want
When it really comes down to it, most of us have absolutely no clue what we truly want. For most of my life, I thought I had this life thing all figured out. Study hard, get into a good university, graduate, start my career, become successful, and eventually fall in love and start a family. Well, that’s all good and dandy, but life usually isn’t so linear and clear-cut. There are many hurdles that we must overcome throughout our journeys on this earth, and many of us have no idea how to deal with these hurdles in a healthy way. Instead, we let them confuse us and convince us that there must be something wrong with us if we’re not getting to wherever we think we’re supposed to be. This deep-seeded emotion of lack then transpires into feelings of unworthiness, which manifests in us as low self-esteem, anxiety, and illness ― physically, emotionally, and mentally.
The craziest part of it all is that we often don’t even have clarity about what it is that we’re trying to attain! As I look back on the blueprint of my life that I previously described, I realize now that it was always far too vague. Even just within the words “be successful” themselves, there is a lot of room for interpretation. Being successful looks very different depending on who you are. What “success” is to me, might look like hell to you and vice versa. While we as humans all share certain commonalities in life ― i.e. we want to be loved, we want to contribute, we want to feel understood ― we all have unique views on what a ‘good’ life looks like.
So, this, therefore, is the first thing Scripting will help you get oh-so-very clear on: What in the world do you really want? Not what do your parents want, not what your best friend wants, not what your coworkers want. No, what do you want? This is truly where and when you need to give yourself permission to have fun and get really creative here (because you are, in fact, the magical creator of your own life even if you don’t yet believe it). Script out any situation or experience with precise details that you would love to occur in your life, and write it out as if it were happening right now in this very moment. Include who is there (yes, you must be there of course!), where you are, what you see, what you smell, what you hear, and so on. The more detail the better, because the more specific you get, the more clarity you’ll gain.
Don’t get overwhelmed with this. Remember ― Scripting is supposed to be fun. Enjoy exercising your imagination and don’t overthink it. Realizing what you truly want may take some time, because you’re likely very used to absorbing the thoughts and opinions of others instead of going within. Scripting is about getting to know yourself and your true desires hidden within you. Enjoy exploring the inner depths of your heart’s desires!
2. Scripting Teaches You To Focus On The Right Things
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Where focus goes, energy flows. This, in essence, means that whatever you’re constantly thinking about and directing your attention towards, will continue to grow and become greater. If this doesn’t seem to ring true for you just yet, just try to recall a time when you started to think about something you were anxiously awaiting. Let’s say you had an upcoming interview for a new job, for example. You may have thought about the time you should arrive for the interview, and then started to worry about what would happen if you got stuck in traffic. You may have thought about what questions the interviewer may ask you, which may have led to you becoming self-conscious about how to answer accordingly. It’s very likely that if you continued to think about this upcoming experience in a very negative light, pondering all the things that could go wrong, many of them likely did go wrong. I’ve seen this manifest in my life, and I’m sure you have as well in one way or another.
In this same way, when you direct your focus on what could go right, many things start to ― well ― go right. At the most basic level, you are energy. You are made of the same energy that the sun exudes to keep every living being on this planet alive. I mean, that’s pretty cool when you think about it, isn’t it? That’s got to make you feel even a little bit powerful, right? Well, whether it does or it doesn’t, this fact is true! And because it’s true, that means that where you direct your energy is very important. In fact, where you direct your focus needs to be something that you progressively become more conscious and aware of each and every day. Your focused energy is, in reality, far more powerful than you’ve likely realized throughout your entire life thus far. The unfortunate part of that is that you’ve spent a great deal of your time and energy focused upon what you don’t want, which has undoubtedly manifested in your life as high levels of anxiety and maybe even depression. The great part about it is that you now know how powerful your focused energy is, so you can redirect it towards what you do want, and, in turn, start manifesting incredible thoughts, experiences, and people into your life today.
As it turns out, writing is one of our most powerful points of focus, so when we script out scenarios ― whether it be an upcoming interview that we want to go smoothly, or a big life event like buying our first home ― and project large amounts of energy towards it while truly feeling ourselves in these scenarios, we are creating an internal habit of focusing on what we do want instead of what we don’t want. If we create a habit of focusing on what we do want to transpire externally and internally, we automatically eliminate the downward spiral of negative self-talk that creates so much anxiety within us. What you focus on matters, so daily scripting is a sure way to get you focusing on anything and everything you want to feel, believe, and experience in your life.
3. Scripting Can Literally Shape Your Reality
I recently read about a study conducted by Dr. Denis Waitley that was instituted during the 1980s and ’90s Olympics called Visual Motor Rehearsal. They took Olympic athletes and had them run their event only in their mind, and hooked them up to biofeedback equipment. The exact same muscles fired in the same sequence when they were only running the race in their mind as when they were running it on the track. How was this possible? Well, they discovered that the mind cannot distinguish between whether you’re actually doing something or whether you’re thinking about it and visualizing it in your mind. To your mind, both are equally real ― they are both reality. Pretty cool, right? So what does this mean for non-Olympic athletes? People just like you and me? It means that if we’ve been there in our minds, we can go there in the body. Whatever our minds can conceive, we can achieve, by harnessing the power of our minds.
Scripting isn’t just about writing a scenario down on a piece of paper, and creating the characters and the plot. It’s about imagining, or visualizing, something in your mind’s eye that you truly want to become real in your life ― even if that something is as simple as, “I wake up in my warm bed and see the sun shining through my window. I’m in a great mood, feeling light and cheerful.” What’s more, Scripting is about indulging in and actually feeling all the emotions you would feel if that something really was occuring in your life now. When you let go of any doubt or limiting beliefs surrounding whatever it is you want to happen in your life, it will get easier day by day to think about and feel the words you script in your journal. Your brain, in turn, will literally begin to take these thoughts attached to their corresponding feel-good emotions as reality. Instead of having a mind that constantly leans towards, “This isn’t possible for me” or “I could never do that”, you’ll use your mind to create a virtual reality for yourself that’s inspiring, exciting, and hopeful.
Most importantly, this virtual reality can and will transpire into real concrete beliefs, circumstances, and events if you choose to believe so and take actions towards achieving them in your daily life.
For all these reasons and more, Scripting has been one of the most influential writing processes on my life today. Sometimes I write new scripts, and sometimes I simply read the scripts I’ve already written and indulge in the deliciousness of feeling these experiences through. Just remember that this writing process, like anything else I’ve told you about, needs to become a habit. We become what we do habitually ― whether it’s what we think, feel, say, or write. Make the choice to become only your most empowering thoughts, emotions, and words so that you can free yourself from anxiety for good and live your best life!