Re-write your Story: Challenge that Old, Outdated Script

We’re walking home after work, past the local tennis court. A bloke yells out to us, ‘Hey, can you get us our ball. It’s in the gutter right near you. ‘

[Tweet “Snap.. an old script comes careering back.“] Instantly I’m transported to High School. I’m about to throw a ball, knowing full well I’ll be teased or laughed at by classmates – for my throwing style.


  • ‘I’m so hopeless, I can’t throw properly. Look at me.’challenge-that-script
  • ‘I won’t get the ball over the fence. How embarrassing is that.’
  • ‘What if I hit the fence and it comes back at me?’
  • ‘They’ll all be laughing – at me.’
My partner and I look for the ball in the gutter.
Damn, the ball’s right near me.
 For a split second I wonder if I can pretend not to see it. No hope of that though –  my partner spots it right next to me.
Damn it.
I grab the the ball. My heart’s beating so damn fast now.
‘Get a grip Greg’, I think. 
I walk in from the kerb towards the fence  and throw it underarm, up and over the fence.  I’m almost in awe of myself. It like one of those slo-mo moments from TV – complete with dodgy music.
It clears the fence, landing right in front of the guy.
Hmmm that’s pretty damn accurate. Even if I do say so myself!  

My Script Take-aways:

[Tweet “Stay in the present. Stay in the now. Recognise & acknowledge when you ditch a negative script.”]
  • This is the second or third time this ‘rescue the errant tennis ball’ scene has played out over the past year, at this local tennis court.
  • Each time I’ve used the same technique and managed to clear the fence easily. It’s time to recognise and affirm this success, to myself. It’s time to write a new script, and ditch the other one.

Catch yourself:As soon as you start to recall a negative experience (or two or three or…), as soon as you start to live out an old script, acknowledge it:

  • ‘I’m focusing on the past’, ‘I’m living out an old script’. No judgement.
  • Recognise that you’ve caught yourself here – that you’ve stopped the negativity in its tracks. This is a huuuuuge step forward.
Focus on what’s worked for you before.
  •  Repeat the successful techniques you’ve employed before (so long as they’re applicable).
  • Take these techniques further. Build and extend on them.