If you identify with 5 or more of these statements, you are very likely to have this schema.
- 1I get bored and distracted easily.
- 2I often feel restless and agitated.
- 3I find it difficult to stick to a plan or follow through on goals.
- 4I tend to get very excited by new plans then lose interest quickly.
- 5I find it very difficult to stop self-destructive behaviours such as drinking, smoking and over-eating.
- 6I find it difficult to tolerate uncomfortable emotions.
- 7I am very impulsive and often do things I later regret.
- 8I often can't hold back and end up reacting to my feelings.
- 9I find it difficult to focus and concentrate for very long.
- 10I feel like I have too much energy and find it hard to channel it into anything productive.
If you have this schema you will likely struggle with self-discipline and / or self control and this can show up in your life as:
- feelings of restlessness and boredom.
- difficulty following through on plans or goals.
- self - sabotage.
- making instant decisions that you regret later.
- blurting things out without thinking them through.
- emotional outbursts.
With this schema your life can be quite chaotic.
You will have a very active mind - often called 'the monkey mind' as it flits from one idea to another. You might find yourself getting really excited about a new idea or plan, and then lose interest as soon as you start it. You will find it difficult to maintain focus and concentration so you will be very prone to procrastination.
The heart of this schema is a limited ability to tolerate uncomfortable emotions such as frustration, stress, anxiety. As soon as we experience any kind of discomfort we try to get away from it.
Unlike other schemas, this schema doesn't really have any core beliefs or thoughts that drive it. It's usually due to underdevelopment of the brain's "executive control" centre - the Pre-frontal Cortext.
This part of the brain is responsible for managing our emotions, self-discipline, following through on plans and self-control. It's the braking system of the brain.
There's a few reasons why this part of the brain doesn't develop well.
If we experienced emotional neglect or abuse as children within the first few years of life - the pre-frontal cortex doesn't receive the emotional input it needs to develop to its optimal capacity.
Also if we experienced prolonged stress as a child - the pre-frontal cortex functioning will be compromised.
A third reason is that we weren't taught self-discipline as a child. If we had no rules or boundaries, we don't develop the key traits of patience, delaying gratification or tolerating discomfort.
The implications of this schema can be huge.
One of the main impacts is that we find it difficult to finish anything.
We might start hundreds of projects with very little accomplishment. The need to feel accomplished is an essential emotional need and when we don't meet it, we end up with feelings of frustration, shame, and inadequacy. We never really feel the deep satisfaction and pride that we get when we persist and finish something successfully.
Because we have limited impulse control, we sometimes react to situations without thinking - causing us to damage relationships, lose our jobs or end up with legal problems.
We also live at the mercy of our emotions - so we can find ourselves changing our minds a lot and not being able to find or stick to a path throughout life. Or we struggle with fluctuating emotions that we can't get a grip of.
With this schema we are also prone to addictions and depending on what you are using you can end up with all sorts of issues - especially related to your health.
We don't have an internal braking system that tells us when enough is enough.
Overtime, with this schema you can start to feel like you are being buffeted around by life, not really going in any kind of meaningful direction.
You can start to feel like you are a failure and with these thoughts come feelings of inadequacy, shame and depression.