“Whatever you want to succeed at, you need to replace any negative scripts you might have with positive ones” (Ash and Gerrand 2002: 7). We need to reframe our minds, changing negative stories to positive stories, one micro story at a time.

Eve Ash and Rob Gerrand’s (2002) Rewrite your life! is a book full of tips on how to reframe the micro stories in your mind from negative to positive affirmations, that empower you to be work hard (rather than procrastinate), be confident (rather than full of fear), be happier (rather than depressed), and do whatever it is you want to do.

The book offers positive scripts for  study, scripts to be powerful, scripts for interviews, scripts for relationships, resolving conflict, for speeches, and more. Ash and Gerrand suggest a process in which you:

(1) set specific goals;

(2) identify positive and negative scripts;

(3) replace any negative scripts with positive ones;

(4) make the new scripts a habit.

Most importantly, we should get rid of scripts such as “I’m stuck.” “I’ll never get out of this situation” and “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” Instead, we can develop habitual scripts such as:

“I can learn”

“I can change”

“I can improve”

As they put it, mover from the “Negative Land of W – Wishing, Wallowing and Wasting time” and into the “Positive Land of W – Wanting to achieve, Willing to learn and Working hard.” (35)

For example, if a micro story in your mind tells you “Rules are rules. You can’t change them”; you can change this to the micro story: “Rules can be challenged.”

Or, if the micro story says: “You can’t trust anyone.” You can change this to the story “Most people are trustworthy.”

Similarly, change the story “This is too hard. I need a break.” to “I’ll finish this first, then take a break.” (7)

Some more examples:

From negative stories: To positive stories:
“I’m no good at ___”“I’ll never be ____”“I can’t cook”“I don’t think I can sell this”

“I have limited vocabulary”

“I don’t want to be here”


“This will be a challenge”“I want to learn ___”“I can learn to cook”“What I am selling has some real benefits and they will be interested”

“The words I use are good words”

“This is difficult, but I’m going to enjoy the challenge and I will succeed.”

Overcome fear scripts such as fear of embarrassment, fear of failure, fear of not being liked.

This is a big one for me.

Change negative speech stories:

“I am not an expert in this field. I can’t lead this discussion.”

“I will be nervous and embarrassed”

Into positive speech stories:“Although I am not an expert in this field I can facilitate this discussion”

“With thorough planning I will be confident in the delivery” (20)

“I will enjoy this talk. I’m going to enjoy this challenge. I know my subject matter… I will do well… It’s going to feel great when I have finished.” (84)


 Change negative sleep stories from:

“I can’t sleep in a chair”

“I can’t sleep on a plane”

“I’m going to be a wreck if I don’t have eight hours’ sleep”

To positive sleep stories:“I can sleep anywhere – on the floor, on a bus, even standing up”

“I don’t need much sleep”

“I will enjoy the sleep I do manage to grab, regardless of the amount”

Transform negative health stories like:“I can’t give up smoking – I’ve tried before”

“I like junk food”

“I have a weakness for chocolate. I can’t help myself”

“Once I start eating cake I can’t stop”

“I’m too fat to exercise – people will make fun of me”

“I need another beer”

“I always have at least six cups of coffee a day”

“I need a few drinks to relax after work”


Into nurturing scripts, eating scripts, exercise scripts, commitment scripts such as:“I will never smoke again”

“I will cut down on fast food”

“I will eat more vegetables and fruit”

“I will drink a lot of water every day”

“If I’m hungry between meals I’ll eat some fruit”

“I will only have one coffee per day”

“I will go for a walk or swim”

“I will listen to music and relax”

“I will have a cup of tea after work to relax.”


PS. “Beware of False Promise scripts” that have a “built-in escape from the promise” eg “I’ll try to be punctual” “I’m going to do this when I have time” “We must catch up for lunch sometime” – these block us (17).

PPS. Perhaps most importantly “Think about what you want, not what others think.” (67)


Eve Ash & Rob Gerrand (2002), Rewrite your life! How to turn your negative thoughts into positive scripts and change your life, Australia: Penguin Books

Get it here: http://www.abebooks.com/book-search/isbn/0143001353/