What Script Are You Writing For Your Life? (With John Perry)

“You can’t make choices that don’t occur to you.”

This is a simple truth worth considering. And it sits at the heart of what we’re digging into on this week’s podcast, which revolves around my conversation with psychotherapist, coach, and trainer, John Perry.

I first encountered John in November 2021 when he led a brilliant three day Transactional Analysis training workshop for the Coaching Academy. In one of the sessions John uttered those words…“you can’t make choices that don’t occur to you”.

It stopped me in my tracks. Wow! I don’t think THAT had really occurred to me before. At least not in an overt way. And in many ways it seems to sum up a core premise of Transactional Analysis, which is about expanding our options and perspective, so we can choose the most useful way to show up in any given situation.

We cover a LOT of ground in this conversation, and talk about:

  • The core ideas of Transactional Analysis, such as Ego States, OK-ness, and Transaction Types
  • How ‘Rubber Band Experiences’ can take us back into an adaptive child state where we draw on behaviours that helped us cope when we were young
  • Where “contamination” can lead us to act out of character, and how we might recognise it in the way we construct our understanding of the world
  • How ulterior transactions can leave us (and others) with muddled and confused experiences after an engagement – the importance of saying what you mean
  • Why we should never underestimate the importance of kindness
  • The role of the ‘Stroke Economy’ in our need for recognition as a social animal and the different types of strokes we give and receive on a daily basis
  • Why the call to ‘Try Hard’ can become a sabotaging crutch and a reason it can become impossible for some people achieve goals
  • How the word ‘try’ tricks the brain into anticipating resistance and failure, and turns achievable goals and desires into insurmountable challenges
  • The signs of ‘Slot Rattling’ (going from one extreme to the other) and how it can be detrimental to helping our relationship with drivers
  • The difference between writing a winning and non-winning (losing or bland) life script and how we might change the style and content in the next chapter
  • Why a winning life script doesn’t always look like success, and why what appear to be success to the outside world might actually be symptoms of a losing life script for the individual
  • And a load more!