Schemas are simply any negative lenses through which we view the world. They are very stable, and are difficult to change. They develop during childhood and they stick with the person throughout adulthood. They are beliefs that the person doesn’t challenge, but has accepted to be a part of who they are, even if they don’t realise it consciously. If a schema develops, for example, regarding a child who is told that they will never be successful, then the schema will still be present in adulthood, and the person will see themselves as someone who never succeeds.
There are many different schemas that a person can develop during childhood, and some of them include:
- Wanting approval from others, and not being able to develop your own sense of self
- Believing that you are entitled to anything you want, without taking into consideration other people
- The inability to work and function independently, after not being given the opportunity to become independent from caregivers
- The belief that you will never succeed in anything you do, and that you are destined to be a failure
It is rare for a schema to go away without getting help from a professional, such as a psychologist. The schema sits in the sub-conscious part of the mind, and is very stubborn, working to perpetuate itself.