In psychology, a schema is a fixed pattern of thought and behaviour. One could also describe it as a mental structure of preconceived notions, a framework encompassing an aspect of reality, or a system of organising and perceiving new information. “Schema” specifically refers to maladaptive patterns stemming from early childhood.
Schemas often take the form of a belief about yourself, others, or the world. They develop if a person’s basic emotional needs are not met in childhood, as do coping styles and modes.
People who have a “Self-Sacrifice” schema tend to attend to other people’s needs before their own most or all of the time. This stems from fear that they will disappoint those around them.