Did you know that knitted into your subconscious are beliefs about yourself, about the things that you deserve/need and without you even realising it you seek out things that help to prove those things as absolute truth? These thoughts are called our Core Beliefs, and are often developed in those extremely crucial years before a child turns 5. Although a major change in a person’s life can also alter their core beliefs, or add extra ones that become more prominent.
A core belief has the potential to impact on a person’s life both negatively and positively. These beliefs go deeper than what we determine to be our values and it is often the case that a person may not even realise the effect that these core beliefs have on the way they interact with those around them.
I have recently begun working on core beliefs with my psychologist and it has been interesting for me to determine both what my more prominent core belief is and then to notice the impact that it has had on my life up to this point. One of the things that we are working on is creating new core beliefs, of which are the opposite what I subconsciously believe about myself. It’s kind of like positive thinking, although I do feel that it is less wishy washy than that.
The most interesting thing that I have discovered about core beliefs is that through these thoughts, we then go about our lives seeking out people and examples of how this core belief is true. So if your core belief is that you are stupid, then you seek out things that have happened in your life that prove you to be stupid. You forget about the things that prove that you aren’t, it’s like a negative seeking missile in your mind!
Getting to my own core belief wasn’t an easy process. It wasn’t a simple case of just coming up with something that I knowingly think about myself, as core beliefs are often so deeply entrenched in our being that we don’t realise we are subscribing to the belief. My psychologist worked through a series of ‘I think this because’ word play until we got to the heart of the beliefs that I hold.
At the moment I have one core belief to work on, and it’s hard. There’s been tears more often than not in therapy but I do feel like I am moving forward. Even admitting out loud what my inner most fear/core belief was, was hard. The belief has a catch 22, with admitting out loud what it was, that I would have that core belief realised, that the person I told would tell me that what I believed about myself was in fact true. Maybe I’ve been ready to give it up for longer than I realise.
Have you heard of core beliefs before?
Linking up with Jess for IBOT.
Wonderful post Tegan, thanks for sharing, I think you are very strong and brave digging deep and working through the damaging beliefs you have held for so long. Much love to you
I have heard of Core Beliefs but not used in this way. It’s very interesting this idea. very thought provoking indeed.
I recently attended a goal workshop that touched on core beliefs and how they can impact you and form blocks for reaching your goals. I’m not in the right head space to know what mine are but I’m sure to someone looking out they would be pretty obvious. After my over-sharing blog post today, I’m thinking it might be time for me to look at some form of therapy, otherwise the blog will turn into my therapy and I’m not sure I’m ready for that.
I’ve heard of core beliefs and have discussed them before with a psychologist yet they still come back to haunt me. Sigh. It’s bloody hard work, isn’t it? Hugs. xo
Tegan, this is so interesting. I hadn’t heard about core beliefs before but it sounds absolutely fascinating. I would love to find out what mine are. I’m so pleased to hear you are making such great progress and finding it all worthwhile xx
Getting in there can be scary Tegan, good on you for being strong. x
I’ve just started a 21 day brain detox (I’ve done them before), with Dr Caroline Leaf and she talks about something similar. The idea is that we have memories that are based on a thought and they have a huge amount of hold on us, and effect how we function. She also talks about that positive self talk, but also not in a wishy washy way. More recognising when that negativity comes up, not giving it any power, and instead telling ourself what is actually true.
Such a liberating thing.
Love that your doing this Tegan. xx
We’ve talked about core believes in marketing classes before, but probably not to the depths that a psychologist might talk about them. Then again, maybe it is the same, as marketing seems to be a lot about understanding people – more importantly what motivates them! I couldn’t tell you what mine are off the top of my head – I guess if we could all do that we wouldn’t need psychs! Maybe I’ll ask my psych if all this anxiety crap is anything to do with core beliefs!? Sounds like hard but rewarding work Tegan, just keep swimming! -Aroha
Lovely post Tegan. I believe the most important thing here is to be aware of your core beliefs, and to learn how to still live positively regardless. Thats been my own personal experience xx
I haven’t heard of core beliefs before either, fascinating read and well done!
Nurture or Nature – I’m still not sure about this one. Are our core beliefs hard wired, acquired, learned, mimicked or something else.
Great Post. Thanks for sharing your thoughts
Tegan – great (and challenging) that you are digging deep into core beliefs. I think the crazy thing about core beliefs, because they sound like something so irrefutable, is that we can have core beliefs that are based on falsehoods – the hard stuff we need to work through. If we can have core beliefs that come from our heart and soul, love, logic and empathy then we can go forward. X
I have, but then I do a lot of work for a psychology firm 😉 Of course I’m dying to know what the core belief you’re talking about is – but I understand completely it’s so personal you don’t want to share it xxx
I have heard of core beliefs, but the way you describe it is slightly different to my understanding. You have fleshed my knowledge out more. Thank you for sharing this. I will bring this up with my psych. xx
Great post Tegan. I did a lot of work on core beliefs a few years back. As you know, it was hard going but so valuable overall!
Your blog immediately made me think of my children and what core beliefs may already be set in them, and the part I have played in that. Thanks for sharing this.
Hey, I’ve never heard of core beliefs before. It sounds really interesting!! Good on you for challenging yourself! xx
I think the most significant part of developing your core beliefs is the acknowledgment that the core belief source doesn’t matter to the acceptance of the belief.
No I haven’t but maybe we all need to delve a little deeper to embrace who we are! x
Wow Tegan so interesting and so brave to be digging so deeply. I am delighted to read your are making progress with this technique also. I really struggled with being told to think positively, its not something you can just switch on. Its a scary realisation also how our core beliefs are formed so early and in such a crucial time of our lives.
I learnt about Core Beliefs when I was at Uni and did a semester of Psychology. I have also read about it in a few other psych books since then. Psychology was actually my first choice to study at Uni but I didn’t get the marks to get in, but it is something that one day I might go back and study. Until then I will continue to read and learn for pleasure and the interest.
I worry about the Core Beliefs that I may directly and and indirectly be causing Punky to develop as she grows up. I’ve been struggling lately with coming to terms with the impact I have on her and have had a bit of anxiety that I may in fact be doing great damage to her and it’s causing me to really question my parenting. I’m sure that the older she gets the more I am going to be anxious about this, but it’s such a big responsibility, knowing that my actions now can have a direct affect on the rest of her life!
You nailed it!
As a success consultant (life coach) I work with people on their core beliefs all the time. They can be as wonderous as they can be disabling. It’s often hard to break them down … the good news about beliefs is that you can actually change them. It takes a while … and requires regular exercise … but you can create new belief patterns for positive forward movement. Helping people create new beliefs is one of my favourite parts of what I do.
You are doing awesome stuff!
So good to see you write about it.
Leanne @ Deep Fried Fruit
I heard about Core Beliefs in DBT. They told me that my Core Belief was that “I’m not good enough” I work on it every day.
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