As you all know I have been on this journey of trying to find self-love. Lately though, I have felt as if I hit a wall making no progress. Bringing me back to square one.
I kept thinking, what am I doing wrong? More frustrated then ever, I still kept on searching for an answer to this question.
It finally dawned on me. I was approaching my healing from the outside-in. Changing my diet, my daily routine, unnecessary habits. I was solely changing things that were in my outside world.
It’s not that these changes were not beneficial for me, but in reality I was taking the easy path. Changing aspects of your outside world is useful, but it tricks you into believing you are a “self-loving” person. I fell into this trap thinking I had completed my journey of finding self-love. Little did I know there was so much more to learn.
Fixing my life from the outside-in left me limited. There were only so many external factors I could pick away at and try to change. When I reached my wall, I realized I had to find another path; a path that started from within me.
On this path, I searched for ways to find a deeper understanding of myself. I came across the concept of core beliefs.
What are core beliefs?
Core beliefs are assumptions we carry about ourselves, other people and the world. They are things we hold to be absolute truths deep down, underneath all of our surface thoughts. Our core beliefs develop over time as we grow and experience the world.
They lie dormant in the depths of our mind, and when something happens that core belief with surface trying to keep you “safe” and “defend” you against the world.
Core beliefs can be convincing, full of persuasion and conviction. We accept what is as true, without a single question.
Some of you might be thinking, How did I not know these key beliefs I had about myself? Well, that is because core beliefs lie in the back of our minds as we live our lives around them without thinking of them, questioning them or even being aware of them.
The true importance behind our core beliefs is they determine to what degree we view ourselves as worthy, competent, powerful or loved; playing a huge role in our sense of belonging in the world.
Our core beliefs define our judgements of others and judgements about ourselves. They develop the rules we live by each day. It is for this reason that having negative core beliefs can greatly impact our feeling of self-acceptance, self-worth and self-love.
Our core beliefs take responsibility for our insecurities, self-doubt and continual need of validation from others.
We have a core belief in each area of our life that has an affect on our happiness, success and fulfillment in life.
But remember our core beliefs are not facts.
They can be challenging to change sine they are hidden, automatic thoughts, but that does not mean it can not be done. Learning to identify and challenge your core beliefs is the first step.
Learning to identify your Core Beliefs
Core beliefs fall into the following categories:
“I am________________.” “People are______________.” “The world is__________________.”
Core beliefs can either be negative or positive.
A negative core belief can look like this:
“I am not good enough.” Supportive belief: “People would not like me if they knew the truth about me.”
While a positive core belief can look like this:
“I am capable and competent.” Supportive belief: “I can do my job well, as well as any other person, and my colleagues appreciate that.”
Positive core beliefs affirm us that we are good enough, that we do try and can make it. While negative core beliefs send us down a spiraling path of self-pity, convincing ourselves these thoughts our truth and disregarding all the positives. We end up feeling demotivated and resist trying to change.
On the other hand, if we remember the times we succeeded, worked hard, did well, or connected with others, we are convincing ourselves that we are good enough. We’re much more likely to feel motivated, giving ourselves more opportunities to disprove those negative core beliefs. Rather, the more positive beliefs will be confirmed and solidified.
How to Identify your Core Beliefs
Try to answer some of these questions to discover the underlying views you hold about yourself, others and the world.
Questions about yourself:
Do you think you are confident, clever, pretty, ugly?
Are you good at your job, a good parent, an interesting and loveable partner?
Do you see judgement and criticism in your self?
Do you think you are better than everyone else?
Do you feel worthy of love and happiness?
Questions about others:
Do you think others are luckier than you?
Does everyone else always have it easier than you?
Are they smarter than you?
Questions about the world:
Do you use words like ‘everyone’ and ‘no-one?’
Do you see the world as just a mass of people or recognize the variety that exists?
Do you see only the ugliness or the beauty in the world?
Do you see the good actions of people alongside any bad ones?
To dig further into your own core beliefs you need to become more aware of these views you have, and may be consider where they came from to begin with.
It can help to write your thoughts down to help better identify your core beliefs.
Once we identify these core beliefs and begin to challenge them we are touching a deeper part within ourselves, not just the things on the surface level and the things we experience in the world around us.
I am still in the process of digging deeper within myself finding the truths of my thoughts, identifying those core beliefs. I hope you find a deeper meaning within yourself on your journey after reading this post.
I’d love to hear what some of your core beliefs are and how you plan to challenge them in your life!