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  • Resilient Practice

Free Yourself from Negative Core Beliefs

Updated: Jun 20, 2021

“To build self-esteem, you have to outface your negative beliefs about yourself and change them.” Asmaa Dokmak

Belief - an acceptance that something exists or is true, especially without proof.

This week we want to talk again about core beliefs, and we do this unashamedly. Negative core beliefs are the chains holding us back from the life we truly deserve. Reframing them is what it is all about. When we have positive core beliefs we know we can accomplish anything.

Let us recap. Our core beliefs make up the fundamental understanding we have of how things are. They are how we view the world, and they are absolutely, unique to us.

Core beliefs develop from birth onwards and are influenced by our genetic make-up, how we are parented and our life experiences. As we grow older our core beliefs solidify and come to define us. They are the things we believe about ourselves; our model of Self. Everything that we experience is filtered by those beliefs and so they contribute to our every thought, feeling and subsequent action.

When a situation develops, we check it against our core beliefs to help us understand why it happened the way that it did.

Our core beliefs can be either positive or negative.

Negative core beliefs can develop directly as a result of a traumatic experience. For example, a child who is told that they are not good enough will begin to believe it. Someone who is shouted at for not being top of the class, or first at sports day, may well develop a similar core belief. If a child is told they are stupid over and over, they are likely to develop this as a core belief. If a child starts to develop a particular trait or characteristic and is teased and laughed at by significant people in their life, this can result in them constantly trying to supress this characteristic, and in time the negative core belief of being ‘broken’ may develop.

Sometimes, negative core beliefs develop insidiously. There may not be an obviously traumatic event and the person may have loving, present parents. Despite this though, through misunderstanding or a misinterpretation of things that are said and done to us, unhealthy negative beliefs can emerge.

Later in life we strive to re-affirm our belief systems. We do this out of a need to feel safe. Where we are now, and how we currently think, feel and behave is familiar and comfortable. Anything else is unknown and therefore ultimately terrifying. Even when we recognise that our patterns of thinking are negative, it is hard to move out of our comfort zone.

Every time we tell ourselves who we are, again, we are reaffirming our core beliefs.

For example, we both consider ourselves to be disorganised, despite running our own businesses, bringing up children and writing. At some time during childhood, we both accepted that label. Our friends, family and colleagues would agree with us. This is because we point it out at every opportunity. We ignore our achievements and assume responsibility whenever things do not go to plan.

When we describe ourselves in a particular way, we are re-affirming our core beliefs. When we do this with self-deprecation, we are confirming our negative core beliefs and in doing this we give permission for others to treat us in certain ways. Ways that ‘bed in’ those negative beliefs.

Remember that those beliefs or labels that we have accepted are NOT who we are. They are roles that we have been playing up to this point. We can be whoever and whatever we want to be. We only have to believe in ourselves.

Previously, we have shared a tool for to reframe core beliefs using affirmation.

Our book ‘How to Rise – A Complete Resilience Manual’ from Sheldon Press takes you on a journey of self-discovery; it shares over 60 tools and techniques, including meditations with purpose, visualisation exercises and practical tools to help you reframe, improve your mental wellbeing and reduce anxiety. When you rise, you take control of your life.

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