How to identify and change core beliefs is an exciting journey of personal development.
Since childhood the information you received from the environment – your parents, family members and society – formed a TEMPLATE of beliefs, thoughts, attitudes and assumptions that are now your Lens of Life.
This template is how you perceive the world and tells you what to feel and how to behave. In Personal Development we love solving the mysteries of the mind and expand or transform them to improve life. Let me give you an example. If you’ve always been introverted and shy in public places because one of your core beliefs might say, “People will judge me and not accept me for who I am. They might laugh at what I say.”
The first step in changing a core belief is to identify it. This process seems to be the most challenging for people because it often comes with emotional ties that are attached to their self-identity. Beliefs are often attached and related to other beliefs too – so there’s a matrix of beliefs to work with. When you do identify the core belief to be changed and the other related beliefs the process is halfway done. It’s a bit challenging at first, but gets easier with practice. The complete package to change are the beliefs, attitudes as well as the feelings that are attached to the initial time the belief was set in motion.
Identifying Core Beliefs
Let’s go back to the example above. The emotion of being fearful and shy in public places is the start of your journey. The idea is to follow the troubling emotion deeper into the unconscious where the hidden belief resides. When solving the mysteries of the mind you have to keep questioning how the emotion is created by asking yourself questions such as, “What does this feeling mean to me?” Process Journalling the best way to do this.
- Grab a pen and paper and write down your ‘issue’ on the top of the page.
- Next, ask yourself, “What does this feeling mean to me?”
- Then ask again, “What does that mean to me?”
- Why is that?
Everyone has a different belief system – no two are the same. In fact, it’s very difficult to see the world exactly as someone else sees – and that’s sometimes the cause of mis-understandings or arguments. The difference in perception is not wrong – just different. For instance, if someone was going to laugh at the way you’re dressed they are looking at you and your clothes from their perspective. They might believe that certain styles look funny, whereas someone else might see them as fashionable or proudly stating a creative flair. When you don’t believe you look silly in those clothes you are not affected by what others think. The next time someone judges you remember that it’s simply their perspective – which comes from their beliefs AND which may not be your truth. Another good point is that we don’t know what another person’s story is, or even what they are truly thinking. It’s simply our assumption.
In essence, the fear of being in public places is a fear of what others will think of us. It means you are carrying a sabotaging belief that creates negative thinking about yourself. What other people think simple triggers that core belief into action.
The trick to identifying core beliefs is to look behind the feelings and thoughts. If someone believes you dress funny doesn’t mean it’s true. Could we actually BE what other people think? Unlikely – everyone has different thoughts. Different people will have different opinions about it. Their opinions doesn’t mean they are right. It just means they believe that. And people might change their opinions about us, even if we didn’t change.
Bottom line is that if you have an emotional reaction – one of your core beliefs have been triggered to activate. Great! You’ve identified a core belief! 🙂 But seriously, changing core beliefs begins with identifying it. How else can you work with it? – if you can’t see it?
A most interesting point is that you don’t have to change every single belief in the system – but by simply changing one core belief you start a rippling affect that creates change in your emotions and behaviours. Changing your awareness of one belief affects the whole system.
When changing core beliefs you must shift your point of view. The new point of view you choose must invoke positive feelings in order to stick and become a foundational core belief. Another aspect that must be considered is to create a negative association with the original sabotaging core belief and a positive association with the new core belief. You are more likely to keep in place the new core belief. The old core belief is more familiar than the new (at the start) so it’s easy to fall back into that habit – so make it taste bitter with negative emotions and thoughts so you’ll naturally avoid going back there.
When you’re shifting your point of view stick a positive vibe to it. You’ll know when you’ve adopted the new belief when you look back at the old belief and it looks and feels unfamiliar and you simply just don’t ‘get it’ any more.
If you find yourself judging the beliefs or yourself for having them you’ll find the process comes to a stalemate – stuck. And whatever you do, don’t believe your judgement.