What’s your story? Everyone has a story. Many things mold and shape our story. One of these is what I call the “original story” - this is the foundation on which all our other stories are written. These are also referred to as core beliefs. Core beliefs are the lens through which we view the world. These beliefs impact every area of our life. Everyone has different core beliefs about themselves. And while we may have positive beliefs about one area and more negative beliefs about another area, a core belief is the fundamental way we see ourselves in most aspects of our life.
Core beliefs can be affected by any stage in our life. But they are primarily shaped by what we experience in childhood. This is the time in our life when our personality is being developed and our brain is growing and developing. The experiences we have during this time have the greatest affect on us and shape who we will be as adults.
Usually, our core beliefs don’t show up in our conscious mind. They are like the app that is running in the background. It affects how we function in the world, but we are usually not aware of it. An example of this is when a friend doesn’t email you back. A person with a core belief that they are unlovable may say, “She didn’t email me because I’m such a bad person and she doesn’t want to be friends with me anymore.” What is driving this feeling is that at their core they believe they are unlovable.
Some common core beliefs that negatively affect our life are: I’m unworthy, I’m unlovable, I’m helpless and the world is not a safe place. This is the playbook we live our lives by. And even when something happens in our life that contradicts these beliefs, we ignore it or dismiss it. This is because it doesn’t fit into the original story we believe about our life. These core beliefs are not factually true, they are driven by emotion. Because negative core beliefs are often driven by trauma, it easy to see them as rigid and not able to change.
So what do we do? First, it’s important to understand what our core beliefs are and where they come from. We need to gain awareness about the belief and perspective on how to handle them. And this is no simple or easy task. Remember for many people these beliefs have been with us since childhood and are deeply rooted. Think about how hard it is to get rid of an oak tree that has been standing for 50 to 60 years. To get rid of something that large we need help. This is also true of core beliefs.
It's important to seek help in understanding our core beliefs and learning to work with them. Learning that these core beliefs are not a true representation of who we are is important. To do this we need someone to show us a different view of ourselves. I call this technique “Flipping the Coin” and I use this with many of my clients. This technique helps us see there is another side to the situation. Because of our original story, we often don’t see this for ourselves.
To do this difficult work we need someone to help us gain strategies and tools to overcome these harmful messages we tell ourselves. If you’d like to uncover your core beliefs and work to overcome them, coaching can help. I’ve worked on my core beliefs from childhood trauma for years. I have not completely overcome them, but I’m aware of what they are and how to deal with them. It you’d like to visit with me about overcoming your core belief go to: https://www.katherinebwiens.com/lead-collection