Our core beliefs are the lenses by which we see the world. They are our assumptions about reality, ourselves and the world that we think are facts.
In our brain stem, we have an RAS, a reticular activation system, which is a bundle of nerves that filters out information from our environment to confirm our core beliefs. This is also known as confirmation bias. That’s why it’s so important to be aware of what we believe and tell ourselves because they can make or break our life experience.
Being aware of them helps us to unlearn them and heal. Dr Nicole LePera, The Holistic Psychologist, stated that “healing is about creating a new perspective, new thoughts and beliefs, challenging our old ones and stepping away from the beliefs that create unwanted patterns.” Can you relate to any of these core beliefs that might be ruining your life?
- Something Is Wrong With Me & I’m Not Worthy or Good Enough
This core beliefs’ phrases are “I’m stupid and worthless”, “I’m defective”, “Everyone is better than me”, “Everything I do is wrong”, “I don’t matter”. This self-talk results in a low self-esteem and fear of intimacy.
It manifests in behaviour such as procrastination, negative self-talk, self-betrayal, denying one’s own needs & boundaries, chronic fear of criticism and performing or playing a role.
- I Must Sacrifice & Betray Myself In Order to Be Loved & Chosen
This belief can stem from a dysfunctional home dynamic but might not be limited to it. It comes from a childhood where you were only loved if you were ‘good’ or quiet, behaving how others wanted you to. This sounds like “I have to hide who I am to be loved”, “no one would love who I really am.”
This results in identity issues, fear of stating your own needs, a lack of boundaries, codependency patterns, an inability to be vulnerable, enabling partners who are harmful to you and themselves and avoiding romantic relationships or losing yourself in them.
- If I Love People, They Will Leave Me
The themes of this core belief are “everyone abandons me”, “it’s dangerous to love someone”, “I have to deserve love”,”loving people gets you hurt”,”everyone rejects me”.
This is an abandonment wound that when not healed results in leaving relationships prematurely, being scared of rejection, abandoning others first which leads to feeling alone & awful. The behaviour exhibited here is having an insecure attachment style, push & pull behaviour, controlling tendencies, an inability to follow through with tasks and impulsive behaviours like changing jobs often or shopping a lot.
- Everything Is My Fault
This core beliefs’ soundtrack is “I am responsible for other people’s actions”, ” I can’t do anything right”, “I make mistakes more than I do things correctly “.
This belief leads to behaviour like being in codependent relationships, lacking in personal boundaries, having trouble saying no to others and therefore engaging in passive aggressive behaviour and negative self-talk.
- I’m Different, An Outsider & Unlucky
The phrases that can play in this core belief are “I don’t belong”, “no one understands me”, “I don’t fit in”, “I’m from another planet” or “bad things happen to me all the time” and “I’m unlucky.”
The behaviour from this core belief is using sarcasm as a coping mechanism, chronic complaining & dumping as an emotional connection tool, playing it small and fear of revealing your goals and aspirations.
- I’m Not Safe & The World Is Dangerous
The phrases associated with this core belief are “never trust anyone or anything”, “others are out to get me”, “I’m helpless and powerless”, “never let your guard down”.
This leads to a life of fearing change & anxiety. You end up making ‘safe’ choices over what you really want. You can end up feeling like you’re missing out on life while others enjoy it or you could be a controlling person who has to monitor everything and everyone around them. This leads to behaviours such as addiction or negative behaviours that aim to regulate the nervous system, isolation, over independence, a lack of resilience and high reactivity & defensiveness.
These core beliefs run a large part of your life and when unexamined, have negative and terrible effects on your life. It’s important for us to take the time to dig into & question our core beliefs because they control every life decision that we make. IIf you probably relate to some of these core beliefs, it doesn’t mean you can’t heal through them,grow emotionally and mentally and eventually let them go. It will take time but the benefits of healthier core beliefs far outweigh the negative ones. These core beliefs come from things we heard over and over again as young, impressionable children. Awareness is the first step to seeing the subconscious, invisible patterns that guide us to eventually make a change. When we are healing and doing the work, we are consciously creating who we wish to be.
*Anna Akana. (2021, March 22).6 Ways Positivity You’re Ruining Your Life. YouTube.com. Retrieved January 2, 2022 from https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=u2lGp4dK1nA.
*Jacobson , S. (2019, October 11). Sound familiar? 9 core beliefs that can control your life. Harley Therapy™ Blog. Retrieved January 2, 2022 from https://www.harleytherapy.co.uk/counselling/examples-of-core-beliefs.htm
*the.holistic.psychologist.(2021, January 23). Common Core Beliefs. Instagram.com. Retrieved January 6, 2022 from