Core beliefs are the general standards and expectations that steer you through life. They can be positive (“I can do anything I set my mind to”) or negative and often self-limiting (“I’m not good enough”).
Common Harmful Core Beliefs
- “I don’t belong.” – By avoiding the engagement with others out of fear of rejection or by going to the extreme to become overly concerned with being the perfect group member.
- “The world is dangerous.” – You’re likely to restrict your activities and seek excessive reassurance to alleviate your anxiety.
- “I am a failure” – A persistent feeling of not measuring up. This belief can lead people to overcompensate. In contrast, individuals who view themselves as failures can also be prone to procrastination.
- “I have to be perfect.” – This core belief also leads people to have unrealistically high expectations and tend to put a magnified focus on their flaws and missteps.
Suggestions to Establish New Core Beliefs
Here are several ways to view your harmful core beliefs from new angles until your thought processes starts to change.
- Consider your past – Negative core beliefs can often be traced back to your early days. What situations in your childhood could have influenced the negative core belief?
- Look for evidence – Beliefs come in pairs. “I’m not good enough,” is the opposite twin of, “I am good enough.” Look for evidence to build up good beliefs like being proud of overcoming obstacles and how your contributions have made a difference to the people who love and support you.
- Focus on the good – Examine the positive side of one of your negative beliefs. Remember a time when you felt “good enough.” Reflect on that feeling for a few minutes and remind yourself that you can and will feel that way again.
- Avoid heading in the direction of negativity – Take a moment to notice and celebrate that time your new employer was impressed by your credentials and wanted an interview with you. Keeping your self-perceived flaws in context is essential to redirecting your belief system toward practical, self-compassionate views.
If you need some help to change your thought processes around harmful core beliefs, Jaspreet at Smile Psychology would love to help. She may be reached by phone at 780-237-1235, or feel free to use this contact form for your convenience.