Identifying Core Beliefs

Identifying Core Beliefs

Throughout our lives, we hold ideas and beliefs about ourselves that we feel deep down are a part of our souls. These principles we have about ourselves are known as our core beliefs, and they vary between each unique individual. If you choose to attend therapy, there is a good chance that Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) will be integrated into your sessions somehow. Identifying your core beliefs is an important aspect of CBT, and you will likely have to go inward and dig deep to figure out and have a good sense of what your core beliefs are. Learning what these beliefs that are engrained within us are help us gain a stronger sense of self, which can help us tremendously in navigating through life in a more purposeful and confident manner. These values affect us more than we may even realize sometimes, so acquiring the understanding and knowledge regarding them is a crucial step in the process of healing and self-discovery. Today, we are going to talk in detail a bit more about what core beliefs are, how they pertain to us, some common ones that are often found within us, and how these shape our frame of mind.

 

What Are Core Beliefs?

It is safe to say that all of us have at least a few core beliefs that we identify with and base a lot of our personalities around. Core beliefs are defined as the overall values and principles that we hold about ourselves and our external surroundings in life. As we go through our lives, we might not even fully realize that these exist, and instead just chalk it up to the unique perspectives that we each happen to have about the world. Core beliefs can either be inherently positive or negative in their nature, but unfortunately, a lot of the time they are negative and unconstructive things that we believe about ourselves. If core beliefs are on the more negative side, this can truly affect someone greatly and limit them in ways that they are not even conscious of. Having positive core beliefs is the ultimate aim, as these will help you progress and reach new heights in life. Therapy, specifically CBT, can work wonders in identifying the core beliefs you may hold about yourself and help you reframe your thoughts if they happen to be negative self-thoughts.

 

Common Core Beliefs

Core beliefs can either be positive or negative thoughts that we have about ourselves, though sadly they do happen to negative a lot of the time. These beliefs may be negative due to unhealthy upbringings that were comprised of ineffective communication practices, bullying, and other traumatic experiences in the most impressionable years of life. The things we hold true to ourselves can easily turn into things that we think everyone else is also thinking about us, when that likely is not the case. For example, if we are constantly telling ourselves that we are not good enough, that is the energy that is being projected out from us and we will always find ourselves in situations that indeed make us feel like we are not good enough. Therapy is helpful when it comes to catching these thoughts as they arrive and reframing the negative thought patterns into more positive ones that we can hold to be just as true. Some further examples of common core beliefs that are on the negative side include:

On the contrary, a few positive core beliefs that are more beneficial and can help advance us in life include:

As you can see, these principles that we hold to be so true deep within us can play a major role in how we carry ourselves through life and attract things and circumstances to us. It can sometimes feel a lot easier to regularly think negative things about ourselves, especially after dealing with the many hardships that life throws our way. Transmuting these thought patterns into favorable ones just might be the thing to transform your entire outlook that you have about the world.

 

Identifying Core Beliefs

It might take some time to really search within and identify the core beliefs that lie within you and figure out what you wholly believe to be true. There are various exercises that we know of to help us get to the root of what our core beliefs happen to be. Meditation is a useful practice that can provide stellar insight to our inner beings, and it only becomes more effective in doing so the more it is practiced. The goal at first is not to overthink any core beliefs that we learn of, but to rather just notice them and accept them as they are. After doing so, we can ask ourselves deeper questions such as “what does this core belief tell me about how I see the world?” or “what does this belief tell me about my role in this situation?”

One way to look at it is as if we start our lives with a blank canvas, and the experiences, interactions, and connections we make in the world paint that canvas into the human that we are today. Your canvas may be full of significant life moments that have shaped who you have become, and when you look closer you may be able to see how your core beliefs have affected the current outcome of your unique canvas. The people that choose to be a part of our lives and that love us unconditionally would only have kind and positive things to say if asked to describe who we are deep down, so why not choose to personally believe things these about ourselves, as well?

It is all too easy to get caught up in our minds and forget that sometimes, not everything we think is how it actually is or seems to others. When we seek out the bad stuff that is inevitably there in life, we psychologically notice more of it everywhere we go. Our minds are incredible powerhouses, and they have the potential to make or break our level of contentment that we hold onto each day. At the end of the day, the goal is to understand ourselves on a deeper and more profound level and to use this to our advantage for having the most fulfilling and enjoyable time here as humanly possible.

 

Getting Help

If you are looking to take the step towards a healthier mentality, we are ready to walk that journey with you. We have a team of psychiatrists, therapists and psychologists that specialize in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and medication management. Our team of compassionate and skilled professionals is available for in person appointments for patients in the DFW area. We also offer online appointments for patients in the Austin, DFW, Houston and San Antonio areas.

Author
Dr. Michael Messina

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