Deep inside of each of us is a fundamental belief about ourselves that affects everything we think, do or say. Thoughts, feelings and behaviors are all interconnected and affect each other. If you change your thoughts, you can change your feelings and behaviors. Learn what your core belief is so that you can identify ways to improve your thoughts and your life.
TRANSCRIPT: In this segment we’re going to talk about core beliefs. Core beliefs are the beliefs that you carry deep down inside you. You probably don’t even know you have them, but they’re affecting everything you do or don’t do. As you can see in this diagram your core beliefs are here. You have your beliefs about yourself, you have your beliefs about others, you have your beliefs about the future. These core beliefs affect your thoughts, your feelings, and your behaviors, which then in turn affect your thoughts, and your feelings, and your behaviors, and it’s just kind of a circle that keeps going. So your beliefs are key, and in this way your thoughts feelings and behaviors are all interconnected and affect each other. If you change your thoughts, you can change your feelings and your behaviors. There’s always another way to look at things.
Here is your core belief — who you think you are. Who you think you are affects how you feel and how you act. Here it is in the diagram — who you think you are. How you feel is the layer just outside of that, and how you act is the layer just outside of that, the outermost layer of this circle. But inside of who you think you are, at the very core of the circle, is who you really are. Who are you really? Sometimes our core belief is more negative than who we really are. I guess there are situations where your core belief is more positive than who you really are.
So finding your core belief — this is how we do it. It’s kind of a little game — not really a game, it’s an exercise — think about something you have been wanting to change or try. For example, say you want to go back to school to get a degree. Then you ask yourself, why haven’t you done that yet? And you might say to yourself, ‘Well, I’m afraid I’ll get bad grades.’ Now ask yourself, ‘And if you get bad grades, what would you make that mean about you?’ NOT what would that mean about you, but what would you MAKE that mean about you, because let’s face it, you are making that mean something. What would you make that mean about you? And you might say, ‘Well, I will fail in getting an education.’ And if you don’t complete your education, what would you make that mean about you? And you might say, ‘Well, then I’m a failure. I’m not good enough.’ So that would be your core belief down there — the ultimate reason that you’re not willing to try is that deep down you are afraid you will discover or confirm that you are a failure; that you are not good enough.
Now remember, going back up to the previous slide, just because that’s your core belief does not mean that that is the truth. Who you really are is in the innermost circle. Your core belief is just outside that, and you made it yourself. So here are some examples of core beliefs: I’m not smart enough. I’m not attractive enough. I’m not talented enough. I’m not lovable. I’m not outgoing enough. They all tend to boil down to this core belief: I’m not good enough.
So if you have this belief, ‘I’m not good enough,’ it would lead to the thought, ‘I can’t do this,’ which leads to the feeling, ‘Oh, I’m unhappy and unfulfilled.’ And then the action is, ‘I’m not going to try to do anything, because I don’t want to fail.’ But think about this: would you walk across a beam six inches off the ground? Would you walk across a beam 100 feet off the ground? The power of imagination is strong and can affect our behavior. Our belief, our core belief, has effects on our life. How has this core belief that you have affected your reactions to life events? How has this core belief affected your daily thoughts and feelings? If you gave up this core belief, what might be some costs to you? If you gave up this core belief, what might be rewarding for you? There’s always a payoff versus a loss of changing your core belief. For everything you gain, there’s something you’re going to give up. In other words, if you give up your core belief and then you’re willing to go back to school and take a chance and try to get your degree, you’re going to give up maybe a sense of comfort. You’re going to have to get out of your comfort zone a little bit. The payoff is something you’re getting out of staying where you are now. What you’re getting out of staying where you are now is you are in your comfort zone — you don’t have to try; you don’t have to risk failing. So you have to be aware of what it’s costing you to stay stuck. Which one is greater? Then again, if you do go back to school, there’s a loss and a payoff. The loss would be you have to get out of your comfort zone; you’re going to give up that sense of status quo that you have and not having to work too hard at that. The payoff is you might get your degree and be very successful and move on to a new career. So again, you weigh the pros and cons of staying where you’re at and keeping the core belief you have or changing that core belief.
So if you have the core belief ‘I’m not good enough,’ check yourself — is this really true? What evidence is there to support that it’s true? Can you think of facts that support that you are not good enough? And if so, is it true all the time? Or just some of the time? What evidence is there to support that it’s false that you are good enough? When in your life have you been good enough? In what areas of your life are you good enough? And how did you become good enough in that area? What thoughts do you have while being good enough? How do you feel when you are good enough? How do you act when you are good enough? So just keep in mind that how you view yourself is going to affect how you feel, and how you act.
All right, so say you have the core belief, ‘I’m not smart enough.’ You need to change the thought-emotion-action cycle. So you can say, ‘I’m good enough as a person just as I am. I don’t know enough about this subject yet, but I can learn by maybe taking a class, researching online, asking for help, or some other methods, it’s up to you. You can think of some. What if you have the core belief, ‘I’m not attractive enough.’ You’ve got to change that cycle. So you can say I’m good enough as a person just as I am. I would like to improve my appearance by maybe exercising, getting a new haircut, dressing better, or any number of other activities you could do. And the key is that this is putting you in a position of power and control and taking action. ‘I’m not talented enough.’ Let’s change that thought-emotion-action cycle. So we can say, ‘I’m good enough as a person just as I am. I would like to improve my skills in this area by maybe learning from experts, practicing the new skill, getting feedback, or taking a class, or whatever. ‘I’m not lovable enough.’ I think you’re getting the idea here, but again change your cycle of thought. ‘I’m good enough as a person just as I am. I can improve my current and future relationships by studying and researching about relationships, getting therapy, learning new social skills,’ or others. ‘I’m not outgoing enough.’ You can say, ‘I can be more social and make more contacts by finding less intimidating ways to connect with people, trying one new activity or meeting one new person each week, practicing social greetings and small talk with friends,’ or any number of other reasons.
And I think it’s important to realize, in front of all these statements, initially you have to say, ‘I’m good enough as a person just as I am.’ It’s important to remember, ‘I am good enough.’ How would you view your future if you truly believed you were good enough? What actions would you take if you truly believed you were good enough? How would you feel and experience life if you truly believed you were good enough? What can you do today to help yourself believe you are good enough?
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