You think about 80,000 thoughts a day, but most of them are subconscious, running on auto-pilot, and derivative of your core beliefs, which are usually only a handful. Core beliefs are the ideas we have about ourselves that rest under most of our self-talk. For many people, they are not positive beliefs, that help us to thrive and experience joy, but that inhibit our joy and full expression of who we are in this life. Fortunately, there are ways to identify core beliefs and then change them if they aren’t beliefs that serve you.
What Are Core Beliefs?
Core beliefs are most often created in childhood, when we are in a state of deep hypnosis and forming our view of the world, our caregivers, and how we should interact with others.
Core beliefs are often so deeply situated in our subconscious and unconscious minds, that we constantly look for evidence to corroborate them. If for example, you believe that people are generally trustworthy and warm-hearted, you will look for evidence to support that belief. If instead, you feel that people can’t be trusted you will constantly look for, and draw to you, people who are not trustworthy, such is the power of a core belief.
Our core beliefs determine our outlook on life, and then color the way we think, behave, and interact with others. They determine what risks we’re willing to take, and the kind of relationships we have. Core beliefs are the foundation of our very existence!
A core belief is like a magnet. It will repel anything that doesn’t support its truth, and attract anything that does, but you don’t have to access deep-seated core beliefs as your default.
How to Identify Core Beliefs
Core beliefs can easily be identified by looking at your external reality. There are always patterns that point to your deepest beliefs. For example, if you make money easily, then you have a core belief that it is easy to be prosperous. If you are constantly broke, then you likely have a core belief that says money is bad, evil, or corrupt, or that as a spiritual person you shouldn’t have any, or that money is hard to come by.
You can figure out your core beliefs about just about anything. If you have a habit of attracting romantic partners who are emotionally unavailable, for example, your core belief may be that you aren’t lovable, or that you are not perfect and whole as you are. If you are in a profoundly enriching romantic relationship, then you likely have a core belief that you deserve to be loved.
To identify some of your core beliefs, write down some of the patterns you see in different areas of your life. Take one at a time, and ask yourself, “What must I believe about myself for this to be true?” Now ask yourself, “Is this really true, or is this a core belief about myself I’d like to change?” Once you identify a core belief you’d like to change, write out the new belief you’d like to have instead.
Spend a few moments in meditation and contemplation thinking about what it would feel like to have this core belief instead of the belief you currently have. What people would you surround yourself with? What would you be wearing? Where would you be living? What would you be doing? What emotions would you be experiencing instead?
If you practice this exercise frequently, when you are going about your day, you will start to notice when your old, core belief is cropping up, and decide if this is a belief you want to keep or replace. With practice, your beliefs will become more mutable, and changeable and begin to serve you. A gap begins to form between your belief and you. You’re consciously aware of it so that you can choose a new belief.