What are core beliefs? Core beliefs are rules or operating instructions for our lives. These beliefs often develop very early in our childhood and rarely ever identified, updated or corrected. What this means is that we end up carrying these beliefs well into adulthood, along with all the emotional baggage that they contain.
Chronic unhappiness is usually the result of our destructive core beliefs. When we learn to identify and correct these old beliefs, we open the door for us to have a happier, fulfilling life. Many of us deep down feel that we are not as happy as we should be and we feel stuck living a life we don’t want. Sometimes we feel ashamed or embarrassed by our past mistakes, not knowing how to let go of the past and move on. We get so caught up in the cycles of dependence, as we desperately want to move forward, but somehow we always seem to fall back. Always worrying about the future, despite knowing we have little control over the future. Worrying does little to improve any aspect of it. All it does is add to our anxieties.
3 Core Beliefs Crippling Your Happiness
- In order to do any difficult task I need to feel good – Motivation is a funny thing, when we have it, we feel energized, enthusiastic and we feel we can do anything. For example, Go to the gym, take a run, eat healthy etc. But what happens when we are not feeling motivated: we feel sluggish, and lazy when feeling this way can’t get things done. For example, getting out of bed and into the shower feels difficult. All and all motivation is a powerful force in our lives. It can push us to achieve anything. However, when it’s absent we become discourage from taking even the tinniest step toward them our goals or dreams. Feeling good is a consequence of, not a prerequisite for, feeling good. It is possible to train ourselves to do difficult tasks regardless of how we feel at the moment.
- In order to succeed I need to be hard on myself – When our core belief is success only comes from being hard on ourselves, it’s easier to fall into the habit of negative self-talk and depression, anxiety, and misery usually follows. Despite being hard on ourselves we were probably successful without being hard on ourselves, and not because of it. Negative self-talk is a burden that we can live without.
- In order to be lovable I need to be successful – We tend to bind our self-worth with our successes in life, especially our material success, which is defined by others. From childhood we are taught that hard work pays off and it will lead to success and happiness. We are influenced by all sorts of well-intentions from family members, teachers, friends, to go to the prestigious schools, get into a well paying career in order to become successful and happy. The problem with this is as children we internalize these messages to mean, however irrational it may seem; that we can only be lovable and worthwhile if we are successful.