One thing we will quickly find while working through these core beliefs is that many of them are related in terms of how they make us feel and from where they originate. Nevertheless, each individual core belief is unique in how, to the person who holds it, it affects their individual life and views of the world. One person's negative core belief may affect them differently than how the same core belief may affect someone else. It all depends on where the core belief originated and the events surrounding that core belief. In a way, we can think of core beliefs like opinions; everyone has one, but nobody's is correct for everyone.
One of the questions that keep coming up for me when thinking about core beliefs is this: Why are they so superlative? I mean, it's one thing to say, "I mess up sometimes" or, "I don't have a lot to offer" or, "I am not much help." All of these statements speak to an occasional stumble from our preferred way of living rather than an all-inclusive characteristic that has no redeeming quality what so ever. I guess, on one hand, that is what makes a core belief so powerful? It speaks to our entire being, not just an event. If I say I am ______. The blank is defining our entire reality instead of a specific occurrence. It's much different than saying I was _____ during ______. If we isolate the negative quality to a specific point, it becomes more manageable. Something we can easily correct.
I am worthless
Let's look at the definition of worth: good or important enough to justify. Whoa! If that isn't a superlative, I don't know what is. If we hold this belief, then we believe we have nothing, whatsoever, to offer the world, our parents, our friends, our partner, our jobs, or ourselves. First of all, there is not a person on the planet to which this is accurate. But let's take a look at what kind of evidence might support a belief as strong as this one. Unfortunately, it is a word thrown around quite easily, especially when we are kids. If we made a mistake that upset our parents and caused them some emotional strife they may have said something like, "You're worthless, go to your room." Did they mean it? Of course not, but does it affect the way we see ourselves? Of course, it does.
What people tell us can be powerful, it begins to slowly build our core belief about ourselves if we let it. But, what we tell ourselves is an entirely different thing. If we experience events in our lives that support what has already begun to grow about our worth, then we begin to build a more solid foundation for that negative core belief. The growing foundation becomes a slippery slope. The slippery slope here is the choice we make each time we experience an event that can be categorized in our minds. Let's say we missed a deadline at work and our boss was pissed off at us. We have two options: one, we believe our partially formed core belief that we are worthless and further solidify its foundation; or, we can choose to see it for what it is, a mistake. We made a mistake, we learn from the mistake, and we move on. Both options are available to us with each event we experience. The more we choose the negative option, the stronger our foundation for the core belief grows, and the more we begin to believe it to be true. How do we choose the more positive option? Once again, it is a choice.
I am valuable
Like any other core belief, once formed it can be difficult to override because our commitment to our belief has grown strong. It would be an amazing thing if we could just reword our thoughts and have our brains automatically believe those words. Fortunately, on some level, this is actually true, but it isn't quite that easy. By changing our belief of being worthless, to having value, we then open ourselves up to the possibility of witnessing evidence that supports the new belief. The most interesting part of this process is how we don't actually have to believe it at first, we just have to open our mind up to that possibility. Once our mind is open to the fact that we have worth we will immediately begin to see evidence all around us. The evidence does not have to be massive either. It can be very simple, very mundane, and very arbitrary at first. Things like feeding your pet, making dinner, checking in on a friend, helping someone at work, picking up garbage on the street, giving someone a hug, giving a gift, or any number of simple gestures that are part of a cause and effect system. Each one of those simple acts positively affects someone or something else in the world around us. We are creating worth each and every time we act in such a way.
As we begin to witness these acts of value in our lives, we begin to see them more and more. Over time, we begin to feel differently about ourselves because feeling worth is part of the human condition. We want to be part of something. We want to have a purpose. The more we feel these things to be true, the more we want and need to perpetuate them in our lives. The little arbitrary things become more often and we begin to witness larger and more important acts that support our belief that we have value. The level of our value exponentially grows with each act and belief in ourselves.
I don't usually do this in my blogs but I feel a strong desire to assign you all homework after this blog. I would like each one of you to write down five things you see in your daily lives that support the core belief that [you] are valuable. Share them on this blog and I will share mine as well. Let's support each other's values and create a community of supportive and valuable people.
I have value. You have value. Together, we have endless value.