Ep 26: Core Beliefs

Growth & Grace Podcast Episode #26

Ep 26: Core Beliefs

Our brains develop shortcuts based on prior learning, experiences.

  • We develop scripts, or automatic responses that often don't even require conscious thought

    • Example: Driving a car safely while listening to the radio

  • In the same way, our minds develop mental structures that help us deal with potentially emotional situations like rejection, success, failure and so forth.

  • Sometimes our core beliefs reveal themselves through our assumptions about how other view us. This process is a type of projection because we project our beliefs about ourselves onto others.

  • Identify core beliefs:

    • Think about the negative automatic thoughts that often come up for you.

    • Look at your automatic thoughts and see if there is a belief that unites them.

    • Down arrow technique

      • At each step, ask yourself what it would mean if your thought were true. Which means that…

        • I have cancer which means that

        • There's no cure which means that

        • I'm going to die soon which means that

        • I'm going to leave my kids without a mother.

  • Some of us may be prone to develop negative core beliefs based simply on the genes we inherited. (Neuroticism) But it is unlikely that genetic differences account for the specific core beliefs we hold.

    • Core Beliefs come from:

      • Experiences

      • Trauma

      • Things we Observed growing up

  • Once you identify your core beliefs, how do you change them?

    • Think back on your life history. What evidence supports your core belief? Is there evidence that contradicts it? Identify accuracy of core belief. Write out alternate belief.

    • Sometimes our thought errors wont let us see the contradictory evidence, and it might be helpful to work though this with a therapist or trusted friend/family to help you identify.

  • It is time to come up with evidence that contradicts our negative core beliefs, especially in the moment.

    • Keep a record of things that went well that you can refer to.