Underlying the thoughts that we audibly hear in our thinking mind, exist layers of unconscious beliefs that have been so deeply programmed within us that we don’t even experience them as thoughts, but rather, as automatic and immediate reactions. A belief, however, is simply a thought that you have thought enough times that it has now become automatic.
You can dissolve any limiting core belief by first seeing it, and then choosing to override it with a new belief, or simply by resting in the stillness of the present moment. Whenever you catch yourself in a state of negativity or ego reaction, take the opportunity to investigate your thought process to uncover the deeper unconscious belief that may be fueling your automatic reactions. Some common underlying core beliefs that may be shaping your moment-to-moment reactions are:
1. I am not good enough
2. I must prove myself worthy to receive love
3. I am not capable or competent enough
4. I do not have control over my reactions or thoughts 5. I must struggle in order to survive
6. The world is a dangerous place
7. Material possession, status and money equal happiness 8. I must fulfill other people’s expectations
9. I must be perfect
10. Other people’s perceptions of me define who I am 11. I must be logical and practical at all times
12. My feelings don’t matter
13. I am responsible for other people’s feelings
14. There is no order in the universe; life events are random 15. I must be in control of all aspects of my life
16. I don’t deserve to feel good
17. I don’t deserve to have abundance in my life
18. I am unable to change the circumstances of my life
19. I am powerless
Underneath most negative or limiting thoughts you will likely see one or more of these core beliefs. There are often multiple core beliefs operating simultaneously at the unconscious level within a person, which influence surface layer thoughts, and often create negativity and emotional turmoil. By identifying the core belief underlying the thought, you allow it to be witnessed and released from your subconscious mind, dissolving it’s hold over you. Here are a few examples of common negative thought patterns, with the accompanying core belief.
Thought: “I can’t change professions because my friends and family won’t approve if I quite my job.”
Core Beliefs: I must fulfill other people’s expectations. I must be logical and practical at all times. Other people’s perceptions of me define who I am.
Thought: “I don’t know what I would do if my partner left me, I don’t think I could handle it.”
Core Beliefs: I do not have control over my reactions and thoughts. I am not capable or competent enough. I am powerless.
Thought: “My friends and family will think I’m strange if I start eating healthy and begin practicing meditation and yoga.”
Core Beliefs: Other people’s perceptions of me define who I am. I must prove myself worthy of other people’s validation and love. My feelings don’t matter.
Thought: “I can’t mess up this project at work—it has to be perfect.” Core Beliefs: I must be perfect. I must be in control of all aspects of my life. I must struggle in order to survive.
Thought: “Look at that person with so much wealth, I will never have what they have.”
Core Beliefs: I am unable to change the circumstances of my life. I don’t deserve to have abundance in my life. Material possession, status, and money equal happiness.
Thought: “I better say something nice to this person. I don’t want to hurt their feelings, or to appear rude.”
Core Beliefs: I am responsible for other people’s feelings. I must fulfill other people’s expectations.
Thought: “What if the plane goes down during the flight—who will take care of my family?”
Core Beliefs: There is no order in the Universe; life events are random. I must be in control of all aspects of my life.
Whenever you have a limiting or negative thought, take the time to pinpoint the underlying core belief. Once you do, you can either simply drop the thought and remain in peaceful stillness, or you can consciously override the old belief with a new, more empowering belief. In the moment that you uncover the limiting belief, either say the new belief out loud, in your head, or write it down. This is a wonderfully empowering practice that will help you to recreate your reality from a place of conscious awareness. The following positive core beliefs would be suitable substitutes for the previous list of limiting beliefs:
1. I am good enough
2. I am worthy of love and attention
3. I am capable and competent
4. I have control over my reactions and thoughts
5. I am meant to thrive in life
6. I am safe and protected
7. Happiness is always available as a choice I make in this moment 8. I am free to create my life however I choose
9. I am perfect and pure just as I am
10. I am free to recreate myself in every moment
11. I am free to have any experience I choose
12. How I feel matters
13. I take full responsibility for my feelings
14. There is order in the Universe; everything happens for a reason 15. I only ever have control over myself
16. I deserve to feel good
17. I have abundance in my life
18. I create the circumstances of my life
19. I am powerful
Working with the mind, emotions and body in this way is a powerfully transformative practice that can change your life over time. I offer holistic counseling in the style of Eckhart Tolle to those seeking spiritual growth and healing. I offer personal sessions on a sliding scale to make this emotional healing work affordable for everyone. Bless you and have a wonderful day.