I sat across from my therapist for our first session and within 15 minutes she had introduced the concept of core beliefs. Next came a handout — a piece of paper categorized into of varying, yet very common core beliefs that plague the greater population. Core beliefs encompass how we see ourselves, others, and how we digest the actions of the universe.
Only beautiful people are worthy of love
Men will hurt us if we let them in
I’m not smart enough to be successful
Artists don’t make money
Basically, just a list of daily taunts our mind tortures us with when we’re having an otherwise great day. The issue with these preconceived pillars of thought is that they are insanely limiting to our growth as people. When we can’t move beyond the walls of these ideas we can’t step into our highest form of self. And trust me, it can be difficult to mute that inner voice for even a minute. Take Vérité Woman, for example, when I started it three years ago I woke up every day with paralyzing anxiety that I had just taken on a career death wish. My core beliefs that surfaced were along the lines of “small businesses don’t succeed without funding”, “I am not smart enough to stand the tests”, “people don’t care about what I have to say”. The last one was especially tormenting and an effective way to get me right back into bed.
Where did these shitty mental barriers come from? We unknowingly picked them up along the way as we skipped through life. From impressions adults made on us from a very young age to our first heartbreak — we are like silly putty and every indent made sticks. So often in times of vulnerability, our core beliefs find satisfaction in engaging with the ego and going in for the kill. We’ve all seen it play out in relationships, as we jump to conclusions about what the other person may be feeling or how they may perceive us. Self-sabotage is the activity of choice when our core beliefs take the reigns and often it leads to demolishing situations before they are able to unfold, or worse never taking the plunge in the first place.
Vérité Woman or any aspect of my business hasn’t been a walk in the park, but without taking that risk, I would have never opened so many doors for myself, taken on the freedom of being my own boss, or met so many wonderful individuals who are the backbone of its inner-workings. So how do we change this built-in belief system to work for us not against us? We must first identify what our core beliefs are. For me, a weird one was “Writers don’t make money”. It literally doesn’t even make sense, I mean have I heard of a little lady named J.K. Rowlings? However, somewhere along the way, I picked up this visual of some semi-impoverished writer living in a tiny apartment with permanent bedhead and only the income to afford a diet of black coffee — and then I set out mirroring this life without even realizing it. By limiting myself to this idea and even semi romancing it, I allowed it to become real. Not because I’m not business savvy, or resourceful but because I believed it as if it were second nature. So the first step was identifying the roots of these deeply buried ideas. Once I had shed light on its beginnings and realized how silly and truly inaccurate my vision of a writer was, I was able to rewire that thought by visualizing all those I had seen succeed in this very industry. Similarly, my therapist had assigned me to come up with three core beliefs I had about myself, and then three examples for each that proved them null.
By rephrasing our inner conversation, we create a whole bunch of space in which we can build relationships, careers, ideas, lives. While you will never totally squash that voice — unless you become completely enlightened, and in which case please tell me how — being able to identify its intentions can free you.
Cool, I just wrote an article about hearing voices in my head.