Our lives are the result of the stories we tell ourselves. How we experience this life is absolutely driven by our core beliefs about ourselves, others and life in general. This becomes the lens through which we view everything we experience.
Do you believe you are smart? Not smart? Basically a good person? Lucky? Unlucky? Do you think most people are against you? Do you think most people are basically good?
THESE BELIEFS SHAPE YOUR EXPERIENCE of YOUR LIFE! And here’s the great news. The unexamined stories we tell ourselves are usually FAKE NEWS! And we can change our own stories.
Core beliefs often take root in our early years and around really intense experiences. They are often formed by the opinions and comments of the really influential (positive or negative) people in our lives – parents, siblings, lovers, teachers.
I’ll give you an example. My dad was a hugely powerful force in my life, in some beautiful and some really dark ways. I wanted his approval and praise. He praised me for being smart. He also praised me for being tough, for not crying, for being able to fight and win against boys. There is no question he loved me. He truly thought the nickname, “Worthless” was just in fun.
I’ve done a lot of core beliefs work over the years and I’ve always believed I was tough and resilient, a fighter. I’d always put those beliefs in the positive category.
And then, I started questioning. I remembered that many years ago, my dear late Godfather Whitney would often encourage me not to call myself tough. I didn’t get his discomfort then. Now I do.
My identifying with being “tough” kept me from really accepting help and grace. I took pride in being tough. Starting to question the value of this belief led me to a little bit of an existential crisis. So I dug a little deeper and realized the actual core belief was, “Life is hard, but by God I wasn’t going to let it beat me because I was tough and resilient!” Well guess what? I’ve created a life experience in which I’ve had to be!
So, lately I’m flipping the whole thing. I no longer want to fight my way through life – even though I know I can. I want to love my way through. I’m MOVING ON from tough. I am good, worthy, resourceFULL and have help and support everywhere I turn, which actually has been true my entire life.
Here’s a helpful tip. Take a look at your core beliefs. Pay special attention to those you feel a little uncertain about, the ones you’re not sure are positive or not – that’s the gold, the place to go deeper and get to the real core.
This is your growing edge. It is rich. You can flip every non-useful past story. You are the author of your own story, complete with edits.