Core beliefs are usually old beliefs that are held in a deep part of you. They often have a powerful impact on your behavior sometimes in very unconscious ways. They may run something like this: “I don’t deserve to be successful”, “to be happy”, “to be loved.” “I am unworthy.” “I am unworthy of good attention.” “I am broken.” “I will always be sick.” “I can never do anything right.” These beliefs are often formed as a result of something you were told or experienced when you were children. They can shape your adult behavior and create a self-fulfilling prophecies.
Here is a way that you can change them and embrace a pattern of new beliefs and behavior.
- Make a list of some of the core beliefs that you are aware of.
- Next make a list of some specific ways that you have had different experiences than your core belief. It might be helpful to do this with someone who knows you pretty well and whom you trust. They will help you come up with examples that you might not have thought of.
- Come up with a new core belief, one that you would like to believe about yourself, one that would support you in a positive way and open you up for new possibilities.
- Create a meditation for yourself about this new belief. This will help it become a part of you. Perhaps you can record it on your phone and play it back to yourself as much as you need to. After the following examples I will help you design a good meditation.
- Express appreciation and gratitude for yourself and in a genuine loving way talk to yourself positively about your new belief. Feel it in your body in addition to the idea of it. Notice when you see how this is manifesting in your life.
Here are some examples of the first three steps. Then I will give an example of a meditation/visualization that you can use for step 4.
- Core beliefs: I am not worthy. I should be seen and not heard. I am unworthy of good attention.
- Exceptions to the rule:
- I am a good artist. I am proud of it and people notice my work.
- I am a good nurse.
- I am intelligent and find creative solutions to situations.
- I give more than 100%.
- People notice what I do. Somebody that I helped gave me a cheesy necklace as a thank you present but it meant a lot to me.
- Worthy does not mean perfect.
- What do I want to believe about myself instead?
- I am worthy of attention and I am an excellent listener.
- Core beliefs: I am broken. I will never get better. I’ll always be sick.
- Exceptions to the rule:
- This is just a feeling and it will pass.
- I know how to experience myself as a strong person.
- Other people have worse things wrong with them than I do.
- I know how to experience myself as a healthy person.
- Inside my soul is strong.
- I am very grateful.
- What I want to believe instead:
- I am a happy person
- I am an emotionally stable person.
- My body is in the process of healing itself.
- Core belief: I am unlovable and generally unworthy.
- Exceptions to the rule:
- Mike might love me.
- Judy and Punch love me.
- Orion loves me.
- Adrian really loves me.
- Noel really loves me.
- Carmella thinks I am worthy.
- Mike thinks I am worthy.
- Robert thinks I am worthy.
- Romero thinks I am worthy.
- I got the led in every play I ever tried out for.
- In retail I was renown in the neighborhood for getting the exact right present.
- I must have some kind of charisma.
- What I want to believe about myself: I am worthy and I am lovable.
A template for a guided meditation to bring the new core belief home to your heart:
- Create a safe space that is comfortable. Let your clothing be loose and comfortable. Have music playing that has no words but is soft and affirming. If you can find a recording of a crystal-singing bowl that is the best but ocean waves, or a gentle stream moving over stones, or Native American flute, or a recording of Deuter will do just fine. It needs to be music that helps you feel very relaxed. You might have ear buds so that the sound comes inside of you and you feel it with your body as well as hear it. Be sitting supported or lying down perhaps with a pillow under your knees so that there is no stress or strain in your body.
- Close your eyes. Pay a lot of attention to your breath. Extend the inhalation and exhalation so that it is long and easy. Feel how you feel right this minute inside of your body with no judgment. There is no right or wrong way to feel. Just be present to the way that you are feeling right now. Do a body scan, paying detailed attention body part by body part beginning with your feet and move slowly up your body. Often if you do a comparison, for example, the right leg with the left leg you can experience differences and sameness more easily. Take your time and pay close attention. You are building good body awareness.
- After you have done the body scan you can include a tense and release exercise to relax even more deeply. Begin with your legs. Point your toes or tip your toes back towards your head and tense both legs at once holding them tight for a slow count of three or four. Then gradually release the tension feeling the support of the chair or floor under you. Take a nice deep breath into your fully relaxed legs. Repeat this again and then go to your stomach muscles and chest, then to your arms, then to your shoulders, neck and head. To complete this exercise tense then release your whole body, breathe deeply into every part of you and completely relax.
- Now focus on your breath again and establish a four count inhale and a four count exhale. Continue this breath pattern throughout the rest of the meditation. Focus your breath on your physical heart and recall an experience that you have had that brought you pleasure, happiness or a feeling of peace and calm. Be present to the experience as if it is happening right now with all of the colors, all of the sounds, tastes, smells and touch. Pay attention to where you feel the happiness of it in your body. When you have spent some time engaged with the experience then add a sense of appreciation and gratitude to it and feel that manifest in your body. Stay with this experience for a few minutes.
- Begin to talk to yourself out loud or internally about your new belief. If it is easier you can record your own voice or have someone you trust read it to you. Talk to yourself about all of the ways you have come to understand that this new believe is already showing itself to you in a variety of ways, like the exceptions to the rule that you wrote about in the second part of the exercise. Spend time feeling this in your mind and your body. Feel your spirit soar as you fully embrace this new belief about yourself.
- You may not fully believe this new belief yet but you are trying it on for size. Let yourself really experience how it feels to believe this about you. See yourself in your life, at work or at home or with friends or family interacting while you believe this new thing about yourself. Try on several scenarios. Play them out. Observe how things might be different. Have fun with it.
- To finish this meditation draw your awareness back to your heart and feel how you are feeling emotionally. Wiggle your toes and your fingers. Bring your awareness back into your body and then bring your attention to the back of your eyes and open them.
- If you have the time it would be great to journal and express in writing how this experience went for you. I would suggest that you practice this whole sequence as often as you like until beyond a shadow of a doubt you know that you believe this new core belief. It is you.
- Over the next week or so or maybe longer after this meditation has been completed and continue to talk to yourself and/or journal about your experience. Be sure to notice all of the ways you know for sure that this new core belief is real. You have created a monumental shift in your life!