Explore core beliefs that can control your life and learn ways to change them.

Core beliefs are the general principles and assumptions that guide you through life. They can be positive: “Most people are good,” or “I can do anything I set my mind to.” But they can also be self-limiting, tricking your mind into seeing the world as darker and less full of possibility than it really is.

Read through these common harmful core beliefs and make a note of the ones that resonate with you.

Common Harmful Core Beliefs
1. “I don’t belong.” Being rejected by peers or even family at an early age can make you carry an “outsider” identity for years afterward. As an adult, you might avoid engaging with others for fear of rejection, or you might swing to the other extreme and become overly concerned with being the perfect group member.

2. “The world is dangerous.” This negative core belief leads to a lot of worrying and risk avoidance. If you believe there’s evil or misfortune lurking around every corner, you’re likely to restrict your activities and seek excessive reassurance to alleviate your anxiety. You also tend to overestimate the probability of negative outcomes and underestimate your ability to cope.

3. “I am a failure/I’m not good enough.” A persistent feeling of not measuring up can often be traced back to over-critical parents, bullying from classmates, or a tendency to compare yourself to others. This belief can lead people to push themselves too hard to overcompensate. It also drives impostor syndrome, the constant feeling that you’re a fraud, and you’ll be unmasked any day now. People who see themselves as failures can also be prone to avoidance or procrastination, which allows them to say, “I didn’t fail; I never really tried.”

4. “I have to be perfect.” A cousin of “I’m not good enough,” this core belief also leads people to drive themselves until their health or relationships suffer. Perfectionists have unrealistically high expectations and tend to focus on their flaws and missteps. They may have trouble taking life less seriously and often have the sense that there is too little time.

3 Ways to Establish New Core Beliefs
Here are a few ways to look at your self-limiting beliefs from new angles until your mind starts to change.

1. Consider your past.

Negative core beliefs can often be traced back to your early days. Even when parents are trying their best, sometimes a mismatch in temperaments can leave a kid feeling left out or judged by the rest of the family. The same is true in peer groups. After you leave the nest, even if you find your “tribe,” you might hold on to untrue beliefs about yourself that formed in your childhood.

Try this: Look at the core beliefs you identified above. See if you can find messages in your past that echo those feelings, whether implicit or explicit. For instance, maybe your dad never showed up at your baseball games, making you think, “I’m not important,” whether or not he ever said so. Or maybe your mother left the family when you were little, and now you think, “I’m not worthy of love.”

2. Look for evidence.

Beliefs come in pairs. If one of your internal messages is “I’m not good enough,” you can begin to starve that belief by feeding its benevolent twin, “I am good enough.” Look for evidence to build up the good belief: the ways your contributions made a difference, the obstacles you overcame, the people who love and support you. Slowly, you’ll begin to draw your mind’s attention away from the flaws and failures that you mistakenly think disqualify you from your dreams.

3. Focus on the good.

Of course, humans are emotional creatures, and sometimes trying to be rational about your beliefs just doesn’t work. That’s when it’s time to appeal to your feelings.

Focus on the positive flip side of one of your negative beliefs. Think about a time when the positive belief really felt true, no matter how fleeting the feeling was. For instance, if your negative belief is “I’m not good enough,” recall a time when you did feel “good enough.” Soak in that feeling for a few minutes, and remind yourself that you can and will feel that way again.

Allow yourself to accept new evidence of the good belief, even when you feel like dismissing it. Maybe you landed an interview for your dream job, and your instinct is to tell yourself, “Well, this is just a fluke. They’ll never hire me.” Instead of making that leap to negativity, take a moment to truly recognize and celebrate that the employer was impressed by your credentials and wants to meet you. Keeping your perceived flaws in perspective is key to recalibrating your belief system toward realistic, self-compassionate views.

Other things to try:

Create a visual reminder of evidence of the positive beliefs you’re working to build. This could be as simple as putting photos on your fridge that remind you of the goals you’ve reached and people who love you. Or, if you want to put in a little more time, you could make a whole collage reminding you that you are loved, capable, big-hearted, and so on.

Think about the people in your life who tend to support positive beliefs and see if you can spend more time with them. Similarly, if there are people who consistently make you feel negative about yourself or the world, try to limit your time with them.

Consider how the news and entertainment you consume might be affecting your beliefs. For example, if you’re trying to stop thinking the danger is lurking around every corner, you might try cutting back on true-crime dramas and TV news.

What Core Beliefs Are Guiding You Today?

Your core beliefs are the ideals that you base your life upon. They affect everything you say and do and think. Because of that, at various times throughout our lives, we each need to pause and examine our core beliefs to see if they are still relevant to the way we choose to live our life.

Ask yourself: What are the core beliefs driving my life? How have I changed? How has the world changed? Are the core beliefs I have built my life upon still the most worthy choices for me or should I be adjusting by examining new core beliefs?

Pause to look at what is more important to you at this point in time. Make new choices – or strengthen your resolve around the core beliefs you choose to keep.

What do you believe in now? How are those beliefs impacting your life? How have they changed as you gain more clarity and insight? What’s important to you at this point in your life? What do you need to explore, contemplate, change in yourself in order to make certain your core beliefs are serving our collective consciousness in this changing world, that they reflect who you have become and what you hold as most important?

What are your current core beliefs?

“Core beliefs” is an elusive term. Stop right now and say aloud three of your core beliefs. I’ll bet it’s a bit tricky to come up with them because we don’t often pause to examine the subtle beliefs that are at the core of every response we have. We simply unconsciously let our beliefs guide every step we take and every decision we make.

Unconsciously! Without thinking or examining or asking questions!

It would make sense for us all to examine our core beliefs and make certain they support our current life path and experience.

What core beliefs did you identify and how are they affecting your life?

I had to figure out what my core beliefs are. Then I looked to see how I’ve changed and how/if my core beliefs needed to change. I wanted to identify core concepts that will support and comfort and guide me in today’s chaotic world. It wasn’t enough to identify them, I had to prioritize them so I knew what was important to me, what was driving my life, the beliefs I was building my life upon.

Shift from “me” to “we”

One of the hardest things to do is to change your mind. Particularly when you are so sure you are right. But “right” means different things to each person. “Right” is usually based on how much you know about a situation, the alternate solutions/possibilities you have taken time to explore, and your willingness to change your thinking as you gather new information.

In my opinion, the most powerful shift we can make in our core beliefs is to move from “me” to “we.”

What are the core beliefs that influence every choice you make?

Core Belief #1: We are all one

My foundational core belief that drives everything I think or say or do is that we are one energy. All one interconnected energy in the Emptiness That Holds Everything. That means everything I think or say or do – or believe – affects the whole. And what you think and say and believe affects me.

If you embrace this core belief that everyone is one source energy, that means that you are energetically one with the guy down the street you don’t like very much. It means we are energetically one with the people doing really bad things to others.

No, I don’t like that either. But we are all one Primal Source Energy. And that very interconnection makes it possible for both of us to influence the whole – for better or worse. Our thoughts have power. When we focus, we can shift the consciousness of the world.

We are like a Cosmic Ocean in which our actions ripple out to affect the whole, in which giant waves ebb and flow and affect the whole even as they are a part of the whole. And like a Cosmic Soup, my “seasoning” affects the whole. As does yours. That means that what I do in my life affects the lives of others, as my actions ripple out over our Cosmic Ocean of Oneness. That’s a big responsibility.

And I’m standing here being swamped by waves from the actions of others.

I get to choose what part of the ocean I live in. I may be an active wave crashing against the cliffs, or a tranquil reflective lagoon. I get to choose my place of service in the Cosmic Ocean.

So, my primary core belief is that we are all one Primal Energy and that my actions ripple out and affect the whole.

What am I sending out?

Knowing myself to be an impactful ripple in our world will cause me to be mindful of my choices and my actions. My words and my deeds. My thoughts and my beliefs. It opens me up to empathy and compassion and unconditional love – for me – and since we are all one energy, unconditional love for all others.

Is one of your core beliefs that we are all one? It will make a powerful impact on your life if it is.

Core Belief #2: We are capable of giving and receiving unconditional love

Another core belief I’m working to build my life upon, is that Unconditional Love is at the core of the Primal Source. My first step in embracing that core belief is to learn to accept unconditional love for myself. Then I can learn to extend unconditional love to others.

Accepting unconditional love for yourself can be tricky. You know your flaws and shortcomings intimately, so accepting those, being patient with your own unfolding life process, loving yourself in spite of how you see yourself is a valuable place to start to understand and experience giving yourself the unconditional love that’s there for you. Learn to accept unconditional love into your life.

Loving yourself unconditionally is a powerful place to begin to change your experience of our world. If you are not worthy of unconditional love, who is? You cannot give love to others until you give it to yourself. Begin by loving yourself.

When you learn to love yourself, your entire life will change. You will learn the power of love and feel your own value in the world. Then you will understand and accept how powerful unconditional love is and turn and radiate it into your world.

We’re talking unconditional love here. Compete acceptance.

Pause a moment in the here and now to accept and feel and experience that you are wrapped in unconditional, all-encompassing love. Accept that love – unconditionally.

Extend your conscious practice of loving yourself to others

Is one of your core beliefs that you are deserving of unconditional love? Is one of your core beliefs that everyone is deserving of unconditional love?

The wall between you and others is built inside you. You are the only one who can take it down. When you begin to make room for a deeper connection with others by extending unconditional love both inward and outwardly, your experiences will expand and fill your heart!

We’re building on two core beliefs here. We are One Light Energy. We each deserve and accept unconditional love.

Core Belief #3: We are totally responsible for what happens in our own life

We create our own life experience. We do that by our beliefs, our thoughts and our actions. No one does it to us. We “do it” to ourselves by what we believe we deserve and what we believe is possible.

Think about that. You draw into your life what you think you deserve. That means accepting unconditional love for yourself because you deserve it. What you believe is possible creates the parameters of what unfolds. It can be limiting or expansive. It’s your choice. What do you believe you deserve and what do you believe is possible?

When you accept that we are all one energetic source, and that we are all connected, it means that the unconditional love you focus and share comes back to you to create and enhance your life experience.

Change your thinking, change your life

Core Belief #4 Our focused thoughts can change our life experience

Our thoughts create our reality. That means the focus of our thoughts should be monitored and purposefully directed. When our thoughts are aimed at the highest good, they have great power, they have the ability to create positive change. In order to rise above the chaos in our current planetary experience, we must carefully and consciously choose the focus of our thoughts.

A simple way to change your life experience is to focus on simply being the light that we are and joining with other light beings who are also focusing on the highest good for our world. That shift in focus has the power to change our life experience. It doesn’t take away from the physical plane activism we may choose to do and it allows us to energetically join with others all over the world who are raising their vibration by focusing on peace and unconditional love.

Not everyone can see their own light, let alone the light in others, but we are all over the world, often finding each other online in groups focused on a specific cause. Whatever your focus, go online and find those who are holding energetic gatherings that will raise the collective consciences. Join your energy with theirs and feel the collective power.

There are other Light Beings working to heal the planet. Find them.

Examine your core beliefs for relevance and adjustments

Our core beliefs are the foundation stones upon which we build our lives. You may still be standing on stones you don’t even know are there. You may have put them in place as a child, from what your parents told you or what you experienced as a child. Now you are an adult with some life experience and you need to examine your foundational beliefs again.

For each core belief you select, ask: “Does this foundation stone still reflect what my experience of life has shown me and is it supportive of the direction I am want to take my life? Is this foundational belief still serving me in the midst of the changes of today?” Then adjust your core beliefs to shape the life you want to live.

What are your current core beliefs?

We have considered these four core beliefs but there are many more possibilities.

We are all one energy. Our actions and choices affect and influence the whole.
We are capable of giving and receiving unconditional love. Begin by loving yourself.
We are responsible for our life experience.
Our focused thoughts can change our life experience

What are the core beliefs that are guiding your life?