Are you still stuck repeating the same old self-sabotaging patterns and reactions despite considerable self-awareness, insight, and attempts to change?
We’re told that awareness should be enough
The personal growth, self-help, coaching, and therapy culture implicitly believes that awareness should be enough to make changes in your thinking. The premise is that gaining insight should catalyze you into making profound shifts in your life. Talking things through, understanding connections, deconstructing your experiences and tracing them back to their roots, untangling faulty thinking, retraining your mind to think differently, learning new information, etc. should be enough to make changes in your behaviour.
And sometimes awareness is enough!
You learn a new perspective and bam, you shift your thinking and you shift your behaviour. Or you read a book, have that aha and off to the races you go! I love when that happens!
But more often than not, awareness is not enough
You get the insight but nothing changes. You delve deep and illuminate your inner darkness with the light of your conscious awareness, but your same old thoughts and feelings persist. Why? What’s going on?
To effect change, you need to address the engine driving your behaviour: your core beliefs
If you don’t get underneath your thoughts and feelings to address the level of your most powerful and entrenched core beliefs, you won’t penetrate deep enough into your mind to effect change.
But it’s not a matter of just willing yourself to believe something different!
Just like you can’t switch your thoughts on a dime, it’s not simply a matter of deciding to believe something and then believing it. If it were, everyone would be just believing and getting the life they desire. And it’s not simply a matter of identifying the offending core belief and then just pulling it out like a sliver. Our core beliefs are much more sophisticated and complex than that.
What are core beliefs?
Your core beliefs are your truths. From the moment you were conceived, everything you felt, saw, heard and experienced was recorded by your mind to create the network of beliefs that form your view of your personal reality. Your core beliefs are premises – accepted with or without proof – that allow you to explain your past and predict your future. They’re the foundation you built your understanding of reality on. They’ve become interwoven in the fabric of who you are and how you perceive yourself, others, and life itself.
Your most problematic core beliefs were formed before you were 6 years-old
The core beliefs that give you the most problems today are the ones that you created or adopted before you were conscious. Before you had developed the ability to reason. These beliefs were formed to protect you and help you make sense of things. ”If mommy’s mad, I must be bad” of course isn’t true but is a perfectly understandable and natural explanation for a child to make. These simplistic, black and white beliefs have become entrenched in your mind. They’ve become permanent perceptual filters through which you view yourself and everything that happens to you – without you even thinking about it. Your reactions, then, become automatic. As someone wise once said: “A belief is not an idea held by the mind, it is an idea that holds the mind.”
The core beliefs you don’t even know about are the ones running your show
The core beliefs that you formed in response to incidents you don’t remember when you were not yet conscious are the engines fuelling your current thoughts, feelings, and behaviours. Your repetitive, habitual feelings and self-limiting patterns are being run automatically by your core beliefs – whether you’re aware of them or not! These biased beliefs are running beneath the level of consciousness. That’s why you can’t easily affect them on the conscious level. Byron Katie’s right when she says, “Beliefs are religions we unconsciously live.”
CEO Mike came to see me because he wanted to see if he could figure out why he’d get so nervous before meetings. He was okay talking to people one-on one, but when he’d have to speak in front of groups (which he did a lot), he’d get really afraid. He told me, “I get so upset and nervous that I have diarrhea before every meeting I go to. This has to stop!” Mike had done everything he could think of to solve this: he’d learned breathing techniques, mindfulness, meditation, did yoga, took vitamins – you name it. Mike was dumbfounded to learn in his CBE session that the reason he had tremendous difficulty speaking in front of groups of people stemmed from the humiliation he hadn’t remembered experiencing in kindergarten. Part of him was still stuck in a time warp at age 4 in which he was being ridiculed when his spiderman lunch box exploded in front of his classmates. We learned that whenever Mike found himself in front of a group, he subconsciously re-experienced the shame of this original experience where he formed the core belief, “It’s unsafe to be in front of people” and decided to keep to himself and avoid groups. Despite knowing that his leadership was valued and needed by his teams and his board of directors, Mike couldn’t shake his automatic nervousness and distress. But once he was able to change the origins of his undermining core beliefs in a day-long CBE session, his intense negative reactions were no longer needed. His unnerving discomfort gave way to natural confidence and ease. Issue resolved.
Your core beliefs are hard at work creating self-fulfilling prophecies
As you move through life, your core beliefs collect evidence to support and validate their existence, and therefore get further solidified and entrenched in your mind. If you believe that life is a struggle and full of people who are out to get you, then this is how you’ll perceive and respond to everything that happens to you. If you believe you’re fundamentally unlovable, you’ll not allow yourself to receive love. You’ll not be able to believe that you are loved by the people who do love you (which is very frustrating for those people). And you’ll run various strategies to push love away or sabotage it or destroy it. Airtight strategies that prove how unlovable you believe you are.
You can’t see what you don’t believe
Your core beliefs won’t allow you to see, accept, or know what you don’t believe. Contrary messages will be blocked, distorted, or simply rejected by your mind. For example, if you don’t feel worthy of praise, you won’t be able to receive praise. Period. You’ll be skeptical of people who try to give you the gift of a compliment. You’ll be wondering what they want, what they’re up to, and how they’re trying to manipulate you. Maybe you, yourself, have experienced being on the giving end of a compliment that just can’t be accepted. The other person reacts as though you’ve thrown them a hot potato. As Anais Nin states: “We don’t see things as they are; we see things as we are.”
Your core beliefs remain frozen in time warps, unaffected by new awareness and insight
You’d just assume that as you age, learn, and mature, your belief systems would automatically update and mature with you, right? But unfortunately, that’s not the case! Your core beliefs usually remain frozen in time at the age they were created. Stuck in a time warp, their outdated perspectives and tapes remain active within you. So every time you’re faced with a situation that triggers your original core beliefs, you respond from an automatic program created in your childhood. That’s why you might respond irrationally, immaturely, exaggeratedly, or disproportionately to any given situation. In those moments, historic reactions are overlaid on your current reality. You’re actually seeing through old perspectives and feeling your old feelings, in real time.
Your mind is brilliantly compartmentalized
Your core beliefs are protective forces that result in the formation of compartmentalized units in your mind. Your core beliefs are linked to specific emotionally significant experiences in your childhood, not necessarily traumatic ones, but emotionally significant ones. What happens is the mind forms a compartment in which it houses the energy and unresolved emotions attached to the original event, the core beliefs created at the time of the event, and all of the associated decisions, triggers, patterns, coping strategies, and defense mechanisms connected to the experience. Your parts are strongly self-protective and won’t just give up a belief easily. Rather, they’ll defend and rationalize their beliefs based on their outdated perception of reality in which they remain suspended.
Core beliefs can be tricky and complex
One of the reasons it’s not easy to simply change a core belief is that the same core belief can form different parts. Let’s take the self-esteem devastating core belief, “I’m not good enough.” For example, some circumstances may trigger you to feel not good enough and then automatically go into the over-achieving reaction of, “I’ll show them! I’ll prove them wrong!” Other incidents may trigger you to feel not good enough and then automatically go into the defeated, victimized reaction of, “Shut down. Be invisible. Be as small as possible. Avoid further pain.” While again, another, different situation may trigger you to feel not good enough and then automatically go into a punishing reaction of ripping yourself to shreds. Same core belief; different parts. Brilliant, complex mind.
Awareness has no chance when pitted against your opposing core beliefs
Awareness doesn’t have a leg to stand on when facing off against a contradictory core belief. That’s why some people have limited success with affirmations. If an empowering affirmation, such as “I’m successful” is suggested to a mind that’s already open and accepting of this concept, the belief will resonate as truth and expand. It’s like a seed being planted in fertile soil. However, if the affirmation “I’m successful” is met with resistance — a contradictory core belief like “I’m a failure” or “I don’t deserve to succeed” or “I’m unworthy” — that affirmation will be overruled or trumped. It’ll be kicked out of the mind. Invalidated. Rejected.
What you feel is true will trump what you think is true. Every. Time
Despite the fact that you know something is true, if you feel the opposite, the feeling will win, even if it’s not true. For example, Sandra can be quite articulate at times. However, when it comes time to speak in certain circumstances in which she incorrectly perceives herself to be inferior, her words come out garbled. Part of her is afraid to speak. Afraid of being seen as not good enough. Afraid of being judged or rejected by those she incorrectly considers superior. That part is trying to protect her by telling her to keep her mouth shut. Don’t risk it, it’s too dangerous. In reality, nothing could be further from the truth. It’s safe for Sandra to speak. She’s among peers who listen to her and respect her opinion. However, because the part producing the negative reaction remains trapped in its original, outdated perspective, it’s not aware of the change in Sandra’s circumstances or her current reality. It’s only still aware of and responding to the threat of her father who was very critical and harsh (who happens to have passed away many years ago). Mechanistically, her part just continues to do what it does because that’s what it was created to do. Until this protective part is re-engineered, Sandra’s situational inferiority will continue to undermine her self-expression and success.
Your stuckness, while not pretty, is normal
When you don’t shift in the face of new information or awareness, this indicates that you’ll benefit greatly from looking to the brilliant complexity of your deeper mind for the answers. There are specific, logical, trace-back-able, solvable reasons you’re stuck. Your areas of stuckness are proof that your mighty core beliefs are full-blown at your service. Deeply entrenched self-protection is afoot! It’s the way your mind was formed. It’s a result of your mind trying to help you, even though it’s currently holding you back and hurting you.
The process of actually changing your limiting core beliefs takes something!
It’s not just a matter of having an insight and your mind shifting. It’s not just a matter of talking to yourself and getting your mind to update. It doesn’t seem to work that way. Ahas, surface-level ideas, strategies, tools, and habits only address the level of willpower. So many people get pumped up with new insights and positive thoughts only to be disappointed when the willpower and inspiration wear off after a few days. To get to the engine fuelling your hair trigger reactions and self-sabotaging patterns and effect true, lasting change, you need to address the level of your core beliefs. And as you’ve seen, your core beliefs don’t tend to update without careful and precise intervention. This is the process I specialize in. I discuss the intricacies of how I help people re-engineer their limiting core beliefs with Core Belief Engineering in other areas on my website and in other podcasts and videos. My point here is that there’ s a reason my average session is 6 hours. There are several specific steps involved in the intensive transformational process of re-engineering negative core belief systems.
When we change our core beliefs, we change at the speed of thought
Core Belief Engineering sessions can help you change even the most soul-crushing, self-esteem prohibiting core beliefs. When the false core belief is changed, everything stemming from it changes. Louise Hay says, “I do not fix my problems. I fix my thinking. Then problems fix themselves.” I totally agree with this statement, although my focus is getting underneath the thinking to the level of core belief and fixing it at that level. So I say, I fix my core beliefs and then my problems fix themselves.
What I mean is when the belief “I’m unlovable” – the insidious mindset that has been running and ruining every aspect of your life – changes to “I’m lovable” and “I love me,” everything you automatically felt and thought and did as a result of feeling unlovable changes. The world that that belief was creating transforms. All of the negative feelings, decisions, triggers, coping strategies, defense mechanisms, reactions, and assumptions attached to “I’m unlovable” give way and let go. And all of the blocks, shut downs, limitations, and barriers open up because they’re not needed any more. There’s no longer any fuel for the fire of “I’m unlovable” because there is no more “I’m unlovable.” Now there is the truth of “I am lovable” and “I love me.” And a positive, transformational domino effect occurs automatically within your mind, flowing from this foundational state of self-respect and self-worth.
Self-awareness and insight are absolutely necessary first steps in the process of change. However, if all of the personal growth and self-development work you’ve done up until now hasn’t gotten you to where you want to be, I invite you to look deeper – to the level of your core beliefs. I’m obviously biased, but I know of no better, more effective, thorough, comprehensive, respectful, and holistic way of transforming your core beliefs and in doing so, transforming your life than Core Belief Engineering. Some people consider the results I’m able to help them achieve with Core Belief Engineering to be extraordinary or even miraculous. For me, these results are indeed wonderful but they’re also typical and expected because I see them time and time again.
If my approach resonates with you and you are ready to break through your personal blocks and set yourself free, I’d love to connect with you. Call me, and let’s talk. SCHEDULE A FREE CONSULTATION
This is a very good description of Core Beliefs. Having had quite significant experience in the subject however, I would suggest that these beliefs aren’t linguistic as they appear. I feel they are more like the ‘off balance’ emotional drives learned to maintain a connection where there are issues in the relation between the child and the world (mother/family). That is they are implicit
Lisa, good job! It’s so unexpectedly for me. I am intrested in you.