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Saturday, June 14, 2014

5 Tips for Fixing Negative Beliefs

Do you have beliefs particularly about yourself that do not serve you but you won't let go of them? Believe me, you are not unusual. Everyone has. I have written a lot about core beliefs and how they govern how you think about yourself, feel about yourself and how they affect your reactions, as well as you, perform in life situations. If they can do all that just mentioned then they are powerful and a significant influence on the development of your identity and life.

Can you imagine being more governed by your beliefs? It is possible because abuse and trauma experiences magnify your beliefs power and influence. 

Survivors know how after experiencing abuse or trauma his or her inner critic (inner voice in their head) becomes directive, meaner, and even more judgmental than pre-trauma. It is core beliefs that feed content to inner critic. So it is essential for survivors to understand core beliefs and their formation. Even after you are able to process the traumatic memory or flashback of abuse or trauma, you are still be left with negative views about yourself as a result of those experiences.

How your brain operates and responds to abusive and traumatic experiences

I want to present a description of how core beliefs or self-messages are formed and how they are intensified as a result of abusive or traumatic experiences. Understand no matter how much you work on healing your past wounds through memory work, you are still left with negative beliefs about yourself. These self-messages and their associated emotions can and do impede your growth, happiness and personal progress.

Your brain is recording your life continuously. The brain records what you see, what you experience, your physical response, your emotional response and what you think of every life situation. A lot of life events are minor and are discarded. What makes a memory stick, or become unable to process is the feeling it evokes. Therefore, it becomes undoubtedly essential is that abuse or trauma memory is kept alive and store unprocessed due to its emotional significance.

Formation of a core belief and relationship to memory

Imagine that memory formation is the earth. The earth records all of the data above by way of different compartments in the brain and is stored in the core of the planet or subfiles. The three separate subfiles are sights, sounds, and universal emotions. The subfiles make up the memory of the situation that is being recorded. Because the event was life threatening the memory goes unprocessed.

While specific compartments are recording the situation, in another chamber of the brain, the brain is forming a belief that is specific to the abusive or traumatic memory. 
Now for example; if you can imagine the earth and the moon. Depending on the situation and the life-threatening emotional impact the formation of a core belief. Associated with that belief an emotion is registered and connected to that specific belief. Now this registered emotion attaches to that particular belief is separate from the general feeling in the traumatic memory. As mentioned the definition of a core belief is a specific your mind forms about you to the exact event, how you handled or did not handle the situation and the associated emotion.

Let continue. So far imagine the earth (memory) with the moon (core belief and associated emotion) sitting behind the earth in a dissociative storage area. While you might be able to at some point, either immediately or later, process the flashback or traumatic memory and integrate the traumatic memory into your long-term memory bank (file cabinet).

Therefore the traumatic memory or earth moved out of dissociative storage, integrated and transferred to another compartment of the brain because the moon or core belief from the traumatic situation is separate from the memory you are left with the core belief and connected emotion which is not processed or changed by processing the memory. The core belief remains independent, stored in the subconscious under belief about self for future reference and becomes a significant influence on how you will react to life situations to come. Over time the core belief embeds itself into your subconscious or belief system. Consequently, you are left with beliefs that you formed about yourself which tend to be self-limiting, self-defeating, defaming and extremely judgmental.

Sample formation of a core belief due to abuse or traumatic experiences

A sample would be that you experience an abusive or traumatic situation where you felt you couldn't stop the event from happening based on your standard or someone else’s standard. Therefore the core belief that was formed “I deserved to get hurt, because I couldn't protect myself back then” with an emotion connected to that belief is that of anger or disappointment toward yourself. 

By the way “I don’t deserve ____” is the number two core belief that most survivor carries about himself or herself. 

Maybe through therapy or coaching, you were able to process the memory. The memory is then rendered insignificant and stored in your long-term memory bank, but what you're left with is the belief that “I deserved to get hurt because I can't protect myself” and the associated emotion of anger and disappointment. Later on in your life, you experience another event occurs, and that situation triggers the core belief “I don’t deserve.” That specific core belief then comes up out of your subconscious and surfaces into your conscious mind. Your immediate thought would be that you don't deserve anything because the core belief and you feel angry and disappointed in yourself.

Is there any hope for changing negative core beliefs?

So are you helpless to your negative beliefs which reside in your mind right under the surface your preconscious? No is the answer. These influencers that sit silently in wait to be triggered to direct you and your life are in fact can be changed.

5 Tips for changing negative core beliefs

Wouldn't it be nice to be able to change negative, self-defeating or unwanted beliefs? You have the power to change the content of these negative beliefs or counterproductive messages. 


"Simply drag the old core beliefs out of your subconscious mind, expose them and once exposed they become vulnerable to change."

1. Recognize your beliefs

First of all, you cannot fix what you do not know. So recognition is your first and most crucial step. On a piece of paper and write all your core beliefs. Be sure to write down all the beliefs you have about yourself, others and the world: good or bad, insignificant or significant, large or small.

2. Identify

Is each belief actually your truth? Next step is to identify the fact as to whether each belief is real or false, negative or positive, productive or destructive. Draw one straight line through the beliefs that are false, negative and destructive. Those marked core beliefs are the ones that are barriers to change.

3. Create anew. 

The third step is creating a new list of beliefs that you want to change the old beliefs with. Next, to each belief, you no longer wish to believe in, create and write down a new positive belief you to counter and replace the old beliefs with.

4. Practice

If you do not replace the old with new all you are left with is emptiness. The last step is to shift your mind to focus and accept the new belief over old belief. Repeat your new list to yourself 5 times daily consistently. Most important is to say your new belief list first time when you wake up and then the last time before you go to sleep. To make your new beliefs more powerful, say your new one with feeling, in an intense emotional tone.

5. Discipline

Say the list every day for 30 days. If you follow through and practice your new list for 30 days. Practicing your new beliefs will result in embedding themselves into your subconscious and in time they will become your truth. Also, notice when your new beliefs start to manifest in your life. How will you know that? You will be told by other people in your life, or you will feel the difference.

After Thoughts

I hope this blog has helped you to understand better how powerful and influential a core belief can be that was formed during abusive or traumatic situations. Once you recognize the power and the negative strength beliefs have on your actions, thinking, feelings or reactions, the easier it is to take back your own control, personal authority and shift to new core beliefs for your benefit. You can make a positive change in your life and yourself by following the 5 tips above.  

Learn by reading more articles on William Tollefson Values Blog - like: How trauma intensifies your Inner Critic 

If you need more help with eliminating harmful or unwanted beliefs in your mind, then visit my website.  

      Also click here to download free eBook gift. 

          Coach Bill

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