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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 on 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 major influence of you 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 important 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 beliefs about yourself as a results 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 constantly. The brain records what you see, what you experience, your physical response, your emotional response and what you think during every life situation. A lot situations are minor and discarded. What makes a memory stick, or become unable to process is the feeling it evokes. Therefore it becomes clearly important 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 aforementioned data by way of different compartments in the brain and are stored in the core of the earth or sub files. The three different sub files are sights, sounds and general emotions. The sub files make up the memory of the situation that is being recorded. Because the event was life threatening the memory goes unprocessed.

While certain compartments are recording the situation, in another compartment of the brain it is forming a belief that is specific to the abusive or traumatic memory which you can imagine as the moon for this example. Depending on the situation and the life threatening emotional impact of the situation the belief forms as a negative one. Associated with that belief an emotion is registered and connected to that specific belief. Now this emotion registered and connected to that specific belief is separate from the general emotion in the traumatic memory. As mentioned the definition of a core belief is a belief you form 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 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 moved 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 huge influence to how you will react in life situations to come. Over time the core belief embeds itself into your subconscious or belief system. Consequently you are left with the belief 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 form was “I deserved to get hurt, because I couldn't protect myself” 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 carry about himself or herself. 

Maybe through therapy or coaching you were able to process the memory. The memory is then render 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 toward 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 in order to direct you and your life are in fact can be changed.

5 Tips on how to change 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 self-defeating messages. 

How? 

"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 important step. On a piece of paper and write all your core beliefs. Be sure to write down all beliefs you have about yourself, others and the world: good and 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 a 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. 

Third step is creating new list of beliefs that you want to change the old beliefs with. Next to each belief you not longer want to believe in, create and write down a new positive belief you want to replace the old blocking belief with.

4. Practice

If you do not replace the old with new all you are left with is emptiness. 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 a strong emotional tone.

5. Discipline

Say the list every day for 30 days. If you follow through and practice your list for 30 days the new beliefs will embed themselves into your subconscious and 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 strength negative beliefs have on your actions, thinking, feelings or reactions, the easier it is to take back your own power, personal authority and shift to new core beliefs for your benefit. You can make a positive change to 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 at eliminating negative or unwanted beliefs in your mind then visit my website.  

      Also click here to download free eBook gift 


          Coach Bill

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