Psychology, Blog

Challenging your core beliefs- With Psychologist Priyadharshini

Challenging your core beliefs- With Psychologist Priyadharshini

Have you ever heard of core beliefs? If you know what core beliefs are then you’d know how and why cognitive psychology identifies them as a crucial aspect of what and how you feel about yourself, and consequently how you behave.

I started reading about it a long time ago and I’ve understood one simple thing, core beliefs lies at the very bottom of what drives ‘you’. Knowing and identifying your core beliefs can provide you with answers on why you are the way you are, or why do you behave the way you do, why certain things, situations or kind of people might elicit specific feelings from you.

A few days ago while scrolling through the Instagram, I came across a post, from the account @soundmindclinic20 , I had followed her for a month and a half I guess, and I was loving how informative and fine the content is. So I reached out and asked her to be a part of one of my interview blogs, and well, she generously agreed and I’m so grateful.

Let’s get started with this interview and dig a little deeper into what core beliefs are and how you can challenge yours.

If you had to make a person with non psychology background understand what core beliefs are, how would you explain it?

Core beliefs is a person’s view about oneself, others and the world. They are formed during early childhood. Beliefs are nothing more than thoughts that over time we come to believe as true. These are typically ingrained and unconscious that we are probably not aware of their impact on our emotions and behaviors. These beliefs give rise to rules, demands, or assumptions, which in turn, produce automatic thoughts (thoughts that seem to just pop into your head when you’re confronted with a situation).

Core belief can be both positive and negative. Good experiences of life and of other people generally lead to the development of healthy ideas about oneself, other people and the world.
Unhealthy core beliefs are developed as a result of neglect, abuse, shame, criticism typically lead to problematic behaviors.

How does our core beliefs come into play, in our regular life?

We have developed core beliefs in every area of our life and these beliefs impact our happiness, success, and personal fulfillment. We form core beliefs as a way to understand and live in the world around us. Eg: As a child you shared your feelings and emotions with your parents who consistently told you that you were “wrong”. Perhaps they did so in a very well-meaning way.

When this happens over and over with each negative emotion you experience, over time you may develop a belief that you’re wrong, you can’t trust yourself and you can’t trust your emotions.

Can you give another example?

Client X believes “I’m helpless” because he’s experienced tragedy and a lot of bad luck. He may also hold beliefs that “the world is against me” and “other people are uncaring.” Looking at these three beliefs together, you can see why client X is feeling depressed.

What dysfunctional core beliefs would you say are the most common ones?

I’m not good enough
Nobody loves me
I’m going to fail
I don’t deserve good things
I’m worthless
The world is unfair
I’m inadequate
People cannot be trusted

Are our fears and core beliefs somehow connected? Does facing our fears alter our core beliefs?

Fear can be developed as a result of negative core belief. Challenging core beliefs can help one to overcome fear.

How can we challenge our core beliefs on a regular basis?

There are three steps to challenge core belief:

Analyze patterns.

What type of thoughts do you have ? How often do you get these negative thoughts ? When does these thoughts occur more often ( eg home, college, work etc)

Identify triggers

Once the pattern is identified one has to consider why you have those thoughts? Think of a circumstance from the past where you felt ashamed or judged? Did a bad experience in the past trigger negative self-talk ?

Challenge yourself

When you have a negative thought about yourself next time, pause for a second, think and take a moment to check for the truth. Instead of labelling oneself failure, think of three reasons why you aren’t a failure.

Are there any tips or techniques you’d like for our readers to know about, something that would promote self understanding and insight ?

1) Take a piece of paper and fill in the blanks

Iam __________________
Other people are____________________
The world is ___________

This method gives you a wild guess about what your core beliefs are.

2)Create a positive alternative to negative core belief

“I am inadequate” ———————————“I am a person of value”.
“People cannot be trusted” ————————– “Some people can be trusted”

Working on identifying and changing possible negative core beliefs can be a challenge both in terms of accurately pinpointing your negative core beliefs and in managing the strong emotional reactions associated with these beliefs. So one can work with a psychologist who specializes in CBT.

With this, our interview concludes. Getting to know about these things, somewhere it provided a much more clearer understanding about myself, of what can be, and why it happens, I hope it did the same for you. Ma’am explained this complex subject into much simplified and beautiful way. My major takeaways would be that, there exists a reason somewhere of why you do or feel the way you do today, perhaps in your past. There are certain things you consciously forget but they continue to impact by working ‘behind the scenes’, what we know of the subconscious and the unconscious today. What are yours?

Attempting to understand yourself, analyzing your reactions, your thoughts and tracing where they arise from can be the way to getting to know your ‘whys’. When you reach that understanding, you can challenge the irrational fears and thoughts, work on them and step yourself up to your highest potential. I invite you today, to step in to that chaos and acknowledge the roots.

If you feel that the negative thoughts or self talks are taking over and affecting your life on a daily basis, consider talking to a psychologist. It’s not just about talking, it’s a part of it but it’s about acquiring a higher level of self understanding, identifying and working on triggers, formulating regular and long term achievable goals and most importantly, learning to manage your emotions in a more efficient manner so you live a more fulfilling life, and not one filled with fears, and anxious thought processes.

If you wish to connect to her:

Priyadharshini V PhD Scholar, Career Counselor, Graphologist
Founder Sound Mind Clinic
Contact No: +91 8608600200

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