Breaking Free of Limiting Beliefs
This past week, we took a deeper dive into exploring and reframing our Core Beliefs. We spoke about self-reflection, comparisons, cognitive dissonance and parenting in relation to Core Beliefs.
Ask yourself the following important questions:
Do you regret your decisions?
When was the last time you felt resentful? Today? Yesterday? A week ago?
Do you constantly feel like a failure in spite of all your achievements?
Sometimes, the beliefs we have built up about ourselves and others over the course of our lives can lead us to a place of limitations, disappointments and feeling stuck. Emotions that go along with that stuck feeling often don't match up with the reality we are living. These emotions are connected to deeply-seeded core beliefs, which dictate the way we truly feel about ourselves. It doesn't matter how much we achieve, accomplish or how much effort we put in we will never be happy if we don't believe we are worthy or deserving of it. Happiness and satisfaction will not always come from trying harder, they will actually come from changing our mindset and shifting what we truly believe about ourselves and others.
Comparisons & Core Beliefs
Another question to ask yourself is do you like the person who stares back at you in the mirror?
Objects in the mirror are different than they appear. Many people who appear to "have it all together" are actually crumbling inside.
The truth is those outward achievements are not symbiotic to Core Beliefs. While some may appear to be successful, pretty, confident and motivated, there is a very good possibility that on the inside, they feel like a failure, a disappointment, unlovable or inferior to their peers.
While it is so easy to compare ourselves to others and doubt the skills, qualities and abilities that each of us own, it is so important to consistently challenge these negative and limiting thoughts and beliefs to help lead us to a life of truth and emotional freedom.
Cognitive Dissonance in Core Beliefs
Cognitive Dissonance is a core component of core beliefs. I know, I know.... Anna, What is Cognitive Dissonance?? Great question!
According to Very Well Mind, the term cognitive dissonance is used to describe the mental discomfort that results from holding two conflicting beliefs, values or attitudes. People tend to seek consistency in their attitudes and perceptions, so this conflict causes feelings of unease or discomfort. To minimize these uncomfortable feelings, people tend to engage in behaviour that rejects or explains any new information.
Have you ever experienced this? How did it affect you? Take a moment to reflect.
Were you able to change that core belief by re-evaluating the information in front of you?
Everyone experiences cognitive dissonance to some degree but that doesn't mean it's always easy to recognize.
Parenting & Core Beliefs
Is your child enrolled in too many activities?
Pre-covid, were you busy driving them from basketball to soccer practice to guitar lessons?
Overprogramming your kids instills a belief that downtime is unproductive. While many parents think that giving their children endless opportunities to participate in extra-curricular sports, music, dance or art may be a privilege that they will grow up remembering fondly, psychological evidence shows that the over-booked child is not given the opportunity to experience a healthy childhood and is at risk for developing sleep disorders, anxiety or childhood depression. By scheduling our children with activities for every spare minute of their lives, we are not allowing them the space to breathe, discover and nourish their own creativity, a crucial aspect of brain development.
According to Psychology Today, "Early childhood education specialist Peggy Patten, M.A., agrees that children today have many wonderful opportunities, but they need time to explore things in depth. When they are involved in too many different things, they sacrifice breadth for depth."
Reframing Your Core Beliefs
Replacing your thoughts is key here. Instead of these thoughts, REFRAME them with the following:
I'm Sad........ for now
I'm alone......for now
I'm jobless....for now
Last but not least, don't forget to check out my IGTV all about navigating and changing your limiting core beliefs with Rebecca Marcus, LCSW.
Rebecca is a psychotherapist based in New York City and helps navigate relationship issues, anxiety & trauma. I highly suggest any of my New York readers to reach out to her here.
Until next time!
- Anna Sherman, MFT, RP