We all hold beliefs about ourselves and the world which determine how we perceive ourselves and life in general.
People whose beliefs are generally positive seem to flow smoothly through life, effectively dealing with whatever challenges arise, usually becoming successful, happy and content. Those who struggle with negative beliefs about themselves, other people and the world in general, are more likely to suffer with low self-esteem and self-worth and achieve less success and happiness in life. Many people are good at being positive on the outside but if they are struggling to cope or achieve success in a certain area of their life, it is very likely that deeply held negative beliefs are still present which need healing.
Negative beliefs are the ones that hold us back, convincing us that we are not as good as other people, making us believe that we are unworthy and unlovable. I have discovered that they are always untruths and often result from the negative projections of other people. These are illusions that we have bought into, usually at a time in our lives (childhood/early adolescence) when our own sense of self and self-esteem were not developed strongly enough to provide the discernment we needed.
Discovering your Core Beliefs
The first step in discovering whether your core beliefs need healing is to ask yourself honestly how you feel about life. Do you feel life is hard or do you manage to face and overcome any challenges with relative ease, achieving your goals effortlessly? How do you feel about each area of your life? In which areas of your life are you not achieving all you would like to achieve? Now start to think about what beliefs you have that are preventing you from achieving the success you would like to achieve. Write it all down, let it flow, without censoring anything that comes out. It is also very insightful to think about who you envy and why – what do you perceive they can do that you can’t? This can reflect back to you your own issues that need healing.
I found my own core beliefs centred around lack of confidence. The phrase ‘I can’t do it on my own and as I’m always on my own, it doesn’t get done’ came to mind. I had to admit I was envious of people who have the confidence and self-assurance to do whatever they want to do and go wherever they want to go. Exploring the lack of confidence issue further, asking myself what lay behind this belief, I ultimately reached the underlying statement ‘I’m not good enough on my own’.
A lightbulb moment occurred when I recalled how many times I have said “It’s just not good enough”, whether about my business premises, my finances, my home, my own abilities, or even just getting 9 out of 10 instead of 10 out of 10! When you examine the words you actually speak, you realise that you are constantly projecting your personal core beliefs onto other people and situations but the message is there, loud and clear, if you can recognise it. What you think about other people and situations is merely a reflection of how you think about yourself.
Now think about the events that have happened in your life that have contributed to your core beliefs. Maybe you grew up in a very argumentative environment, receiving criticism about your perceived shortcomings and all the things you did wrong. Many of us were bullied in our teenage years for whatever reason which reinforces the belief that we just aren’t good enough.
When you examine your negative core beliefs, the underlying theme is always a version of ‘I’m not good enough’ or ‘I’m not lovable enough’. These beliefs were formed in your early years; subsequent events just reinforce this one belief. You perceive offends and insults through the eyes of your wounded young self (the wounded child archetype). Emotions will inevitably surface when you do this exercise and identify these beliefs. However just acknowledging them is enough for now because by acknowledging them you are no longer suppressing them. Once you have identified your core beliefs, you can now start to examine them more closely through the eyes of your adult self.
Reframing your Core Beliefs
In order to heal, it is essential to change your negative core beliefs. What you believe and how you feel about yourself determines the energy you give out. The universe responds to the energy you give out, bringing you the people, events and experiences that reflect your core beliefs. You really are the centre of your own universe! As above, so below. The universe is not cruel – it is merely showing you which areas of your life need healing and bringing you the opportunity to do so. If you can change your beliefs into something more healthy, you will give out a different, more positive, higher, lighter vibration of energy, that will attract different, more positive people, events and experiences into your life. You really do have the choice of whether to keep buying into the usual, habitual experience of pain or choosing to adopt a more positive interpretation.
Now let’s take the main core belief ‘I’m not good enough’. Think about the events that took place that made you believe that statement. Now interpret them as a kind, caring, mature adult would. Arguments at home are always unpleasant for children but ultimately I know now that they resulted from issues between my parents, not me. Maybe I misinterpreted parental criticism – instead of belittling me, they actually cared passionately. I also know now that the horrible things that were said to me at school in my teenage years were not true and were most likely the result of jealousy and the fact that I was too quiet and shy to stand up for myself.
Reframing events in this way dissipates the painful emotions attached to them, releasing years of anger and resentment. Hard as it may seem, if you can hold the person/people who caused you harm and pain with compassion and understanding, you can start to turn your beliefs around. Consider other explanations for their behaviour. There is always another, less painful explanation. It is all down to what you choose to believe. Remember that some people always see the good in others – try to emulate them; it is by far the kinder option – to yourself, not to them.
A Healing Choice
Disconnecting yourself from negative core beliefs enables you to set yourself free. Understand that only you are hurting; the other people involved have long since forgotten and moved on. When you make a different choice through reframing, you do not necessarily have to forgive the other person/people involved. You only need to find and accept a less hurtful explanation. Most people who cause pain to others act on auto-pilot anyway, never really realising the consequences of their actions. It is up to you to choose not to let the mindlessness of others hurt you and stop you being all you can be.
At the end of the day the choice is yours. You can choose whether to buy into other people’s issues and let them create your reality or you can think to yourself ‘stop right there, that is about you not me’, and refuse to take it on board. Stay true to what you, as a mature adult, know to be true about yourself and detach from the rest.
Your life will change considerably for the better when you change your negative core beliefs. Taking responsibility for yourself is essential for healing. It makes you realise just how powerful we all are: our thoughts really do determine our reality.
Reframe → Reinterpret → Rebirth
Helen Shortland is a Reiki Master Teacher, Holistic Therapist and Meditation Teacher based at 15 Wheeler Gate in Nottingham city centre. Helen has been on the spiritual path since 2001 and has extensive knowledge of healing and the healing journey. For further information about her Reiki courses and therapies please visit her website http://helenshortland.com or ‘like’ her Facebook page Helen Shortland Holistics.