Tag Archives: core beliefs

Thoughts on core beliefs


core beliefs

Thoughts on core beliefs

We all look at the world differently but it is easy to believe that others see things the same way we do. Two people can have the same experience but come away from that with a very different reaction/thought process. We all interpret the world differently according to our upbringings, genetics and past experiences.

Core beliefs are deeply held beliefs that can be hard to shake. Often, they are dysfunctional and inaccurate. For example – someone who was constantly told as a child that they are worthless will most likely internalise that and make that part of their identity, believing themselves to be worthless. Think of core beliefs like a pair of sunglasses – a kind of filter that we see the world through. We are more atuned to pick up on things around us that confirm our core beliefs and will reject or not notice things that don’t confirm our core beliefs. Events that happen that prove a person isn’t worthless may be dismissed as it doesn’t fit. This is how core beliefs can limit us unnecessarily.

How core beliefs can limit us:

Situation: You meet a new person and think about asking them to go for coffee.

Core belief – I’m not worthy = Consequence: Why would they go out with me? Don’t ask them for coffee

Core belief – I am worthy = Consequence: We might have fun if we go out together. Asks the person to go for coffee.

Many people have negative core beliefs that cause harmful consequences and limit their opportunities. They hold on to self limiting beliefs without realising it.

To begin challenging your core beliefs, you first need to identify what they are. Here are some common examples:

I am unworthy; I am  unloveable; I am unworthy; I’m ugly; I’m undeserving; I’m a bad person; I’m stupid…

What is one of your core beliefs? _______________________

List three pieces of evidence contrary to your belief_____________

Beliefs can be changed, that’s the good news. Some beliefs are old, outdated and just not true. Do a stock-take on your core beliefs and make sure you have core beliefs that support and empower you.

Mandy X

The Law of belief



The law of belief

The law of belief states that whatever you believe, with feeling, becomes your reality. The more intensely you believe something to be true, the more likely it is that it will be true for you. Your beliefs give you a form of tunnel vision where you edit out events that do no fit with what you don’t believe – psychologists call the “confirmation bias”.

For example if you believe that you are meant to b a great success in life, you are more likely to keep pressing ahead, letting nothing stand in your way. On the other hand, if you believe that success ins a matter of luck the  you will become more easily discouraged. Your beliefs set you up either for success of for failure.

People generally have one of two ways of looking at the world.The first is what is called a benevolent world view. If you have this view you generally believe that the world is a good place to live in and you tend to see the good in people and in situations. You believe that there is room for mistakes and you are primarily optimistic in nature.

The second way of looking at the world is with a malevolent world view. This view involves seeing the world in a negative way with a pessimistic attitude. Which one are you? This type of person sees injustice, oppression and misfortune everywhere. When things go wrong for them, which they usually do,  they blame it on bad luck or bad people. Most people swing between the two and at times we can all see the world in a malevolent way.

To counteract this negative world view – train yourself to look for positive things and acts of kindness in life. You can also start a gratitude journal and list three things at the end of each day that made you smile. This is called “priming” – forcing our focus in order to think differently and notice new things that may contradict our usual pattern of thinking. We can often easily accept that we are limited in some way (too ugly, too stupid, not able enough..we all have our self doubts)and this leads us to ignore any evidence that contradicts what we’ve already chosen to believe about ourselves. Choose your beliefs carefully – you can craft a great set to fall back on – why wouldn’t you choose great ones to further you in life?

Needless to say, people with optimistic beliefs tend to be more positive and cheerful. They have upbeat mental attitudes that enable them to respond positively and constructively to the inevitable ups and downs of life.

Mandy X

Coping with social anxiety


social anxiety

Coping with social anxiety

Do you dread the idea of having to socialise? If you do, join the club! Many people get anxious in social situations, worrying that they will embarrass themselves somehow or not measure up to the people around them.

Cognitive behavioural therapy works well for people with social anxiety as it looks at people’s fears as well as the probability that these fears will in fact take place. More often than not, the fears we have never happened yet we still worry endlessly about what might go wrong. The anticipation in itself can be hell.

A useful technique is to visualise everything going well. It is also very effective to talk to yourself in a positive manner. Say things to yourself such as “I am good company, why wouldn’t people enjoy being around me?”. You may not believe these thoughts/statements at first but it is important to replace self doubt and self criticism with more positive statements. Behaviour that is warmer and shows you as more approachable then follows.

More often than not, it isn’t the situation that stresses us out, instead it is our perception that causes anxiety. If we imagine we will embarrass ourselves and we focus on our insecurities we are far more likely to feel anxious and dread the situation. We can challenge our perceptions though – any time, any place. We always have that choice.

Ask yourself what you are thinking – grab the relevant thoughts. Then ask yourself if there is another way to look at the situation. Would someone else see it differently?

Look for a revised, more realistic version of your original thought.


I don’t want to be here.

Why don’t I Want to be here?  I don’t want to be here because …?

People will look at me and know that I feel uncomfortable.

And that is bad because?

Well, people will know something is wrong with me…

And what is so bad about that?

People will think I am crazy…

And what does that say about me?

Well, it says that I am crazy.

Become an expert at identifying your assumptions and negative thoughts. Be as specific as you can when identifying a thought and become a thought detective asking yourself questions such as:

Where is the evidence for this thinking?

How do I know that my thoughts are true? Is is fact?

What other explanations could there be?

Is it helpful for me to think this way?

What would someone else say/do in this situation?

The more able we become at disputing our negative thoughts, the less intense the negative associated emotion will be and the more adept we are at looking at what we are telling ourselves, the better we become at discovering our core beliefs- these are ideas that lay the foundations for our negative thoughts and the most common ones I have come across are: I am  not love-able or I am not good enough.

See if you can figure out what your core beliefs are. They often take the form of a “if this..then that” statement. Eg. if I socialise, no one will like me.

The next step is to try find real life situations where we can test out our core belief. Start with a small experiment. Again – more often than not (I have assisted many clients in putting together behavioural experiments to test out beliefs) we find that our core belief is not true. When this happens, our need to believe and hold on to a core belief that limits us lessens. It loses it’s power as we prove to ourselves the exact opposite of what we thought.

Repetition is key – keep challenging, keep looking for evidence and keep setting up situations where you can test out your core beliefs (also known as “rules for living”.)

Tips for a healthy happy life:

Keep a balanced routine and healthy lifestyle

Develop a good social network – the key to contentment!

Develop a good professional network

Expect slip ups, failures and down days.

Don’t let fear get the better of you and remember that we often all feel anxious when we are out and about. especially on down days. Don’t be hard on yourself and stop the high expectations. Learn to live simply and never take life too seriously.

Mandy X



You can’t run away from yourself


running photo


You can’t run away from yourself

Our thinking styles follow us wherever we go. Many people lack self awareness of this and do not realise that they live their lives according to pre-existing beliefs. These beliefs have come from their parents, authority figures in their past as well as past experiences.

When we lack awareness of our inner ‘programming’, we lack the insight to challenge the outdated beliefs that we accept as valid. As a counsellor, part of my work involves identifying faulty assumptions that my clients make about themselves and the world. When we can idenitfy the thoughts and beliefs that hold us back, we can begin to challenge and replace them with thoughts and beliefs that serve us more effectively. Adhering to outdated and faulty thoughts leads to missed opportunities, to self limiting beliefs about our capabilities and can increase stress levels to umanageable levels.

On top of that, incorrect perceptions leads to a tendency to look for confirmation in the outside world of these faulty assumptions which often then encourages self fulfilling prophecies. For example, if someone believes that they are no good with the opposite sex, they will look for examples of when they have been rejected or when they were unsuccessful with the opposite sex. These reinforcers add to the likelihood of unhelpful behaviour, such as withdrawal and isolation. The cycle then continues. Tackling the inner programming is the start of looking at the world differently, changing the whole dynamic of the interaction.

Trying to relocate or starting a new relationship because the last three were a disaster is unlikely to solve the problem if these issues were caused by rigid and outdated thinking. As the title suggests – you can’t run away from yourself -and you can’t run away from your thinking.

When you address your thinking and your core beliefs, the ability to manage any situation becomes possible. It’s often not about fixing things on the outside, but rather a matter of adjusting your inner perceptions of the world around you that will lead you to a more contented, less stressed existence.

Mandy X

Why you must never give up on yourself


optimism photo

Why you must never give up on yourself

Self sabotage is common and I have witnessed many people give up at the first hurdle that comes their way. They flounder when things don’t go according to plan. Don’t be taken in by the idea of overnight success. Modern media shoves unrealistic airbrushed images at us on a daily basis and if you’re not careful it is easy to be taken in by the perfection we see around us. It is not necessarily the most talented that succeed –  it is the most determined. The world is full of talented people will never make it because talent is no substitute for staying power.

Expect the best for yourself. Basic confidence in yourself will see you through where others fall behind. Being blessed with an inbuilt faith in yourself . Is often the magic ingredient that will take you further than others. When you’re optimistic, it is easier to maintain hope even when there are setbacks and frustrations. Optimism carries you further.

Optimism can be learned. What is your attitude? Ask yourself about lessons that you learned from your parents. Were they positive? What core beliefs do you hold?

Complete the following sentences:

I am…

Other people are…

The world is…


Complete the above sentences without thinking too much about the answers. What is the tone of your answers? Optimistic or pessimistic?

Complete the following sentences:

These thoughts would really empower me…

What do you need to believe about the world and about yourself that will power you forward?

Watch those core beliefs! If you want to give the best of yourself and achieve your true potential ensure that your core beliefs are sound and objective as possible. Positive core beliefs are brilliant to but stay away from pessimistic core beliefs. You will be living life with cracked foundations if you choose to believe pessimistic things about the world.

Choose core beliefs that promote empowerment and help you to feel you have mastery over the events in your life-and outlook psychologists call “self efficacy”. Albert Bandura, a Stanford Psychologist puts it like this “People’s beliefs about their abilities have a profound effect on those abilities. People who have a sense of self efficacy bounce back from failures; they approach things in terms of how to handle them rather than worrying about what can go wrong”.

Life is better when you’re an optimist. All about being for closing your eyes to the world around you but it is about knowing that you will manage and find a way through. It can take time to grow into the most polished version of yourself. Franklin D. Roosevelt was one of America’s most popular president yet in his early days he was awkward and  not particularly charming. In 1921 he was crippled with polio but he still went on to become a much loved leader. It is never too late succeed.

Obviously something is too much like hard work this is a message in itself. Having the wisdom to know when to cut back or change direction is also important. That aside, if something means enough to you, you have to keep going. You owe it to yourself. This does not mean you have to put daily pressure on yourself but it means you have goals to work towards.

What to do:

Make a list of the things you truly want. Be sure that these goals for you and not ideas other people want for you.

Make a list of small steps that you can take to start achieving these goals. When things don’t go well draw on faith and hope and know that you will find a way through.

Be realistic-remember that success is very rarely linear. When you mess up get back on track. Learn from the failure but never see yourself as a failure.

Lean on others. Try not isolate yourself others are more willing to have the new realise.

Finally watch yourself fulfilling prophecies. Don’t set yourself up to fail. Your abilities are at the mercy of your beliefs. Neither of fixed!

Where there is a will there is a way. You can choose the pace, just keep going in the right direction and believe that you can and will get there.

Mandy X



Thinking and beliefs

beliefs photo

 Thinking and Beliefs

Do our thoughts accurately reflect reality or do they create our reality? This has long been a question I have pondered on. What is the truth? What we believe and feel in our hearts or the bare face objective reality unfettered by emotions?

If reality and the outside world, what we see, is independent of us then whatever we believe makes no difference to the way the world continues to progress and play out. We might believe that being a vegetarian is a healthy option but the level of vegetarianism will not be affected by this belief. What goes on in the external world and our internal world is separate.

If reality is partially subjective however, what we think and believe can and will make a difference to our quality of life.Your beliefs are partially creating your reality. In fact, we all have slightly different realities of reality. What are you on about I hear you say… let me explain.

You cannot merely look to external reality for truth because your thoughts are creating it. If you believe the world is better off with more vegetarians, your own thoughts contribute to shaping the world in accordance with your beliefs. We look for external events and evidence to support our thinking not the other way around.

When you realise the power of your own thinking it becomes easier to take advantage of your inner powers of perception. In order to use your thoughts to create, you must first believe it’s at least conceivably possible to do so.

If quantum theory is to be believed, then it’s clear that our observations influence reality. Our thoughts affect reality through direct and indirect action. Direct action involves thinking and then following through with a concrete action. On a  indirect level, when we believe something to be true we can promote that event happening – known as a self fulfilling prophecy.

Your thoughts can affect reality through indirect action, whereby your beliefs make you a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you go to work each day, you’re a self-fulfilling prophecy. Your beliefs about reality will be reflected through your actions, often in extremely subtle ways.

You can act upon the world. You can move things around, talk to people, make changes, etc. If you believe that your actions will be ineffective, then you create yourself as a powerless entity. But if you were to change your beliefs about that, you could significantly change the world. What are you telling yourself? Are your thoughts empowering or disempowering?

Understand that beliefs are decisions. They are choices. When you hold a belief, you aren’t merely observing reality — you’re actively creating it. So if you adopt the belief that you will embarrass yourself at the next office party, understand that what you’re doing is choosing to embarrass yourself. You’re setting up the prophecy you wish to fulfill. If your thoughts could not impact reality, then this would be foolish. But if your thoughts can and do impact reality, then it’s just common sense to choose the beliefs that are aligned with what you wish to create. So if you’re overweight and believe you cannot lose weight, you’re actually choosing to be fat. And underlying that belief may be a whole web of other disempowering beliefs — you may need to unravel quite a few of these in order to feel comfortable creating fitness for yourself.

I believe that my thoughts are capable of having a positive impact on reality and I feel a strong sense of responsibility for what I am creating with my thinking. This is how I choose to engineer my life – thinking and action aligned purposefully. I choose to believe that the universe supports me and that there is a way to achieve my goals. I believe that people are inherently good and that I have the power to choose my circumstances in life – how I spend my time and the people I let into my life.

When I choose positive thoughts, I tend to attract this into my life. It may seem simplistic but it certainly helps to have a head full of thinking that promotes a good, happy, peaceful world around me.

Mandy X