How to know your core beliefs and why you need to change them for success‏

Your personal core beliefs can be a wonderful or a horrendous thing to have in your life, as they steer you into a direction in life. By browsing a website where you want to find out more about becoming a better entrepreneur or reaching your potential to maximise your business, you have already taken a great step towards addressing the negative beliefs that are holding you back.  In my previous article I spoke about knowing yourself and identifying your negative beliefs. In this particular article I will take you on a journey to start making essential change to your belief system.

What are beliefs?

Beliefs (some refer to it as values) are the set of “rules” that make you the person you are. It determines your actions, reactions, your thought patterns, your self-value and identity. Simply put, core beliefs are the ideas you think are true about yourself, others and life.  Thought leaders and psychological studies reveal that the largest part of our core beliefs system are constructed during childhood (growing up with the guidance of your parents) OR formed by significant and repetitive experiences (good or bad) happening at any time in life. Have you ever encountered somebody who is completely set against something you think is a good idea or might even for the own benefit, but there is no clear reason why? It might just be a negative core belief!

Core beliefs are abstract and subjective, yet an essential part of each person’s unique identity. Since it is each individual’s “own truth” it becomes the driving factor in everything they do. It is also something strong enough to keep them believing in certain facts of life even though facts and science proves otherwise. Did you know that there are still millions of people who insists the world is flat?

This is a perfect example that limiting core beliefs are many times caused by a lack of knowledge, assumption or outside influence. Those individuals believing the world is flat either do not know the scientific facts (or refuse to believe them), assume it is flat since the horizon they see is flat OR was told so by their parents, teachers etc.

How to identify your core beliefs

How to know your core beliefs and why you need to change them for success

There is no doubt that living with limiting beliefs can force you to live a sub-par life that is far away from your true potential – therefore we need to examine or entire belief system to find the negative elements that needs to be addressed. Since our beliefs are what we think is the truth, our limiting core beliefs usually seem so real that most people find them very hard to identify.

I am going to give you an extremely simple to tool to get started: Using the words “because” and “but”. How many times do we hear these words in daily conversations! These simple terms can be used in a positive or negative sense to identify our core beliefs. For this exercise, I need you to have a notepad and pencil ready.

  1. Write down:
  • the 5 things you enjoy most in life or are most proud of. For instance, “I like to see my family happy” or “I am proud of my career”.
  • the 5 things you dislike most or are the least proud of in similar fashion.

Now add the word “because” after each sentence and complete the reasons.

  1. Continue the exercise by writing down:
  • 5 bold statements you are striving towards, for instance, “I want to be a millionaire in 5 years” or “I want to grow my business internationally”.
  • 5 limiting statements you are experiencing right now, i.e. “I am struggling to make ends meet” or “I am not fully satisfied with my job”/

Now add the word “but” after each sentence and complete the statement.

These 20 sentences can tell you a lot about your core beliefs. Some might reveal core beliefs right away. Some might only reveal a symptom to the root cause, yet you will have a direction to works towards.

In your own time, continue with this list with as much sentences you feel necessary. Be honest with yourself about things you like, dislike, feel you can or cannot do and things your fear.

You can also become more aware of yourself in daily life. When encountering a difficult challenge at work, you can ask yourself: “I do not feel I can do this, because …” No matter the situation, if it requires an action or emotion, you can ask yourself why.

Once you start knowing what your core beliefs are, you can list them in importance. If you are an individual who strongly values being fair in the workplace, or strongly feel you are not treated fairly in the workplace, it might be an indiciation that fairness and equality is one of your main core beliefs.

It is important to know that knowing your core beliefs is not a process that can happen in a single day. You have to look deep into yourself and ask difficult questions because knowing yourself is the first major step towards positive change.

Changing that which is holding you back

How to know your core beliefs and why you need to change them for success

Knowing your core beliefs is the first step towards positive change. By acknowledging to yourself the core beliefs that you want change is the next and most important step.

Write down the limiting core beliefs you have identified. Add the words “I want to change that” in front of your core belief and the word “because” after it and finish the sentence. Some examples:

  • I want to change that I am afraid of speaking in front of a group of people, because public speaking is essential to my type of business and reaching more success.
  • I want to change that I am scared of new technology and the internet, because I can increase my exposure and revenue by putting my business online.

Recognising the benefits of changing your limiting core beliefs will be a strong motivation to challenge what is holding you back and conquer it.

By recognising the core beliefs you want to change and knowing the motivation why you want to change it, you are unknowingly adapting your point of view. This means that over time you will simply stop believing you current limiting core beliefs and replace them with better ones.

Create opportunities to expose yourself to those things that your limiting core beliefs are against. If you are afraid of failure and it keeps you executing certain tasks, then willingly push yourself to do the task and celebrate when you succeed. If you fail, notice that nothing bad happened and try again. Exercise makes an immense difference and doing it repeatedly is sometimes necessary to imprint your positive core values in your thought patterns.

Practicing that which propels you forward

How to know your core beliefs and why you need to change them for success

You can create a much better and positive outlook on life by changing your limiting core beliefs. The world can be your proverbial oyster. Yet – since core beliefs are the ideas you think are true about yourself, others and life – we have to continuously look into ourselves that new limiting beliefs do not grow inside of us. How:

  • Eliminate assumptions: If someone did not greet you properly in a shopping centre before walking past, it does not mean they do not like you. They might be in a rush to get somewhere. Unless you know something for sure, it might not be what you think.
  • Gain proper knowledge about a situation or challenge: If you are faced with a difficult task at work and you feel you cannot complete the task, you can ask help (other staff or software helpdesk) or take the time to find a solution (Google is your best friend). Make effort to solve a situation before saying “I can’t” and you will find the amount of times you say that will significantly decrease.
  • Be careful of outside influence: We live in a society which easily absorbs the opinions and beliefs of others without question. Your responsibility towards yourself is to ask questions before accepting it into your belief system.

By keeping your healthy set of core beliefs in check and adapting them as you grow in life, personally and professionally, you will live a more positive life without unnecessary limits holding you back.

The best way to keep your core beliefs alive and kicking is to practice them in everyday situations and ensuring that you investigate every limiting belief with a question in order to correct it.