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52 DECEMBER 2021 WorldWide Drilling Resource ® RENEW - SUBSCRIBE NOW! The Un-Comfort Zone II by Robert Evans Wilson, Jr. Negative Core Beliefs are Wrecking Your Life Here’s how to turn them into empowering beliefs. In my last article, I wrote about how to control negative self-talk. I noted, “Most likely you did not create the core beliefs that cause your self-talk. Those beliefs were developed in your early youth.” I also noted how traumatic events can create limiting beliefs at any time in life. Limiting and core beliefs are assumptions held deep in our subconscious about ourselves, the world, and other people that auto- matically affect our behavior in positive or negative ways. In this article, I’m going to explore core beliefs and limiting beliefs, and how we can change them. Core Beliefs Originate in Childhood: Our core beliefs, and all of us have them, mostly originate in childhood. According to physician and childhood education innovator, Marie Montessori, during the first six years of life, children have what she calls “The Absorbent Mind”, which is a sponge-like ability to absorb vast amounts of information. This information is soaked up from the child’s environment and is used to create an individual identity within his or her specific culture. Children do this instinctively, nonstop and without discernment. After age six, there is a transition to the reasoning mind of adults. Mental health coach, Douglas Bloch observed, “The information that is presented to us as children comes in directly, we have no filter, it’s like a sponge, we absorb it without questioning or criticism. So if a parent is acting abusively or negatively towards us, we don’t say, ‘Hey, what’s their problem?’ We think it’s our problem.” Because of this power our parents have in creating the situations which lead to the formation of our core beliefs, they can be passed down and will be repeated generation after generation. We can also acquire these beliefs from our extended family such as grandparents, aunts and uncles, or from our friends, teachers, and religious institutions. Core Beliefs are the Roots - Limiting Beliefs are the Branches: I had the opportunity to interview Robyn Ladinsky, a mindset and parenting coach who works with people who want to overcome their limiting and core beliefs. I asked her to share her thoughts on these beliefs, and this is what she told me: “We create limiting beliefs all the time, but core beliefs are formed before the age of seven. Core beliefs are the root of the tree, and limiting beliefs are like the branches of the tree. You create this belief that’s not serving you, and you see every- thing through that lens. So any time something happens, you make it mean something that’s consistent with that belief. It takes a lot of detective work to discover a deeper limiting belief. It’s like peeling away the layers of an onion. “When you don’t heal those limiting beliefs, especially at the subconscious level, you will continue to focus on them, and more evidence of those beliefs will show up. The new evidence will often tend to feel bigger and bigger and bigger because the universe is trying to help you recognize those beliefs that you need to pay attention to. “To change the negative patterns in your life, you must first identify and release the limiting beliefs, and then replace them with new empowering beliefs. Just saying affirmations doesn't work because the limiting belief is still running in your con- scious or subconscious mind.” Core Beliefs Alter Your Perspective: As I have mentioned in this column before, our brains are hardwired to remember things that scare us so we can avoid them in the future. This means a belief formed in childhood, which may have served you then, doesn’t necessarily serve you now. Once you have a core belief, it will cause you to only be able to see things from one perspective - one that agrees with or perpetuates the belief. Problems that might emerge from negative core beliefs include: low self-esteem, feelings of inadequacy, difficulty handling stress, inappropriate jealousy, unwarranted confrontation- al or hostile behavior, bullying, substance abuse, and overeating. If you are noticing some of these problems in your life, the first step is to become aware of your negative core or limiting beliefs. You can do this by noticing when you’re feeling anxious or depressed. Then try to recognize what stimulated the feel- ing. Start looking for habits or patterns in your behavior and what triggers them. Replacement Beliefs Must Be Believable: Once you’ve identified beliefs which are not serving you, you’ll want to replace them. To change your limiting and core beliefs, you must start with new ones that are believable to you, and build toward bigger and better ones. This usually requires evidence that the new belief you want is true and makes the old one false. Start with a level of belief you can accept. For example, you can’t just jump from “I’m not confident” to “I’m very confident.” It must be gradual. Begin with “I’m becoming more confident every day.” Then start recording accomplishments in your jour- nal, as I recommended in my article Imposter Syndrome: When You Feel Like a Fraud , then when the limiting belief arises, you can point out to yourself that it is no longer true, that the new belief is what is actually true. Robert Robert is an innovation/change speaker, author, and consultant. He works with companies that want to be more competitive through innovation and with people who want to think more creatively. Contact him via e-mail to