What to Do with Your Core Beliefs

How to deal with your Core Beliefs Last week I wrote about how to identify your core belief, the belief that is responsible for over 90% of your decisions.  

After I posted the blog, I had a meeting with a CEO of a mid-sized business where we discussed core beliefs.  He asked me what questions he should be asking himself in order to discover his core beliefs.  

The questions are:

  • What were the longings and desires you had growing up in your home?
  • What were the underlying messages of the traumas you faced, the times when you were rocked?
  • How did you change as a result of those traumas?
  • What beliefs did your family share?  (For example, "You have to be perfect in order to be loved.")

Now, let me be clear: you are probably going to have to think through these questions for a long while in order to identify your core beliefs.   As I wrote in the last post, look for underlying themes in your answers to the questions above.  You may have some initial hunches and guesses, but they are probably not the complete core belief.

You will know that you have found the core belief  because:

  1. You will see that 90% of your decisions are filtered through it.
  2. You will sense that you understand yourself much better than you did.
  3. You will want to replace it with a healthier belief (Core beliefs can be twisted or have a twist component to them.  For example, a core belief could be, “I must be perfect to be loved,” or, “If I appear vulnerable, I will be pounced on.”)

Once you have identified the core belief, you might notice a significant change right away.  Then, you may see that even though it has helped you in some ways, the cost was too high.  So you will want to modify it.  

It could be that the core belief is so unhelpful that you will have to dismantle the belief and replace it with a new one.

For example, if the core belief driving your business decisions is, “I must be perfect to be loved,” you can dismantle the belief by:

  • List all the ways in which that belief is not true.

Make a huge list of reasons why this belief is not true, and also list the ways in which you have seen it is not true.  For example:

  • When I did XYZ facilitation and it bombed, I did not lose my job, or worse, I was not shunned by my colleagues. Instead, my boss showed me love by helping me improve my facilitation skills.
  • myself have loved things that are not perfect, like my dog.
  • I’ve seen lots of parents’ hearts go out to their children when they are struggling and even failing, because they love them.
  • (Keep pushing for a super long list. The more evidence you can put on this list, the more easily you will you will dispel the false belief that you must qualify for love by being perfect.)
  • Think through the details as to how, in this case, love is given.

The more you think through how love was given, you will see a pattern.  Love never comes to the perfect.  It always comes to those who are flawed.

  • Think through what you will gain if this belief no longer dominates your life.

Now make a huge list of the benefits that come from dispelling the belief.

If I no longer believed that “I have to be perfect in order to be loved” I would:

  • Feel the pressure lift off of me.
  • Identify myself by how others view me.
  • Not make business decisions based on what would get me love, as if I could “buy” love, but instead, base them on what is best for the occasion.
  • Operate in a confident manner at work.
  • (Keep pushing for a super long list... The more evidence you can put on this listthe more easily you will you will dispel the false belief that you must qualify for love by being perfect.)

Other beliefs get dispelled in similar ways. 

I want to emphasize that dispelling something that is so core to your being will take time.  But you are no stranger to work, and the benefits will be huge.  You will see yourself repent of many sins that have trapped you.

When you replace your core belief, you will see yourself accomplishing more in less time, with less effort. 

Chew On This:

  • How will you prioritize discovering your core belief?

Ryan C. Bailey is an Executive Coach who helps business leaders develop in-demand high performing teams.

*This blog is an amalgamation of a few different clients.  No one single client is being singled out.