Some people can look at the world and themselves through rose colored glasses. They can see the best in everything, even when life gets hard. Others see the world through lens of their own in ways that put a gloomy view on everything they see. What if you could change your lenses and see the world in a new way? The psychological term for these lenses is core beliefs. They are hidden beliefs we have about ourselves, others and the world around us. Having negative core beliefs may contribute to depression or anxiety, especially if you view yourself as negative and are wary or afraid of the world itself. These core beliefs can make it difficult to cultivate self-esteem, trust other people or feel safe in your environment. So when it really comes down to it, what do you think of yourself. Take a blank piece of paper and write the words "I AM ________" and make a list of as many words as you can without spending too much thought on it. This will help you identify negative core beliefs. As a therapist, I hear a lot of core beliefs in my conversation with clients and the one I hear the most is "I am unloveable" or "they wouldn't love me if they knew what I have done". This core belief erodes self-esteem, increases shame and guarantees future secrets. This core belief can change when someone loves you anyway, despite the things you may have done and despite the negative things you think about yourself. Most people have a combination of positive and negative core beliefs. One of the best ways to challenge negative core beliefs is to ask yourself if you have evidence for your beliefs or are they based on feelings. Remember, feelings are important parts of your inner experience but feelings are not facts.
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