When we are little, we have a very blurred line between need and want. As part of our attachment system, and the inherent knowledge that we can’t survive without our caregivers, we are quite egocentric as children. As our rational brain develops, we begin to think of ourselves outside of others and by adulthood, have a much clearer delineation between what we need and what we want (or at least we hope so!)
As a result of our egocentricity, we internalize everything as children. This includes messages that get repeated to us, both spoken and unspoken; resulting in core beliefs that can often define who we are. If for example, the message we consistently received is “you can do this; try your best,” we learn with time that we have the power within us to achieve our goals; a good core belief to have. If, however, the message we have received is “nothing you do is good enough,” that also follows us as we navigate through life.
When we are children, we are powerless to change core beliefs; they become an ingrained part of our self-identity and as a result feel very real. Once we bridge over into adulthood, we often “carry the torch,” unbeknownst to us that we have the ability to influence and change our negative core beliefs. Our rational brain certainly has the capacity to begin to question how we identify ourselves, but very often, we lean into what we feel to be true, creating a self-fulfilling prophesy of sorts.
The good news is that it doesn’t have to be this way; forever imprisoned by our negative core beliefs. Tomorrow’s post will address how to begin the process of challenging those very messages that affect the decisions we make in life.