How happy are you?
Do you feel optimistic and positive on most days or…
Are you disappointed and discouraged?
Overwhelmed and under-appreciated?
With a never-ending to-do list?
Exhausted and wondering if things will ever get any better?
If this describes you . . . it may be time to ask yourself some important questions to understand how your core beliefs are influencing you.
Because I’ve been wondering lately…
I know what I believe influences every part of my life, so if I’m struggling in some area of life … what if it’s the result of a faulty core belief.
Every decision you and I make … how we act, how we treat people, how we spend our time and our money; every choice is based on our core beliefs.
To put it simply…
Your core beliefs and mine are based on a personal set of perceived truths about life.
Truths that are developed over the expanse of our lives and based on the influence of people, our past experiences, education, entertainment, and the thought tapes we play on repeat in our heads.
When we’re struggling with unhappiness and we’re ready for a change it’s time for us to know our core beliefs.
But beyond knowing our core beliefs, we need to recognize if those beliefs are true or if they are some distortion of the truth.
Some distorted beliefs people think are true:
- My spouse’s happiness is my responsibility.
- My child’s happiness is my responsibility.
- My unhappiness is someone else’s fault.
- My past defines me and determines my future.
- My worth is based on my accomplishments.
- If people knew the real me, they wouldn’t like me.
- There’s no such thing as absolute truth.
- Everything is relative or subjective.
- God’s love for me is based on my performance.
Can you think of any distorted beliefs to add to the list?
It shouldn’t surprise us that some of our beliefs are distorted, we develop them in common ways experienced by everyone.
Some of the ways distortions/lies become a core belief.
- They are taught by well-meaning parents, teachers, and mentors who have accepted a flawed set of core beliefs.
- They are developed as an act of rebellion toward authority.
- They are the result of one or more traumatic experiences.
- They come from books, music, media, and entertainment.
- They are instilled through peer influence.
Once something, even a distorted untruth becomes a core belief, it will influence every thought and decision.
And most of the time we don’t even realize how much!
The bottom line…
Our core beliefs are deeply planted and full of emotional baggage.
Following half-dozen bad dates, Sheila has decided that guys are jerks. With that as a core belief, the next guy won’t have to make many mistakes to affirm what she already “knows” to be true about men.
Kara has been trying to lose weight for as long as she can remember. Each time she binges … it confirms her belief that she’s weak and unable to change.
Jill comes from a long line of accomplished lawyers and doctors. She is confident people with graduate degrees are more important and highly valued than those without.
John grew up with parents who constantly stressed that the only failure is giving up. He believes quitting anything is a sign of weakness. But now he’s exhausted and stressed from trying to do it all.
Suzie has had a couple of friends betray her and share things she told them in confidence. She’s convinced you just can’t really trust anyone.
Collin lied to get out a difficult situation. He knows several friends who do the same. He believes it’s something you just have to do sometimes to get by in life.
It’s funny how it is easier to identify these things as distortions when they’re about someone else but the truth is we all have some flawed core beliefs that get in the way of our happiness.
And I’m ready to identify them and I’m more than ready to be done with them. So, I came up with some questions that will help me identify my core beliefs.
If you’re ready to be done with your flawed beliefs, you may want to join me.
Questions that will Help You Know Your Core Beliefs
1. What do you believe about yourself?
Finish the sentence – I am _______________.
List the messages that flood your thoughts each day. i.e. I am beautiful, fat, tall, skinny, smart, talented, foolish, blessed, valued, loved, successful, too emotional, etc.
2. What do you believe about others?
Finish the following sentences – Most people are _____________? Most men are _____________? Most women are ___________? Most children are ____________?
My spouse is _____________? My child is _____________?
List things that relate to . . . appearance, success, finances, personality, blessings, etc.
List any generalizations you believe about . . . race, background, religion, sex, age, etc.
List attributes you believe about people in general . . . honesty, helpfulness, kindness, judgmentalism, laziness, hard-working, mean, etc.
3. What do you believe about the world/life?
Finish the sentence – The world is ____________?
List things like . . . safe, full of opportunity, getting better, doomed, good, painful, depressing, etc.
What do you believe about the future?
Finish the sentence – I believe the future is ______________.
Are you mostly optimistic or well, not so much?
What do you believe about faith?
Finish these sentences – God is ____________. Jesus is _____________. The Bible is ____________.
List as many things as come to mind.
And finally, ask yourself…
Do I use words like everyone and no-one? Always and never?
Do I see variety, beauty, and love or ugliness and hate?
Do I see people as individuals or do I label them by gender, skin color, education, or lifestyle?
Okay, now it’s time to analyze your answers.
Are most of your answers positive or negative?
If you’re not sure, grab a small notebook and keep track of your thoughts throughout the day … then ask yourself if they were mostly hopeful or hopeless?
If you’re mostly discouraged, don’t give up. There’s good news!
It is possible to change your core beliefs.
Start by asking yourself…
Are my core beliefs helping me reach my goals or are they holding me back?
Are my core beliefs true 100% of the time?
Are they true for everyone 100% of the time?
You may have to go through the process a few times but that’s okay, it’s worth it when you’re ready to make a positive change in your life.
And now the most important question of all.
Do my core beliefs line up with the truths of God’s Word?
How can I know for sure? I have to ask, seek, knock.
“Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.Matthew 7:7–8
I have to get into the Word to know God’s truth and ask Him to help me base my core beliefs on the lasting truth of His promises.
David wrote some beautiful prayers that ask God for His help to align our core beliefs with His will.
O Lord, I give my life to you.Psalm 25:1–2a, 4–5, Psalm 86:11–12, Psalm 119:17–18
I trust in you, my God!
Show me the right path, O Lord;
point out the road for me to follow.
Lead me by your truth and teach me,
for you are the God who saves me.
All day long I put my hope in you.
Teach me your ways, O Lord,
that I may live according to your truth.
Grant me purity of heart,
so that I may honor you.
With all my heart I will praise you, O Lord my God.
I will give glory to your name forever,
for your love for me is very great.
Be good to your servant,
that I may live and obey your word.
Open my eyes to see
the wonderful truths in your instructions.
Lord, Make Your truth the foundation of my core beliefs.
By Your grace through the power of Your Spirit that I might live for Your glory. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
I’ve made a printable version of Core Belief Questions. Just
click on the graphic below to make your copy…
Here are some of my favorite Scripture verses that have encouraged me on my journey to know my core beliefs…
Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in all you do, and He will show you which path to take.Proverbs 3:5–6
“I tell you the truth, those who listen to my message and believe in God who sent me have eternal life. They will never be condemned for their sins, but they have already passed from death into life.John 5:24
The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit. You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God.Psalm 51:17
Jesus told her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying.John 11:25
The Father Himself loves you dearly because you love me and believe that I came from God.John 16:27
Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and he will give you everything you need.Luke 12:31
Jesus replied, “The most important commandment is this: ‘Listen, O Israel! The Lord our God is the one and only Lord. And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’ The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.”Mark 12:29–31
We love each other because He loved us first.1 John 4:19
So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.1 Corinthians 10:31
Friend, the enemy’s lies are everywhere and if you and I want our core beliefs to be grounded on God’s truth … we need to know His truth.
These verses are some of the ones I turn to when I need to remember who I am because of whose I am.
What verses help you remember your core beliefs?
Thank you so much for joining me today.
And a thank you to BibleGateway.com for sources.
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