1. What are core beliefs?
2. Where do core beliefs come from?
3. Is it difficult to change core beliefs?
4. How to change core beliefs.
What are core beliefs?
Core beliefs are the way we see ourselves, God and the world/people. At first, this may seem fairly insignificant, but our core beliefs actually inform and guide how we do life. Our view of our self, God and others is influenced by life experiences.
Our perception is our reality. Typically we don’t challenge our beliefs. Instead, we just see our core beliefs as facts. Core beliefs can be accurate or false. How do we know if these beliefs are accurate or false? As Christians, Scripture is our plumb line for Truth and where we go to determine accuracy of core beliefs. In other words, are your beliefs lining up with Scripture?
Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. -Proverbs 4:23
Our core beliefs kick off a sequence in our lives. Check out the image below…
See how what we believe leads to thoughts? Those thoughts support the belief. If our core belief is false, it leads to negative thoughts. Additionally, those thoughts create emotion and then we act on the emotion.
Starting at the top- if our core belief is false (not aligning with Scripture), then there is a negative domino effect. We can’t have false beliefs and experience lovely thoughts and emotions. It doesn’t work that way.
For instance if I have a false core belief that I must be perfect- I will believe anything I do, that falls short of perfection is a fail. That false core belief will lead to negative thought patterns. Such as, all or nothing thinking – everything I do is either a complete fail or a complete success. In other words, there is no middle ground. I won’t allow any grace or self compassion into my life. Then, the emotions of anxiety, depression or overwhelm come in. Finally, I begin to procrastinate (that is the action/behavior) to avoid the negative emotions. See how core beliefs impacts life in a powerful way?
Now imagine my core belief is accurate. I believe I am imperfect and understand my need for grace. Now if my performance is less than perfect, I feel fine and continue to try hard things all the while, grasping onto grace.
What are core beliefs about self?
See “Biblical Affirmations” for more about your identity in Christ and a free printable worksheet.
Where do core beliefs come from?
Let’s face it- our experiences have a huge impact on our life. As children, we are soaking up our surroundings and trying to create patterns and fill in the gaps of missing information. Doing so means we make a lot of assumptions and attach a lot of meaning to events that have happened in our life. Those assumptions lead to false beliefs. Not only does our childhood shape our core beliefs, so do life events, trauma, and anything else that is apart of our lives. The world around us constantly shapes us. This is why time in God’s Word is Paramount – so we are shaped by Truth and aligning core beliefs with Truth from God’s Word.
Is it difficult to change core beliefs?
While it is challenging, it is sooo worth the effort. Shifting from false core beliefs to truth changes our thoughts emotions and actions, for the better!
So many people they can’t change the way they think. That is false! God’s Word says otherwise. We can do all things through Christ who gives us strength. God equips and empowers us to do that which He calls us to do. This includes trusting His Word over our own and taking thoughts captive.
How to change core beliefs that are false…
1. First, identify false beliefs. Download the negative thoughts work sheet to identify any false core beliefs. Answer the question- what are you believing...is it true or false?
2. Once you identify false beliefs, compare it with truth! If you are unsure, seek godly counsel to help you find the answers. Get this download for more information on what God‘s Word says about you.
Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. John 17:17
3. It’s time to make a choice. If your core beliefs are contradicting Scripture, choose which you will believe. Will you believe your word or God’s Word?
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; Proverbs 3:5
4. What are you thinking as a result of the false core belief? Write the thoughts down – word for word. Being specific is really helpful. We can take those thoughts captive.
We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:5
5. Do a new thing. It’s time to respond to Truth, rather than live according to false beliefs. This requires change- creating new patterns for a living.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he had is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! 2 Corinthians 5:17
Any false beliefs in our lives are creating chaos. In fact, inaccuracy leads to negative thoughts and emotions. Where do your beliefs about yourself, the world and God come from? How did they get started? It’s time to change our beliefs and be sanctified by truth (John 17:17) because the truth sets us free (John 8:32)!
In order to change false beliefs, first identify the false/negative beliefs. Then compare those beliefs with Scripture. Make a choice to believe God’s Word over your own. Take those thoughts captive and begin doing a new thing!