Someone cuts you off while driving on the highway. You get mad. Why? Because you received some message in your mind that reinforces a negative thought you hold about yourself. Every SINGLE individual (at least all the hundreds I’ve encountered) have a NASTY belief about themselves. Some are aware of it. Some are not. ALL react based on this belief.
We all wear this belief like a pair of glasses which the lens (beliefs) can filter through our experiences based on whether they confirm or deny our belief. It takes a lot of effort to accept the experiences that deny our belief.
Take for instance, if you believe you are dumb. All you remember and all you pay attention to daily is the experiences that confirm it. It will not matter if you got accepted into the honors society or that you are excelling at your current job.
You will focus on the time a kid down the street used to call you a stupid or the time your boss at your first job rejected an idea you had.
Every human being has a belief or two like this. And sometimes you may be able to identify another’s belief and show them compassion. However, rarely is that understanding and compassion directed towards yourself.
Here are a few examples of common beliefs one might hold about themselves:
Defectiveness: the belief that one is inferior or inherently flawed in some manner. Often a person with this belief about themselves will detach from close relationships for fear of others finding out that they are inherently bad.
- I am not good enough
- I am worthless
- I am a bad person
- There is something wrong with me
- I can’t get anything
Unlovable: the belief that one is unable to be loved by others. They assume that they don’t belong or question whether they deserve to be loved. Often a person with this belief may withdraw from relationships or maintain unhealthy or superficial relationships.
- I don’t matter
- I’m not lovable
- I don’t fit in anywhere
- Nobody wants me
- I’m unlikable
- I am bound to be rejected
Abandonment: the belief that everyone will leave them eventually. Often a person with this belief will test limits with loved ones to see if they will stay. At times, they will seek constant reassurance that the individuals they care about will not leave them.
- If I assert myself, people will leave me
- Everyone I love/like leaves me
- I am bound to be rejected/abandoned/alone.
Helplessness/Powerless: the belief that one lack control and can’t handle anything in their life effectively or independently. Often a person with this belief will struggle with making changes. They will seek out guidance from others regarding every aspect or decision in their lives. These individuals may be seen by others as “playing the victim card.”
- I am helpless/powerless
- I am weak
- I am vulnerable
- I can’t handle anything
- I can’t change
- If I experience emotions, I will lose control
- I’m needy
- I’m trapped
- This is just who I am
Entitlement: this is a belief in which a person believes that they are better than others. That they automatically deserve everything they want in life or in relationships.
- I deserve a lot of attention and praise
- I am superior
- I don’t have to be bound by the rules that apply to other people
- I can do no wrong, it is everyone else who is at fault
- Other people should satisfy my needs
- If people don’t respect me, I can’t stand it.
Self-sacrifice: this belief is rooted in the person putting others needs before their own as they do not believe their needs are important and/or won’t be met. These individuals may be focused on making sure their friends and family are always happy even if it means they do not get their own needs met. They may even have trouble identifying their own needs in a relationship.
- It is not okay to ask for help
- My needs won’t get met so why should I even bother
- My needs aren’t important
- When I see someone else in need, I must help them
- I must make people happy.
- I’m only worthwhile if I help others.
I want you to know that YOU are AMAZING, INTELLIGENT, STRONG, WORTHY, IMPORTANT, and so much more!
You ARE NOT those mean beliefs you hold about yourself. Those are lies. And they don’t have to be limiting you any longer.