Changing Core Beliefs

My therapist has been trying for years to help me change my core beliefs about myself-- the "I'm bad, I'm a horrible person, I'm worthless" thoughts that strangle me every day. We have been working really hard on that the past few weeks. Its hard to get everyone inside on the same page, coming up with beliefs that we can all live with. Finally, yesterday afternoon, after some tough love from our T and a LOT of homework, we came up with some new beliefs that we can actually work on and may actually be true:

I am not stupid, I am smart
I am not inherently bad, sometimes I make poor decisions
Just because I am not the thinnest person in the world doesn't mean I'm the fattest
I am not crazy....?Hm..... (there was nothing written after that)
Maybe some people want to be around me some of the time
I can learn how to make friends
If I think and use my resources, I can handle anything that comes my way.
I can do a lot of things that other people can't (like teaching special ed kids)
I'm learning how to be mindful of what is going on NOW so I don't have to live in the past
I get to make my OWN choices now because I'm an adult
When we work together inside we accomplish a lot more
Everyone inside has an important role to play
Everyone inside is entitled to respect when they are appropriate (acting)
Everyone inside has the right to be heard
Everyone inside is important no matter what their age or size
Everyone inside is capable of working with others
Everyone is here for a reason
[several of those were REAL hard to get everyone to agree on, but eventually, everyone even Missy agreed]

This morning, I was getting ready for work, and instead of thinking the usual "I am so bad and worthless", I found myself thinking, "I'm not bad, sometimes I just make bad decisions" and it was so strange... I didn't feel so bad about myself. Then later I talked to someone on the phone, but they had to get going. And I didn't take it personally for a change. I just thought to myself, "They just have other things to do" instead of thinking that it had something to do with me (like I am so worthless that they didn't want to talk to me.) So then I went back to what I was already doing.
Maybe this stuff actually works.

Posted by pilgrim | Filed under:


You're right they do work. It's just a matter of repeating to yourself the positive things instead of the negative. Ever since we learned about core beliefs (or shadow beliefs?) from good ol' Dr. Phil, I've been working on changing mine too. It's hard, but you can do it. I'm definitely at least a little different than I was a few years ago. I fight back more because I realize not everything is my fault. It something bothers me, I speak up (most of the time) because I know I don't deserve to be walked on. Just things like that.

Hope you're doing okay.
Your Sis

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