Research Paper By Tina Jarrous
(Relationship Coach, LEBANON)
Before embarking on my coaching journey, not once did I give the word Belief much thought. I never connected the word Belief to everything this word carries from past experiences, life baggage, upbringing, etc.
Through coaching, it started to become more apparent and that’s when I became intrigued to learn more about the world of Beliefs.
So what are Beliefs?
Most people think of beliefs as intellectual thoughts or commitments to certain ideas (I believe in God.) They are much more fundamental. They are the building blocks of experience itself. They are at the core of how we see the world. Lion Goodman defines it as “The alphabet we use to construct the language of our experience.”
Each belief was created for a very good reason at the time. Each belief creates an experience, a sensation, a viewpoint, and a limitation. Once created, this belief continues to do its job until it’s consciously dis-created. Otherwise, we will continue to carry those old beliefs from childhood onto adulthood and they will continue to do their initial job even if they no longer serve us anymore.
We begin to accumulate beliefs in the womb. Once we’re born, we learn from our parents: This is right and acceptable. That is wrong and unacceptable. This behavior gets your attention and love. That behavior leads to abandonment and terror. We learn to act by our accumulated beliefs. Our personality and behavior become shaped by those beliefs. Others indoctrinate us further with their beliefs: our siblings, relatives, friends, and teachers. More beliefs get added, clouding our clear perception, and guiding more of our behaviors in particular directions.
We rarely question the beliefs we accumulate. They seem to work, so why bother? If something is not working, we form another belief about ourselves or others.
Once we enter school, our peers, teachers, the media, and culture add other beliefs. Ultimately, our vision narrows. We are blinded by our belief structures. You may know people whose views are so fixed that they cannot see what their beliefs prevent them from seeing. Religious and political intolerance is made of this. Every kind of fundamentalist sees evidence and proof that their beliefs are true. This is as true of scientists, politicians, and businessmen as it is of hyper-religious people.
Types of Beliefs
Positive: They make us feel good. Ex: I am beautiful – That’s a good core belief!
Negative or Disempowering: Produce negative feelings of shame, guilt, self-criticism, etc Ex: I’m not worthy of Love
Empowering: Boosting us to do and to have. Ex: I can create and commit.
Limiting: Create limitation – limitation from doing and having. Ex: I’ll never learn to ski. I’ll never earn more than $1,000 a month.
Many negative and disempowering beliefs are quite common and held by many people. Most of us have one or another version of some of these beliefs.
- There’s something wrong with me.
- I’m not good enough.
- I don’t belong.
- Nobody loves me.
- I’ll never have what I want
- I am powerless.
- I need to be in control.
Principles of Core Beliefs
When we are dealing with ‘issues’ in our life, there are always beliefs underneath the core of any issue, problem, or complaint. Core beliefs are underneath whatever a client reports as their problem or issue – and that is actually what is generating the problem or issue. When you clear a core belief, there is a fundamental shift in the orientation and perspective of the psyche. For example, a person may shift from a position of victim to a position of Source.
Many of our core beliefs were indoctrinated into us by our parents, siblings, caretakers, teachers, friends, priests, and others with power or authority. Because we are so vulnerable and weak as youngsters, anyone with power over us can dominate our minds and implant beliefs into us. This can occur easily, especially when we’re very young, or when physical, emotional, or mental trauma occurs. Traumas can be used as an opening for anyone to indoctrinate you.
We take these beliefs on willingly, because of two primary reasons. The first is that we want and need to survive, and if we align with our parents’ beliefs, they’re less likely to throw us out the window. Our survival depends on it. That is VERY core to the entire process of forming our identity – who we believe we are.
The second reason is that we want to belong, and be liked – it is our second most powerful drive. When you take on the beliefs of a family or group, you belong to the group. And if you are liked, you have less of a chance of being. Children can handle one, or a few, bad experiences, but if bad or uncomfortable experiences happen over and over, the child will attempt to deal with the pain and suffering by coming to a conclusion, or explanation, for what’s happening.
So why get to core beliefs?
There are many reasons to focus on core beliefs, rather than surface beliefs. Surface beliefs are those beliefs a person knows they have. They include conscious desires (I want a new car.) and resistance (I can’t afford one.).
If they are aware of the belief they have, such as “I feel guilty about buying a new car,” that belief is at the surface of consciousness. You can work with it. But what’s beneath that belief? What’s the real basis for the underlying feeling of unworthiness (I don’t deserve a new car.) That core belief is underneath the surface, floating in the background, a silent killer of enthusiasm and creativity.
When you seek out and work with core beliefs, you can go further and deeper faster with your clients. They experience bigger, more dramatic results from their work with you. When you help your clients transform their core beliefs, your work will produce powerful results.
What stands in most people’s way of achieving their goals, are their core beliefs. When you help your clients clear their beliefs, they have less resistance and can more easily create what they want. What appeared to be mountainous barriers and blocks meltdown and become molehills to clamber over.
Methods for finding Core Beliefs through coaching
1) Asking Top-level questions. The answers to these might be core beliefs, or they might lead you to them. Such as:
a- What beliefs are you aware of?
b- What do you want to change and why?
c- What do you want to create that you’re unable to?
2) What’s Underneath That?
Periodically ask the question: What’s the belief underneath that belief? Directing their attention in this way can allow a deeper belief to emerge naturally. If you ask this question consistently, you’ll eventually get to the Core Belief.
3) Note Beliefs beneath Emotions: When a person presents an emotion, explore the beliefs that may be creating the emotion they’ve reported:
a- Fear: I can’t handle what’s coming. I’m not safe.
b- Anxiety: I don’t know what’s about to happen, it might be bad.
c- Hatred: He/She/It violated me and I’ll never forgive them, and I must destroy them.
d- Anger: Anger is a natural response to feeling out-of-control, or being controlled. The belief is, “I’m out of control,” or “You’re trying to control me.”
4) Stating a positive statement:
a- Have the client make a positive statement, out loud – one that is aligned with their goal or dream (how they want their life to be). This is the positive belief they want to have. For example, “I am successful.” Tell them to listen internally to whatever comes up in response. Have them report it to you, and write it down. (e.g., “There’s no way you’ll ever be successful.” “I can’t be successful.” “I’ll never be as successful as Daddy.” “I’m going to fail.” “I am a failure.”)
b- Have them say the positive belief, out loud, again, and again and listen to whatever belief, or feeling comes up in response. Write down every response.
c- Go over the list with them, and find out which ones are the real culprit.
Clearing limiting beliefs
Once you discover your client’s core beliefs, there are many methods of belief-change you can employ. For example, Byron Katie’s The Work, Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), Neuro-linguistic Programming (NLP), or the ICF-accredited Clear Beliefs Method.
This is the real test of any belief-change method: Did the old belief disappear completely, and not return? Did it produce a significant change in perception, feelings, and behavior? The best methodologies remove the belief completely from all aspects of the self (physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, and psychological) while impacting the conscious, subconscious, and superconscious mind (higher self). It could also reach into the distant past to release inherited family, cultural, societal, and even karmic beliefs.
When your client changes their beliefs, their perspective changes, and so does their world.
If they change their beliefs, their filter to the outside world will change and their reality will change with it; not the other way around. They first need to be happy before their reality can change. Once they realize this they have the power to change anything.