Over your lifetime you have developed deeply-held core beliefs that guide how you think, act, and relate to the world around you. These core beliefs do not always originate from explicit messages you’ve been taught (though they may), and many times you may not even be aware what these core beliefs are. When these core beliefs about yourself, others, or the world are negative, your life will be less fulfilling than it could be.
What are the effects of negative thinking?
Negative thoughts are stressful. And when your core beliefs are negative, you think a lot of negative thoughts. That means you are chronically stressed, which is unhealthy for your mental, physical, and relationship health.
The more negative core beliefs you have, the more fear and self-doubt you will experience.
And the more scared and uncertain you are, the more comforting your comfort zone will feel—even if your comfort zone isn’t logically something with which you want to be comfortable. For example, someone with a negative core belief that “I’m not worthy of being treated well by others” may remain in a toxic relationship because it fits their belief system. In that way, the toxic relationship feels comfortable because it supports an existing belief system, even though it is obviously anything but comfortable.
If you find yourself thinking negative thoughts, it is a sign that there may be an underlying negative core belief that is causing you to interpret the situation in a painful, pessimistic, or self-critical manner. You will naturally defend your beliefs because they feel true to you, and you have been looking for, and found, much evidence for holding on to that negative core belief. That problem is, you haven’t been looking for evidence to the contrary.
Do you wonder why other people seem able to handle change easier than you do?
Negative thinking focuses on problems rather than solutions. Negative beliefs spawn negative thoughts that trap you in situations you would like to leave. They also make situations that could be good feel as if they are bad.
In comparison, a person who has positive beliefs about their ability to successfully escape an uncomfortable situation is much more likely to be able to do so. This because they have been spending time planning, envisioning a way out, imagining a better future for themselves, and believing in their ability to get there. This creates an upward spiral. It provides the energy for the person to begin taking steps forward and then feeling the benefit of those positive steps, which provides more motivation to keep moving forward.
Do you feel stuck?
Are you stuck in a job, career, or relationship you are afraid to leave? Are there things you want to do but tell yourself you can’t do them even though others with similar resources do them?
People with negative core beliefs often hold beliefs about themselves that feel true for them even while they recognize those beliefs are not true for others. Thoughts like, “I’ll never measure up” are thoughts people routinely have about themselves. However, they would never say that about a friend or family member! They might even hate the thought of that friend or family member ever thinking that way. Yet they will direct those same thoughts towards themselves with great frequency.
Your beliefs become self-fulfilling prophecies.
Those beliefs shape your thoughts, words, and actions. Essentially, you get what you expect. When you work on changing a negative belief, your life will change. The change will create a better future and it can rearrange your past in ways that reduce or eliminate painful memories.
The Benefits of Improving Negative Thinking and Negative Core Beliefs
What would your life feel like if you began seeing the silver lining in the traumas and dramas from your past? Resilience is the ability to keep going when you face adversity. Resilient people aren’t stronger than you. Resilient people think differently. They have healthy self-esteem, self-compassion, and they are optimistic about their ability to overcome obstacles. Every one of those characteristics requires supportive core beliefs.
Each of those perspectives can be learned. Negative beliefs are only self-fulfilling prophecies because you believe them. They aren’t true for people who don’t believe them and when you change them, they will stop being true for you.
Therapy Helps You Change Negative Core Beliefs
Developing self-supporting beliefs and healthier, positive habits of thought is one of the best gifts you can ever give yourself. At Affinity, we help you choose which beliefs to cultivate and help you learn skills that make the process easier for you. Reach out to us today to begin creating the new, improved version of you free from anxious thinking.