What are core beliefs?

Core beliefs are our very strongly held assumptions about the world, about reality, and even about ourselves.

They are very strongly inscribed in our thinking and significantly shape our reality and behaviors.

In fact, Core beliefs are the most important things in our lives. All our decisions, all our actions, and even all our thoughts are directly influenced by our core beliefs.

The only problem here is that most people confuse their core beliefs for the truth which they precisely aren’t. Core beliefs are just another set of beliefs that could be right or wrong.

Based on childhood assessments, they are often untrue. They are also self-perpetuating. And once we start believing in them strongly, we often look for evidence and things that would make them stronger, and they repel anything that might challenge them.

But the good news is that it is possible to change them.

Understanding Negative core beliefs?

Judith Beck (Beck, J.S, 2005 & 2011) proposes there are three main categories of negative core beliefs about the self:

  • helplessness,
  • unlovability, and
  • worthlessness.

The beliefs that fall into the helplessness category are related to personal incompetence, vulnerability, and inferiority. Unlovability-related core beliefs include the fear that we are not likable and incapable of intimacy, while worthlessness-themed core beliefs include the belief that we are insignificant and a burden to others.

If we have negative views of others, we may think of them as untrustworthy, as wishing to hurt us, or as demeaning, uncaring, or manipulative. All of these beliefs may make us very anxious to avoid rejection and overly keen to seek validation from others. (Osmo et al. 2018)

If our core beliefs are positive and helpful, we need to take no further action. If they are not, we must seek to transform them, for limiting core beliefs are the root causes of low self-esteem. They shape how we treat ourselves, others, and even how others may treat us. They set the rules by which we live and the tone of our self-talk.

When our experiences do not align with our core beliefs, our minds – always set on avoiding cognitive dissonance will twist in different ways to make sure that we do.

How to get rid of negative core beliefs?

Here are some ways you can get rid of such negative core beliefs:

STEP 1: Write down your negative core beliefs you want to change.

STEP 2: Pick a different Core Belief which you would want to practice.

STEP 3: On a scale of 1 to 10, Write down how strong your core beliefs are.

STEP 4: Start practicing ways to strengthen your new core belief

STEP 5: Keep your core belief lively by affirming and maintaining gratitude.


I am an Emotional Intelligence Life Coach and I help people navigate through difficult emotions in a better way. If you struggle with your negative core beliefs, I can help you understand the source and work on changing them.

Do you want to change your core beliefs?

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