WEBSTER’S DICTIONARY: /Belief System/- a set of principles or tenets which together form the basis of a religion, philosophy, or moral code: the ancient Greek belief system.
We learn our belief systems from the reactions of those around us, our family and environment, especially in the formative years up through 7-8 years old. We evaluate our standing by observing the reactions of those around us. Our pre-conception of who we are creates emotions from which we react, if negative, or act, if positive.
For example, if you were not held by your father as a child, you may unconsciously believe that you were not loved, not wanted or possibly not good enough, not knowing that perhaps you father was afraid to pick you up out of fear that he might drop you. As a child, all you see is your father not engaging with you.
Our true self perceives who we are based on the actions of those around us, which creates our emotions, from which we act or react.
Examples of limiting beliefs:
- I’m not enough
- I’m not perfect enough
- I don’t deserve this
- I’m not lovable/ loving
- I’m not worthy
- I’m not the perfect size
- There’s no one for me
- I’m not a good person
- I’m worthless
- I’m weak
- I’m helpless
- I’m stupid
- I don’t have a choice
- This will never work
- I’m not smart enough
- I don’t have enough time
- I don’t have the right talents/ strengths
- I don’t know what to do
- It’s all my fault/ It’s always my fault
- I can’t trust anyone
- I don’t have confidence
- Life isn’t fair
- My opinion doesn’t matter
Examples of empowering beliefs
- I am enough
- I am as perfect as I need to be
- I deserve it
- I am lovable/ loving
- I am worthy
- I am the healthy
- I deserve a great relationship
- I am a good person
- I am worthy
- I am powerful
- I got this
- I always have choices
- This can work
- I am smart
- I have ample time
- I have the right talents/ strengths
- I know what to do
- I am responsible for my actions
- I trust myself to make good choices
- I have confidence
- Life is fair/ All is well
- We all have our beliefs/ My opinion matters
Emotional pain starts with a limiting belief rom which we create a story to validate this belief. (Example: my father doesn’t pay attention to me, therefore I mustn’t be lovable.) Instead of rejecting these actions as projections or that the person is caught up in their own issues unable to be there for us, we own these actions/ beliefs as our own. Most of these beliefs form when we are forming beliefs from actions versus knowledge, roughly 0- 7 years.
These beliefs then create emotions that build to a point, then are expressed because we can’t suppress them any longer. These emotions may be projected onto others. We then make others the cause of our pain, and responsible for our happiness and well-being. This is a victim mentality, where we give away our power to everyone, rendering ourselves incapable to make good choices for ourselves. In the meantime, we have needs still not being met. So we seek out the wrong people and chose behaviors to re-enforce our beliefs. thinking they will fill this void. Often, we attract a person who represents the person from whom we seek approval. When we do, it is an opportunity for us to recognize the pattern we are stuck in.
For example, if you aren’t getting approval from your father, you will unconsciously attract a partner, boss, friend who also will deny you approval. Additionally, it is a safe choice because you know what to expect from this person, despite not getting your needs met. And should you attract a person who gives you the approval you desire, you may reject it due to your belief that you do not deserve it. The cycle continues until the belief is healed/ changed.
What beliefs or stories do you hold? What are patterns or behaviors that you do to to keep yourself stuck? Make note of them and any other limiting actions so that you can clear them in an upcoming module.
Webster’s dictionary: /triggers/ distress (someone), typically as a result of arousing feelings or memories associated with a particular traumatic experience: she started crying and told me that my news had really triggered her | people ask how much I weigh but I won’t talk about numbers because I know that triggers me.
When you are triggered by someone’s actions or words, that is your unhealed pain raising to the surface to be healed. There is usually a shadow or limiting belief causing you pain.
If you find feelings arising by their actions, you are being triggered. Note: this is your stuff, not theirs. If they react, it’s their issues.
Example: A client told me how her sister, Sally, was getting back with an old abusive friend. My client was angered at how stupid Sally was being, fearing that this “friend” would try to steal her sister’s money again. I told her that it was okay to remind Sally of this friend’s previous actions but if my client was triggered by this relationship, this was my client’s pain that needed to be healed. In fact, my client had a few people take advantage of her financially which caused the trigger.
Example: If someone tells you that you are getting fat, instead of reacting with anger, simply say something like, “I know! Thank you for noticing and being concerned about my well being.” Not only have you taken the wind out of their sails, you also threw them off guard.
Now that you are aware of some of your values, value conflicts and shadows, more will come up as you experience life but it is important to be aware of how you are triggered throughout the day. It will be useful for you to write down all of the instances where you are triggered so that you can resolve them later. At some point you will be able to resolve them as they happen.
Keep a journal or use the worksheet below to capture your triggers. What was the core belief around the trigger?