To Change Your Attitudes, Change Your Core Beliefs

Recently I was thinking about changes I need to make within myself, and how large they are. I was wondering if I’ll be able to make them successfully.

One large change I need to make is making decisions at the time they need making, instead of putting them off or waffling about them. That day it seemed like it would take more energy and strength than I could muster up, but the day after thinking about this, it felt like it would be easy.

What was the difference between one day and the next? It was the energy I had. When you have enough energy, the right kind of energy, then things are much easier, much more doable.

When changing your life, change your attitude

Sometimes when you need to make changes in your life or behavior you need to change your attitude. Change your attitude and the rest will come more easily. Sometimes the hardest work you will do in making a change is changing your attitude.

Why is this? It is because the attitude you have toward or about something encompasses your beliefs about it. And your beliefs shape your thoughts and your actions.

You cannot act in a way that is contrary to your beliefs. You may disagree with me about this, saying that you often act contrarily to what you believe, and that may be true. But, on a deep level, your core beliefs, and you may not even be aware of what they are, will prevent you or compel you to act in particular ways and bring about results that may be very different from what you want or expect.

It is the effects of our deep core beliefs that can make something like positive thinking or the book and movie The Secret seem like nonsense, or impossible. Because it doesn’t matter how much you want to meet the right partner or make a ton of money, and it doesn’t matter if you repeat the right affirmation a hundred times a day (though doing this can be helpful, as we’ll discuss in a bit), if your underlying beliefs are radically different from your conscious, stated beliefs, the desired outcome won’t happen.

I speak from much, much experience! For so many years I wondered why, even when I tried an affirmation or three and thought I was changing my beliefs, I didn’t get what I really wanted. It took time to start to see that it is the deep core beliefs that underlie the surface beliefs, wants, and desires and drive my behavior far more reliably than my conscious thoughts. Damn, it’s frustrating!

An example, one of many, from my own life is the belief I just discovered that putting myself into the public arena is dangerous. I have worked at building my business for years, but have struggled consistently, again and again finding myself falling apart and getting ill just as I am about to take off and make the leap to the next level. I recently found that I have a long-standing belief that if I get sick I will be safe from dangerous situations. Now it may not seem that having one’s own business is dangerous, but if you look at all the potential for failing, being disrespected, seen as a fool, doing the wrong thing, and so on and so on, you see how it can feel very dangerous. I had no clue that was in there until just a couple months ago! Looking back it is easy to see why I have not gotten farther than I have. But the fact that I have found this core belief means that I get to change it, and it means I get to change my attitudes and my results as well.

This is the beauty of understanding that your attitudes drive your results. If you are not getting the results you want, change your attitude! If you can’t change your attitude, or it seems to be absolutely correct but you are still not getting what you want, then it is time to start looking below the surface to what your deepest core beliefs are. They may surprise the heck out of you.

Best Use of Affirmations

There are a different ways to get to the bottom of our beliefs and change them. Even though saying affirmations may seem useless, especially if you don’t see changes quickly, they can have an effect. They are a sort of top-down effect, not as quick-acting as digging in and finding the deep core belief, but they can help to start to change those beliefs.

What you tell yourself over and over again affects what you believe, so that when you repeat the same thing again and again, you start to believe it. Repeating an affirmation is a way to drill down to the core and change things. They do work to some extent, and they give added energy and momentum to the changes you are making to your core beliefs.

In my opinion, however, when you have a stubborn core belief, just saying affirmations will take a terribly long time, or just not be effective. If a belief you are changing is not particularly strong, it is more easily dispelled and changed by using affirmations.

When you are working to dislodge the deepest beliefs, affirmations can help you put a new belief into place, while working to understand the old belief and root it out, helping to replace it with a new, positive belief.

Thus, one of the best uses of affirmations is to help reinforce a change in attitude and/or belief, and in this way they will be much more effective than thinking that just saying the affirmation will bring about the desired results.

8 thoughts on “To Change Your Attitudes, Change Your Core Beliefs

  1. Hi Iris,

    Some great thoughts, ideas and realization shared here…thank you.

    I do take exception to the “Secret” though…feel that it is a sham…I know some of faces to that DVD…and not the best of role models in real life.

    Take care, Mike

    • Thanks, Mike.

      Hmmm, I also did not think highly of The Secret, and I thought that was clear. I don’t know if it was a scam, but it certainly takes a level of…something…I don’t know what, that many of us don’t have in everyday life.

  2. Hi Iris,
    This is the first time I have ever (mostly) agreed with a “change your attitude” talk. I really connected with what you said about core belief not necessarily being conscious belief. I would also like to point out that as an extreme trauma survivor, very often looking deep inside at those core beliefs requires remembering how they got there in the first place, and that can be so extremely painful and potentially destabilizing. to survive I have had to learn to slow down and pace myself when examining all that is under the surface. for many of us, looking at core beliefs begins a tremendous amount of grief work. to me, courage and pacing are everything… thanks for writing about this, awesome insight.

    • Hi Storey, thank you for your comment and your insights. I am also an extreme trauma survivor, so I understand that looking at those core beliefs starts a whole cavalcade of unexpected effects. You are very wise to have figured out what you need to do to survive, and to find courage and pacing. Yes, going to the core brings ups tremendous amounts of pain, grief, anger, and more. For some people it is more than they can handle. For others, it is the door that leads to healing and a life that may be better than they ever expected. Blessings, Iris

  3. Thank you for your article. It’s uplifting and gives me a hope to get a better abundant life.
    I believe that I can change my life by changing my paradigms.
    The only trouble I have is that I can not find the core belief that holds me back((((
    I am digging and digging but the right answer doesn’t come.
    Iris,can you help me in finding the core negative belief?
    For example, I am always thinking that I am being watched. I feel like if I don’t wash my cup after using , they will talk behind my back. It’s silly I know. But I end up washing it and hear myself saying “Good girl”.
    If I use something, like a microwave,I make sure I will switch it off. Not for the sake of safety, let’s say. But just to avoid THAT : See, she used the microwave and didn’t turn it off!!! But in reality I never hear anyone saying so. Nobody complains.
    In the public toilet if I enter and see the WC dirty,let’s say. You know what? I will use it but then I make sure I will make it clean. So the one who uses it afterwards WILL NOT think that I MADE IT DIRTY.
    Dear Iris,what is my core negative belief?
    Can you help me?

    • Hi, I am so sorry that you are having so much trouble with your thoughts. It is hard to live with, I know.

      I am sorry that I don’t think I can help you find your core negative belief. My experience is that there may be one or more, and that only the person who is experiencing them can figure out what they are. Sometimes they are in layers–you find one, peel it off, and then find another. The good news is that there is an end to them, and it is very possible to heal the negative beleifs.

      I have also found that often it takes the help of others to dig down to the core. For me, a therapist has been the best help, but friends, support groups, and other kinds of groups can be really helpful as well.

      I hope this reply gives a bit of help and hope. Blessings to you, Iris

      • Thanks for your reply, Iris.
        After writing to you I found one of core believes about myself. It was: I am not a good person.
        It comes from my early childhood.
        Now I am doing my best to imprint a new belief that I am a good person.
        It feels good when I can apply everything that I think about A good person to MYSELF.
        Thank you for your help. God bless you and your loved ones.

        • I am glad you have found one of your core beliefs. It’s a big one! Be kind to yourself as you work to change how you think and treat yourself. Blessings to you, Iris

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