To assess and question your essential beliefs, ask yourself, "What experiences do I have that demonstrate that this idea is not always totally true?" Fill in the blanks with as many experiences as you can, being as descriptive as possible. Remember to take notes on everything, even if you're not sure whether it's significant. It may later prove useful in disproving your current belief or supporting your case for another belief.
For example, let's say that you believe that love conquers all. You could challenge this belief by thinking of a time when this theory had been proven wrong. Perhaps someone you loved died, or they moved away. After some time has passed, see how much this experience supports or contradicts your belief. If it does support your belief, great! Keep this belief in mind for next time it comes up. If it doesn't support your belief, think of another experience that does support love winning out over adversity.
As you learn more about yourself and your world, you will find that most beliefs are not always true. When they are not true, you have the opportunity to change them for better beliefs that are based on more accurate information.
The first step in detecting and repairing your belief system is to be able to notice negative thoughts in the present and when they occur. Then you might begin to challenge your views. Following that, you might begin to develop new beliefs that will supersede the old ones. Let's take a closer look at this.
When you believe something for so long, it becomes part of your identity. It forms part of who you are. When that belief is challenged, our identity is threatened. This can cause us to feel angry or hurt. We may even think someone is attacking us by showing us evidence that our belief is false. In order to rebuild our belief system, we need to find new ways to think about ourselves and the world around us.
Here are some questions to help you identify negative thoughts: When I have these thoughts, do I feel better or worse? If I felt better, would this prove that my thinking is wrong? If my thinking was wrong, wouldn't I already know this? If I knew this, why would I want to change anything about myself or my life?
Once you have identified a negative thought, it's important to ask yourself whether it's true. If you believe that you aren't good enough, or that you don't deserve happiness, then it's very likely that this thought is untrue. Thinking things like this will only hold you back from living your life to the fullest.
How to Call Your Beliefs Into Question
If you're not sure what your fundamental ideas are in a certain aspect of your life, try this: Select an issue or area of your life in which you feel "stuck." To find limiting beliefs, you must first have a specific circumstance to work with. Consider a change you wish to make in your life. Now, think about how perfect your situation would be if only some minor thing were different. If you can't think of anything, that means your belief is not a belief about yourself but instead is a belief about something external to yourself.
Now, look at the world around you and search for evidence of this imperfect condition. You should easily be able to come up with examples. For example, if you believe you aren't good enough for someone to love you, then you should see evidence of this fact every day. People who love us want our best effort from us even when we make mistakes. They want us to grow as people, so they don't always agree with our decisions or know what we want next minute. But they still love us anyway.
As you can see, this method takes some time and thought, but it's worth it in the end.
The primary goal is to identify and expound on your views as much as possible. Investigate them thoroughly to see where they came from and how they relate to other ideas you have and your overall worldview. You refine your thoughts and perspective when you urge yourself to explain yourself more. Try to do so for each of your views repeatedly until it becomes easy.
Explaining your beliefs involves stating them clearly and concisely. You should be able to do this without using jargon or abstract language. If you cannot, try to rephrase your statements so that they are clear and simple to understand.
Once you have explained your views, ask yourself these questions: Is my explanation correct? If not, why not? Can I change my view if new information emerges? If so, what would that look like?
An example question could be: "Is my belief that all people are equal justified by the evidence I have? If not, why not? Could I be wrong about this? If so, what would that look like?"
You should try to come up with answers for these questions too. It is important that you think critically about your beliefs. Without questioning them, you are merely believing something just because it is true. That is bad reasoning - believing something without good reason is called prejudice.
Negative fundamental beliefs are things we believe we know are terrible. We often acquire negative fundamental beliefs as a result of our life experiences and daily circumstances. However, how frequently do we question our negative basic beliefs? To conquer my anxiety, I had to go deep within myself and fight my lifelong negative basic ideas about anxiety.
Some common examples of negative fundamental beliefs include: "I am bad at taking risks," "I will never get married," and "I am worthless." It is important to note that although these beliefs are fundamental, that does not mean they are immutable. With time and thoughtful effort, any of us can change our negative basic beliefs into positive ones.
Below are some ways you can become more aware of your negative fundamental beliefs and what they are costing you emotionally and physically. This awareness will help you begin the process of changing them from negative to positive.
1. Take an honest look at your life. What negative fundamental beliefs are holding you back from living your best life? Use the following list of common beliefs as a guide. Are you living according to these beliefs? If not, change them!
A. I am bad at taking risks.
I will never get married.
I am unworthy.
Fear is forever.
Life is meaningless.