Underlying Beliefs

Last week I mused about truth, specifically truth of self and one’s values. While I am still planning to explore my values more deeply, there is another piece of the puzzles that interacts with our truth – our underlying beliefs.

Underlying beliefs, as you can imagine, sit under the surface and we’re usually not aware of them. Whether positive or negative, they influence our thoughts and behaviours every day.

But what are these underlying beliefs? The specific beliefs depend on the person, their background, their experiences, but they are those core beliefs, thoughts and judgments that we hold about ourselves, others and the world around us. These beliefs come from our families, our communities, our experiences, our interactions with the world, all starting in our childhood, but continuing to develop as we grow up.

The real problem with these underlying beliefs is that we perceive them to be absolute truths. We don’t recognize them as emotional and even irrational. And because we see them as truths, we allow them to direct what we do and what we don’t, what we try, what we risk.

Of particular concern are the negative underlying beliefs that limit us. We tell ourselves that we are not the kind of person who does X. We are the kind of person who can only do Y.

But figuring out what those beliefs are will take work, real work. Self awareness is the first step. You have to look deep inside yourself and try to understand what beliefs you are holding on to and admit whether they are getting in our way.

I am starting some of that work myself. Some of my beliefs, for example, are that relationships take work and are never easy, that work should be fun and full of learning, that talented people should succeed.

These may sound reasonable to you, and you may even believe the same things. But the real question is do your underlying beliefs align with what you want out of life, or do they work against your goals, getting in the way of your success?


About the Author


Bianca is a multi-slash lover of life. techie | wordsmith | photographer | performer | poet

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