Updated on:

December 1, 2015
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How to Identify Our Core Beliefs

What are core beliefs? Simply put, they’re the things that we hold to be sacrosanct when it comes to how the world works. They’re the assumptions about ourselves, our relationships, the people around us, and the world at large which dictate much of the way we interact with other people and the world.

We’re often unaware of what are our core beliefs are, or even that they exist in the first place. Many of us simply go around making decisions, assumptions, and judgments without delving any deeper into where those actions actually stem from. While practicing mindfulness, in general, can help us become more aware of our underlying motivations, taking a more targeted approach at assessing our core beliefs is a generally a better way to make changes to our behaviors.

Core Beliefs Mindfulness Exercise

Below, you’ll find a free mindfulness exercise intended to guide you through the process of assessing and altering your core beliefs.

First, you’ll begin by focusing on an individual thought that upsets you. While examining this thought, you’ll take a deeper look at where the feelings of dissatisfaction are coming from. What are the assumptions underlying this thought? What sorts of core beliefs are informing the way that you’re currently feeling? Are those beliefs and assumptions actually true, or do you merely believe them to be

Keep in mind that examining core beliefs in this way can be difficult. On the one hand, getting to the bottom of where a feeling or sensation is coming from is never an easy task. It may take a few minutes of quiet reflection in order to make any measurable progress.

Just as significantly, though, examining your core beliefs can be difficult in another sense: plainly put, it can be a bit uncomfortable. We’re often unaware of the beliefs that we hold, and how they can control and determine our decisions. Uncovering one of them may be unnerving. Be gentle and compassionate with yourself as you go through this process.

About the author 

Nicole Lannertone

Nicole is a meditator, poet, and freelance writer (in no specific order). The last two years of her life have been strongly dedicated to her meditation practice and deepening her self-awareness. She is an American temporally living in Montréal with her fiancée currently planning the next chapter of their life.