Una's Blog


63 Core beliefs

graphic-2by Una Hearne.

There are things that you believe to be true – about yourself, other people and the world. These are core beliefs, not objective truths that are the same for everyone, but beliefs masquerading as the truth.

Core beliefs are the deeply rooted ones which, until you become aware of them, you don’t even know you have. You can hear them in things we say: ‘That’s just the way it is’ ‘I am like that’ ‘I always… I never…’ ‘People are like that.’

If our perceptions were objectively, verifiably, true, we would all have the same beliefs about people and the world. The fact that we tend to hang around with people who do have similar world views and beliefs just makes the illusion all the more convincing. We don’t really notice how differently we all perceive the world until we disagree about something important. Then we notice!

Many of us never really accept a different point of view as valid, we like to think we are open minded and comfortable with different beliefs but we’re really not. We mostly just put up with other people’s ‘wrong’ beliefs, their ‘faulty’ view of the world. If we get into discussion about areas where we differ we generally only become entrenched in our own view. Over time some relationships collect a series of things we fight about or don’t talk about. We certainly don’t easily entertain the notion that many different or opposing view points might all be right. I would like to explicitly exclude beliefs which involve hurting other people deliberately or negligently and denying them their human rights. I am talking about in the general run of normal life, where different opinions and attitudes are not wrong.

Our perception is our reality. Our beliefs are our truth unless we change our minds about them. However our perception is not other people’s reality. The journey from blind belief in our version of reality to accepting other’s points of view as equally valid can be a pretty tough road, and for some people, impossibly difficult.

Core beliefs dictate how you perceive the world, your life and what you expect to happen. They shape or co-create your experience of life and your attitude to others. The good news is you can change core beliefs if they are not working for you. And even more good news is that the single most effective thing you can do to improve your relationships with other people is to realise that they have different beliefs and values and it really is ok. You don’t have to agree with them, but you do need to really be ok with them. If you spend your life trying to prove you are right and other points of view are wrong you will waste a lot of opportunities to connect with other human beings. If you want your worldview to be accepted, you have to be prepared to accept others’ worldviews. Not easy. Definitely worthwhile.


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