self-fulfilling prophecy trap
the same as if each time we carried an umbrella it actually increased the chance of a
NOTE: A core belief is always an
"I" statement as in "I am unlovable" The thought
"Nobody loves me" is called a 'supporting belief', a prediction or
forecast about what others will do or have done to you, but it is there only
because your core belief "I am unlovable" was already well established. This is where the
inner protector characters (inner selves) get confused. If they hadn't accepted
the core belief they may have been more ready to accept love and have been loved
more often. Instead, accepting an untrue core belief as true (even
unconsciously) helps set up other people's reactions and these reaction in turn
give the core belief the 'appearance' of being true. (A self fulfilling
Everyone needs to construct a belief system (a map of the world) which helps:
If your map of the world around you (your belief system) is based on well balanced, accurate and positive beliefs then your predictions about the future should be fairly accurate.
However, if a belief system is based on unbalanced or negative beliefs, the forecasts, predictions and prophecies will also be unbalanced, and inaccurate and will lead to misinterpretations, misunderstandings and setting up of a series of self-fulfilling predictions.
Unbalanced core beliefs can be responsible for some awfully bad forecasts about what is going to happen especially if your belief map is upside down! When two human beings (with opposite core beliefs) start to feel vulnerable about each other, their inner selves immediately gear up for trouble, each predicting dire consequences and issuing storm warnings about what the other person is thinking, feeling and what the other person is going to do next that could cause trouble. Even if these predictions are incorrect, as they usually are, the effect of the negative energy generated is to increase the chance of trouble. The bad reaction that the selves predicted comes true, but it probably would not have happened at all if the selves had not reacted to the prediction! (as illustrated in the two case studies below )
This is the selves' way of preparing you for trouble, but often their kind of protection then triggers the other person's own negative core beliefs and their reaction ends up actually helping bring about the very result our selves predicted. The self-fulfilling prophecy trap is much the same as if each time we carried an umbrella to protect us from rain it actually increased the chance of a storm.
When two human beings (with opposite core beliefs) start to feel vulnerable about each other, their two belief systems immediately gear up for trouble, each predicting dire consequences and issuing storm warnings about what the other person is thinking, feeling and what the other person is going to do next that could cause trouble. Even if these predictions are incorrect, as they usually are, the effect of the negative energy generated is to increase the chance of trouble. The bad reaction that was forecast comes true, but it probably would not have happened at all if it were not for the prediction!
Unbalanced core beliefs can be responsible for some awfully
bad forecasts about what is going to happen. In Jack’s and Jill’s story and
Clive’s case (below) notice how their individual belief systems set up negative
forecasts, self-fulfilling negative predictions, misinterpretations and
Case A - Jack and Jill
Jill has a core issue about losing control. Her supporting beliefs tell her You have to fight to avoid being controlled by others. Jills new partner Jack has a core issue about trust and an expectation that You cannot trust people who have secrets. Youre vulnerable unless you know everything that is going on. Jack notices that Jill seems worried about something, but when he asks, she insists there is nothing wrong. Jacks worries about secrets immediately ignites one of his medium strength controlling inner protector characters (inner selves) that tries to force Jill to explain what is worrying. However, the more he increases the pressure the less Jill feels like talking to him.
Jill is understandably triggered by Jacks persistent pressure and since her most common 'F' reaction patterns are to fight control by others, out comes one of her rebel characters who helps her clam up even more. That, in turn, triggers Jacks vulnerability, as his one-below selves become even more sure that Jill must have a secret she wont talk about. Jack panics. He becomes even more obsessive trying to get Jill to confess her secret but with no success.
The outcome is a massive negative bonding pattern (in ordinary terms a
really bad fight). Jill packs her bags and leaves, to escape Jacks control.
She now has the concrete evidence to support what her negative core
belief had already predicted for her. That was that Jack would
turn out to be another obsessive controller like all her previous partners.
Case B - Uninteresting Clive
Clive is a maths teacher, with an unbalanced belief from childhood that his ideas are dull and uninteresting. His compensating skills (Im going to make myself interesting) helped him to become a teacher, but to be honest his maths lectures are still a bit boring. What triggers Clive, more than anything else are students who say they just cant get interested in maths so whenever he hears the trigger word uninteresting he gets agitated. His beliefs also tell him that how interesting he really is will be decided by other people, not by him. So whenever he is triggered he argues with the students and tries to get better answers from them that would tell him he is becoming more interesting.
As Nikki Nemerouf describes it - Clive's behaviour in desperately seeking to get appreciation from other people, is the very thing that is preventing himself from getting more appreciation. At the same time as he is trying to get them to give him a better answer about his teaching, he is blaming his students for the problem.
Clives automatic intention which includes trying to help hide the pain of his core belief is actually making the pain worse. Fewer and fewer students give him feedback on the uninteresting aspects of his lectures, so he misses the chance to make improvements. He puts less effort in to preparing for classes so as time goes by they become even more boring.
In the end his negative prediction is brought to reality by his behaviour which was supposed to stop the prediction coming true!
Warning! - Fighting about truth or reality
Dont fight about reality while under the influence of an
Until you have identified your negative beliefs and balanced them with positive ones, just try to tread very carefully in terms of arguments with others about the truth or get into a discussion about who triggered whom, what they really said or felt or what you really said or did to them. The chances of either of you being able to make an accurate assessment of the actual situation is very small, but the chance of triggering each other into a worse bonding pattern is extremely high.
Back to the Introductory explanation about Core beliefs
Feedback - please e-mail me John Bligh Nutting - at email@example.com
From that point I have introduced some alternate concepts, in particular the connection between core belief work and the psychology of the inner selves (voice dialogue) as taught by Dr. Hal and Dr. Sidra Stone. I have found that dialoguing with the beliefs themselves as "characters" inside us is one of the most useful skills (often the critical factor) in clarifying, and balancing old core beliefs.
I thank Earl Cass and Anthony Nutting for their support and expert suggestions and my thanks to my ex-wife and friend Rozz Nutting for permitting me to include extracts from her own book on the core belief process.
With appreciation - John Nutting
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Examples of negative core beliefs - is yours on this list