That's why there is actually a range of different
levels of belief, and these vary according to how much hard evidence is
available to confirm that what we believe.
Let's go back to what I was explaining in the
introduction page and have a look at it in a bit more detail ....
(I hope you will forgive me repeating myself here)
1. The more proof, data or evidence we can find to support
an everyday belief the easier it is to
accept that belief.
Most people don't have too much difficulty following a set of rules
for living their daily life, or where they work. There is plenty of evidence
around to prove the rules are necessary. We can observe that they usually work for you and me
and other people around us. Usually there is lots of evidence
around to convince you of what
would happen if you don't follow those rules. So the rules and our beliefs
about those rules stay fairly stable (as
they need to do). You would probably say you believed in them.
2. The more proof, data or evidence you can find to support simple
straightforward everyday beliefs the easier it is to question, change or even to
reject that kind of belief provided you have new evidence to
support the change.
From time to time you will find yourself questioning some everyday rules,
the kind you follow in your daily activities, your everyday opinions, your
views on daily life. It's not too hard to change what you believe about them as long as
you can find some
clear proof or evidence to support the change.
Think about a bad rule or one that doesn't work. The more proof or
evidence available to show that it's not working the easier it is to stop
believing in that rule or, if you have the opportunity, to change that
That makes sense when you are dealing with ordinary beliefs. Nothing unusual so far but keep
this in mind as we go
3. The deeper a belief becomes established in your mind, the harder it
is to question or change that belief. Once a belief
gets locked in and the longer it stays locked in, the deeper and deeper it
goes until it becomes a core belief.
Your core beliefs, like mine, are so
deep they cannot be changed by loading up on lots of logical evidence. Now
it is the other way round, trying to change a core belief this way usually locks it in ever
4. Even when there is clear proof or evidence or data available
that should convince you that a core belief is out of date or no longer
applicable it is still unbelievably difficult to see this and even
harder to make any change.
* The less evidence there is to
support a deeply held core belief the more the more rigid it becomes and
strongly people seem to hold on to it!
* The older the belief the harder it is to question it
Even when there is clear proof or
evidence or data available that should convince you that a core belief is
out of date or no longer applicable it is still unbelievably difficult to
change it. In fact the less the proof the harder it may be to
question or change that belief. This is not logical, it's a contradiction, a
paradox (if you like academic words). It doesn't make sense, but
unfortunately that's how it happens to work. There are a couple of examples
of this in two case
studies in The Self fulfilling
Let's start by looking at some of the different levels of belief. These
can vary from things that you believe in may straightforward everyday basis
down to the deepest core beliefs. All of them will influence the way you
live your life, but the deeper the belief stronger its influence.
Let me try to explain this in more detail
Where Rules come from
not like a rule but if there is always plenty of solid
evidence around to support the rule it's this evidence which will help convince us that we had better believe in it and
follow it. A bad rule is, by definition one that lacks
Our family environment, our community our entire government, education, business and legal system
is based on rules like this. Rules are maintained by a very familiar process,
"reward or punishment". The most powerful rules are the laws which
support our legal
system. Our courts are constantly testing laws and all the associated rules
and regulations to make sure that they are still supported by valid evidence.
Come to think of it even illegal or criminal systems have rules too.
The first level of adaption which begins even before we
can talk is "learning the family's rules". That's something that most small
children become quite good at doing and by age two they will have learned
hundreds of family rules. Family rules are the most basic form of belief
because to learn a rule we must believe that we need to learn it. That's where
evidence comes in. For a small child there is some very clear and easy to
notice evidence about what happens when they don't obey the rules. There
may also be evidence in the form of rewards when they do obey the rules
Altering or changing our own set of rules may not be easy, but provided we
can get some solid evidence in support of changing an old rule then the
shift is relatively straightforward. The stronger the new or contrary
evidence the easier it is to change a simple belief or rule.
Opinions and Attitudes
Opinions are like a complex set of rules rolled together into one but
they aren't necessarily supported by the same amount of
evidence that was available to back up rules and laws. If there is
little supporting evidence to back up an opinion it may be difficult to
confirm its reliability. Often what counts as "evidence" is more likely
to be the belief that if other
people that we regard as powerful or reliable hold these opinions we
should hold the same beliefs.
Having an opinion gives you the ability to express your
own position or take a stand on issues that matter to you or your family.
Once an opinion is formed it is likely to stay in place for a long time.
However you may find yourself over time questioning a particular opinion or
attitude on some specific issues such as your voting preferences each time
elections come round. This is more likely if your logical analytical rational thinking
mind is presented with clear evidence which throws doubt on your previous
opinion. So once again if the evidence is there then opinions and attitudes
can change but it has to be very clearly presented evidence.
Now let's go a little deeper, and as you do notice that
suddenly the less evidence to support a deeply held belief the more rigid it
Values and Moral codes
Values and moral codes are like very broad
and very strict rules and they are often applied with a great deal of
rigidity. However, if you were to look for some solid reliable
data to support moral and ethical values you might find it quite hard to
You might describe your value system
and is a set of ideals or "super rules". You can expect that you and
other people will hold very strongly to values like honesty, ethical
behaviour and morals. The Golden Rule "Do unto others …..” is really more
of a moral value than a rule. Your deepest core values will be so important
to you that you may be prepared to risk your income, your relationships,
your home, even your life to defend them.
Two situations can bring about a
change in values or moral codes. The most common one is pressure from
another person whose opinion we hold in very high regard (or who we love or
who we want to love us!) and who wants us to change our
values or our moral code to match theirs.
Many people will bend temporarily to get
approval or avoid
conflict, but deep down inside they will not actually change their basic
values or their moral codes. People sometimes come to question a value in times of
major crisis, such as a war, the death of a loved family member, divorce or
a life-threatening health issue. For the rest of the time our value system
will be neither questioned nor changed a great deal.
The older the belief the less it is questioned and the less likely it
is to change
is so little evidence to support any particular set of values or moral codes
people tend to discourage any questioning of deeper values so the values stay locked in place. They rely more on old
ways and traditions (That's the way we've always done it) or ancient records
which have been passed down through many generation. It's as if the age of the belief makes it more reliable than up-to-date
observations. That's why your value system is much more permanent and once
established may remain fixed for life.
Conflict over the “right” way
Notice two things I mentioned above:
1. The less evidence there is to
support a deeply held belief pattern the more strongly people seem to hold
on to it!
2. The older the belief the harder it is to question it
Even if other people disagree with our
beliefs it is unlikely that we will change what we believe to fit in with
theirs. Throughout history, people who held different values have been forever clashing, with
each person assuming that their opinion is "right" (Because that's
the way we've always done it) and that this
is all the proof required to show that other person must be "wrong". Any
real proof in support of either position may be incredibly scarce yet wars
are often fought around this level of disagreement. (Because your beliefs
are so wrong I may have to kill you to protect my beliefs!). Much
family conflict is also related to the same level, again with very little
supporting proof or none at all from either side about reality.
Core beliefs are the deepest of all because what we
believe "deep down inside" underpins our value system and our attitudes and opinions. This is
one of the reasons why core beliefs are seldom questioned even when
they are causing enormous problems within the person who holds that core
belief. This lack of supporting evidence rather than making it easier to
change a core belief actually guarantees that it will remain locked in place far more firmly. Even
where there is solid evidence such as our own personal observations that should
indicate the belief is not correct this is rejected.
Most of us are used to solving problems
based on available proof, data or evidence which we can think about and analyse.
Core beliefs operate
almost entirely as a result of non-analytical thought processes that take place somewhere in parts of your mind
not closely connected with your rational analytical thinking processes.
Rational analysis helps by providing us with some vague clues, but it is
almost useless when it comes to working out solutions to core belief related
problems. Rational thinking or cognitive therapy has little chance of
changing a belief and even less chance of getting rid of one. It often just
fixes the belief even more firmly in place.
Balancing negative and positive core beliefs is a
better way - use your grown-up self-awareness and self empowerment
The process which is very different but incredibly powerful and
which does work comes through growing your own self-awareness. The more your own personal
self-awareness expands the more self-empowered you become. It is
self-awareness and self empowerment (not rational thinking) which equip you to you to overcome your
individual core belief issues by :
1. Identifying them, acknowledging and accepting that they became
a part of you a long time ago because in some way they were at that time
needed to help you "fit in".
2. Accepting that they cannot be changed or got rid of They
became part of your belief system to help you a long time ago. At that
time they were a friend, a tough friend but that's what you needed then.
You don't kick an old friend out just because they are no longer any use to
3. Balancing them with positive core
beliefs instead of trying to change them or make them go away. Balancing the negative with a positive belief is the only way that
do this is explained but only as a summary on number of separate pages linked on this site.
(Balancing your Core beliefs)
Balancing the negative with a positive belief is the only way that works
permanently but there is more o do than
just reading a few web pages. Getting ready to balance will require a bit of time and effort on
your part, including answering some questions on a series of worksheets to
make sure you identify your own negative core belief or beliefs. But if you do you will achieve real success just as hundreds of ordinary people
around the world do it every day.
The whole process of identifying your own negative
core beliefs and then balancing them is a very individual matter. There are no
general rules, no standard step by step approach. If there was I would print it
To achieve success also requires some time and thought on your part. I have
found it works best for people who are serious about this to do the work
step-by-step in their own time. That's why I am now providing a series of
workbooks (total over 60 pages) at a special introductory price
Would you like to :
1. Discover your own hidden troublemakers and identify your own hidden negative core
2. Identify the problems that your individual core beliefs are causing you and
that you want to fix
3. Discover why identifying your own negative core beliefs, accepting them and
not trying to change them is a positive and self-empowering step forward.
4. Find out how to balance your negative beliefs with positive ones. This begins
to work as soon as you know why you need to balance them (and why you must not try to get rid
of them altogether)
5. Avoid getting triggered again as you have in the past
To order and for more information on the content of the workbooks (over 60
pages in total) go to
Core Belief Workbooks by e-mail.
Also available on a CD but extra costs apply for mailing
Feedback - please
e-mail me John Bligh Nutting - at firstname.lastname@example.org
I gratefully acknowledge the valuable help and understanding I received while
writing about Belief Systems, firstly from Nikki Nemerouf and Jeffrey Young and
also from John Falcon for his guidance and valuable additions. I emphasise that
the following pages do not follow precisely the core belief, core schema or core
profile models as taught by any one of these outstanding teachers. However, many
of the ideas on this website are clearly based on their original work and the
training I did with them.
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
With appreciation - John Nutting
Copyright © John Nutting
- 2012 and ©
GROWING AWARENESS 1996 - - 2012 All rights reserved World Wide
Friday, 28 September 2012 09:57
Don't worry about these copyright notices at the foot of each page. It just
means I want to hang on to legal ownership of what I write for use in future books.
Until that day, please feel free to copy and even adapt them for your own use and for
friends as long as you acknowledge me as the author and owner of the copyright and you
don't charge anyone for them. If you want to use them professionally or commercially
(charge a fee for them) or for clients, each sheet you hand out must include full
acknowledgment of copyright ownership as above and if you are benefiting as a
result, I would appreciate an appropriate sharing.
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