A woman in a yellow coat unlocked a new level

I have just unlocked a new level on the game of negative core beliefs

What I learnt during my EMDR training.

Discovering Negative Core Beliefs.

Some of you may know I have been training in EMDR, as part of the training you have to bring your own stuff to work on. I was umming and ahhing what to take in, I eventually took in something that I learnt from my schema training that one of my schemas is unrelenting standards (fun fact this is quite a common one for psychologists).

So, I know I have high expectations of myself but this can lead me to be critical of myself if I don’t meet my own high standards. Long story short through working through this I have unlocked a new negative core belief known in EMDR as negative cognitions, it felt like I was in some peculiar video game and I have just unlocked a new level.

Processing Vulnerability.

I must admit that uncovering this made me feel vulnerable but I am a firm believer of trying out everything that I would introduce to my clients so I sat with this emotion.

The reason I bring it to you is one to show you that we all have them but also the importance of taking time to process things.

After my training, I sat there for a moment and wondered how had I missed this before? Was I avoiding it? Did I block it out? Or did I know it all along? I then did an ab workout (not everyone’s choice I know), I went out for a walk and now I am writing about it.

How to challenge your negative core beliefs.

Identifying Negative Core Beliefs.

So, what am I going to do about it, well firstly I am going to work through it in the EMDR training and see what I come out with. But if I popped my CBT head on, I know what I can do with negative core beliefs, one of the many exercises is you look for evidence to prove it wrong and find evidence to prove an alternative normally a positive or at least a more balanced belief.

So let me show you how this would work in practice say your negative core belief is “I am not good enough” you would look for evidence 3-5 times a week to prove that you are not NOT good enough.

Now this evidence can be anything, a question I always say to my clients who can get stuck on what is actually evidence is to ask yourself “if someone wasn’t good enough would they be doing XYZ?”. It could be something like taking some time for self-care, going for a walk, speaking to loved ones, completing a task (big or small) and you keep doing this..

Challenging Negative Core Beliefs with Alternative Beliefs.

The alternative is finding an alternative core belief now that good be “I am good enough” or it could be “I am enough”. Working with an alternative belief, the process is the same that you look for evidence 3-5 times a week to prove your new belief right.

The reason this works is it shifts your focus, if I was to ask you how many red cars did you see today? You probably couldn’t tell me but if I said ok at the end of tomorrow tell me how many red cars you see, you’ll count them right?

So with this because our negative beliefs are so engrained we never really look for alternatives or to prove it wrong but you knowing that you have to find evidence you will look for it. Then this makes you notice more and more and eventually, it is all what you will see, of course there will be blips but the main thing is your brain will be more switched on to looking for the evidence to either prove it wrong or the alternative that you will then start to believe it.

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