Ways Your Childhood Shaped Your Core Beliefs Today

Posted on September 8, 2017

There are three core beliefs formed in our childhood that affects us in later life. In therapy, these beliefs may surface during consultations for issues like marital problems or why an individual constantly sabotages opportunities for success. These are the three core beliefs:

1) Core beliefs about yourself.
Childhood is where you start gaining a sense of who you are through interactions with your parents, siblings and peers, and the messages you get from them. Your experiences helped you decide whether you were kind, shy or likeable. When you have a better sense of who you are, and how you are perceived by others, it affects how you interact with others and the choices you make.

2) Core beliefs about others.
Your beliefs about whether people are good and helpful or whether they harm each other on purpose are formed in childhood. Growing up in a loving environment may have taught you that you can trust and lend your help to others. If your environment was not so kind, you may have the belief that people are out to harm you.

3) Core beliefs about the world.
Similar to how you view others, being brought up in a caring and nurturing environment may create the belief that the world is relatively safe. Experiencing negative or stressful events in childhood may lead to the belief that the world is scary and a constant struggle, no matter how much effort is put in.

Your beliefs affect you as they can become self-fulfilling prophecies. A self-fulfilling prophecy is when you look for evidence to support something that you belief to be true to reinforce the idea. Hence, if you believe you’re not smart enough, you will view each bad grade and mistake as evidence that you are not smart. When you do get a good grade, you’ll make excuses for it. For example, that the test was easy or you got lucky. We do this as we don’t like it when the evidence does not align with our view. Your beliefs also affect how you act. Thinking you aren’t smart will probably lead you to put in less effort into academics. You probably will not do well in school because of this, reinforcing your belief.

They are many adults who have overcome extremely difficult childhood experiences. Some even credit their childhood situation as providing them the strength to succeed later in life. However, there are also people who are unable to get out of their limiting self-beliefs. The good news is the brain can be trained to unlearn the limiting core beliefs. This may require professional help, but it may be an important first step to reaching your fullest potential.

Category(s):Child Development

Source material from Psychology Today