Here’s a great example of one client’s core beliefs exercise from page 191 of Food is not the Problem: Deal With What Is! May it inspire you to look within and identify and release your own core beliefs and move freely forward!
Eating Disorder Core Beliefs
How to Explore them:
1. When I am being self-critical the DS says I am: fat, ugly, obnoxious, tactless, graceless, have a big ugly nose, ugly teeth, quitter, unlovable, bad, undesirable, people don’t want me around, unworthy, not enough2. Names the DS uses when I am angry and frustrated: idiot, loser, fat, lazy, ugly, disgusting, and repulsive (how sad!!!)
3. Names others used when angry and disappointed: ridiculous, a pill, a piss ant, a twit, missy, moody (these are all my mom), pushy (my Husband)
4. Messages I received about myself: bad, annoying, unwanted, irritating, ugly, flawed, bossy, unlikable, don’t want me around, life would be perfect if I wasn’t part of the family. “I am bad, ugly, unwanted, annoying, not good, enough, unacceptable, not worthy of love or kindles or tender affection, wrong”
These all boiled down to some form of bad, ugly and unwanted
5. What is important about not being bad, ugly, unwanted?
BAD: it is unchangeable and an internal part of me > I’ll be alone because no one will want to be around me > I am not good/strong/capable enough to take care of myself so I need others > since/if I am ‘bad’ I will not have anyone (myself or others) to take care of me.
Feeling: scared, insecure Need: security, acceptance, nurturing
UGLY: people will be repelled from me > I need people (presence, support, approval) in order to feel/be “ok” > I won’t be “ok” (loved)
Feeling: ashamed, sad/despair, insecure Need: belonging, acceptance, affection
UNWANTED: I will never be connected to others > I won’t get love > I need love to exist > I will die
Feeling: despair. sad, scared, desperate, alone Need: security, intimacy, acceptance, joy and playfulness, nurturing
The unwanted held the most weight with me though interesting I can clearly see behaviors I do to avoid bad and ugly the behaviors to avoid ‘unwanted’ are a bit more undercover.
After reading my answers I was filled with ah… empathy and compassion for myself and journaled to myself from the voice of a nurturing loving parent. It was very comforting and encouraging. I then felt this strength which was the core of who I was that felt wise and strong and safe and really far above the ‘story’.
It was a great feeling.. it was my authentic self and she is so strong and capable!