If your teen struggles with not knowing who they are or feeling lost negative core beliefs may be part of the problem.
Many teens are filled with these negative core belief systems. Core beliefs are belief systems that impact how we see ourselves, others, our future, and the world. They develop over time, usually from childhood and from significant life events and circumstances. They are strongly-held and ridged belief systems that are reinforced by the tendency to focus on facts that support the belief and ignore evidence that contradicts the belief system.
Many of the teenagers I work with at Mindful Healing believe that “They will never get better,” “They aren’t worth helping,” “They are hurting the people around them,” or “They don’t deserve to be loved.”
These beliefs are distress intolerant and can be activated by certain circumstances. When they are triggered they create such a pain response and such large emotional reactions teens cannot tolerate distress.
Core-Beliefs Are Attached to Values
One of the skills I teach at Mindful Healing is the DBT skill: Finding Meaning
This skill helps teens take a look at their distress intolerant beliefs and identify the value and meaning that it is triggering. If they say “I hurt the people around me,” they may value relationships. If they say “I will never get better,” they may value hope.
When teens are able to identify their values and begin to stripe away their self-doubt they are better able to tolerate distress. Adding meaning to life can help create a sense of purpose, life, and hope for the future.
It can help them begin to change their distress intolerant beliefs and find their authentic self!