Did you know that you have an internal story that rules your daily life?
It's your subconscious operating system that creates tension, frustration, self-criticism and suffering.
Your Story is comprised of the core beliefs that you carry about yourself, other people and the world around you.
These core beliefs are centered around Worth, Loveability, Belonging, Safety, Competency, Power and Freedom.
I call these the Core Story Patterns™.
The good news is that once you make the subconscious patterns conscious, you can actively shape your life!
The Core Story Patterns are a framework, created by Susan Shehata, to help you easily identify and navigate the limiting beliefs that create struggle in your daily life.
All of us experience each of these individual patterns, to some degree. But most of us have one or two primary patterns that we navigate our entire life. A primary pattern may also arise for a certain time period or situation.
The Core Story Pattern framework can be a welcome addition to other personality assessments, filling in the gaps or fleshing out a fuller concept of self awareness.
The ultimate goal of this framework is to create mindfulness, so that you can more consciously address the thoughts and behaviors that keep you stuck and struggling.
The Worth Core Story Pattern is based on beliefs that center around our perceived value to others and the world around us, as well as how deserving we feel.
Worth limiting beliefs can sound like:
I am unworthy. I am not enough. I am not recognized. I am invisible. I don't matter. I do not deserve love. I do not deserve abundance. I do not deserve success. My needs are not important. No one listens to me.
The Lovability Core Story Pattern is based on beliefs that center around our perceptions of how pleasing we are and, therefore, deserving of love and affection. Though it is closely tied in with worth, it is specific enough to also stand alone.
Lovability limiting beliefs can sound like:
I am unlovable. I am bad. I am shameful. People I love will leave me. To be loved, I must compromise my beliefs and/or needs. I am ugly.
The Belonging Core Story Pattern is based on beliefs that center around our perceptions that we fit into a particular group, whether that is family, friends, a specific community or the word at large. A desire for belonging is often also connected to worth, lovability and/or safety.
Belonging limiting beliefs can sound like:
I don't belong. I am alone. I am always left out. I am different. No one understands me. I am unwanted. I am misunderstood. I don't fit in. People don't get me. I'm not welcome. I only fit in when I am compromising myself or making myself valuable.
The Safety Core Story Pattern is based on beliefs that center around our perceived proximity to risk, danger and harm.
Safety limiting beliefs can sound like:
I am not safe. I am afraid. I am not ok. I am not going to be ok. I don't trust people. People will betray me. Love is dangerous. Success is dangerous. Intimacy is dangerous. People will hurt me. The world is a dangerous place. Something is going to happen to me. That's scary.
The Competency Core Story Pattern is based on beliefs that center around our perceived ability or proficiency. This may include feelings around our inherent nature, as well as acquired skills.
Competency limiting beliefs can sound like:
I'm a failure. I am flawed. I'm always wrong. I'm bad at things. I'm crazy. I'm stupid. I can't succeed. It's not ok to ask for help. I'm a fraud. I will lose. I can't get it right. I don't know. I don't know how. If I make a mistake, it means I'm a failure. Mistakes are not allowed.
The Power Core Story Pattern is based on beliefs that center around our perceived ability to influence ourselves, others or the world around us.
Power limiting beliefs can sound like:
I am powerless. I am hopeless. I'm out of control. I can't. I can't control anything. Everything is out of control. I have to do everything myself. I must do things myself to be ok. I am weak. I am responsible for everyone and everything. Nothing works for me. What's the point. Things will never change. I can't have what I want.
The Freedom Core Story Pattern is based on beliefs that center around our perceived ability to think, speak and act as we wish, without restriction.
Freedom limiting beliefs can sound like:
I am trapped. I can't escape. I don't want to. I don't want this. I'm not ready. If I get too close, I will lose myself. Life has to be a struggle. Love will smother me. There's no way out. I'm stuck. I don't have a choice.
The Core Story Patterns help us see that our limiting patterns are Universal, which can bring us peace.
Though we may already be aware of our own issues or triggers, we can feel alone or like we are the ONLY person who struggles with something, at this level. But more realistically, we all navigate these beliefs. Once we recognize that simple fact, it often brings a level of acceptance and well-being into our lives.
Building on that self-acceptance, once you identify and consciously acknowledge your primary pattern, you can better integrate the “old stories” that reinforced this pattern, and better navigate your daily triggers.
When trauma happens, it can overwhelm our nervous system and become too much to integrate, in the moment. So these traumatic experiences can find themselves floating in our body, so to speak, surfacing uncontrollably, at very inconvenient times and triggering our use of unnecessary and outdated survival strategies. Integration is a level of well-being where we acknowledge the situations and traumas that we have experienced, while we properly store them in our brains and bodies.
When we acknowledge and integrate these stories, they have a healthier container. The memories still exist, but they don't have the same charge around them. Because of that, it allows us to release the outdated survival strategies and navigate our lives based on the present moment.