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How healthy core beliefs affect recovery

All of us will have core beliefs wired into our brains stemming from either our childhoods or how society has shaped us over the years. And in order to get into recovery it’s essential to identify them and reveal any that may be faulty. Unless faulty core beliefs are addressed and rewritten, the cycle of addiction will continue to spin. Core beliefs are as fundamental as they sound. They shape our lives completely from our behaviour to our relationships, even if we are not consciously aware of them. In this sense, faulty core beliefs are essentially a self-fulfilling prophecy. For example, a person who grows up feeling unworthy may as a result, seek relationships where they are disrespected and left feeling a similar way. When it comes to trauma-induced or attachment-induced sex addiction, those faulty core beliefs are then reinforced by addictive behaviours. On the other hand, those with opportunity-induced addiction may have grown up with healthy core beliefs but when the addictive behaviours escalated, those positive self-beliefs changed. When you feel as if your behaviour is out of your control, our whole perception of ourselves changes leaving us with a sense of low self-worth. Here it is important to note that self-confidence and self-esteem are two very different things. One addresses how we feel about what we’re doing whilst the other is more about who we are. Often the grand image of our life that we present to others is a disguise for deep feelings of inadequacy. And it is in those feelings of inadequacy where shame takes form and perpetuates the cycle of addiction.

To change core beliefs we must first identify them in order to discover the unhealthy ones. Once we have uncovered them, we can explore how they have been created and how they have maintained the sexual addiction. There are many questions we can ask ourselves to get started. For example, am I a good person? Am I an honest person? Can I change and grow as a person? Then we can move on to ask questions in relation to others. Such as, do I deserve to be loved? Can I communicate my emotional and physical needs? Do I trust others to meet those needs? And so on…

There are various exercises that can be done in therapy in order to change core beliefs but it takes time. Often they are rooted deep in our unconscious and in the process of unearthing them all, we may not always like what we discover. But it is important to challenge the faulty ones that are prohibiting the possibility of a happy life. With a healthy set of core beliefs, it is easier to believe in the possibility of recovery and embrace it personally rather than as a forced obligation. And further along the line, they can help put a stop to the need for destructive sexual behaviours.

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