Despite being in and out of counselling over the past 20 years, I don’t ever remember being asked what my core beliefs were. I find it difficult to look inward and pinpoint my feelings and causes of my thoughts and actions.
Everyone bangs on about self-care, which is a foreign concept to me. At least I thought it was. It turned out that going to CBT last year was the best self-care I could ever do.
Together, with the therapist, I managed to articulate three core beliefs that my world revolved around. They were:
- I am not good enough
- I don’t fit in
- That’s unfair
Throughout that year, with the help of identifying these core beliefs, I worked on dismantling my negative self-perception and how to change these.
My Aha! moment was when I stumbled across a lady with Asperger’s, I couldn’t believe the connection I felt with someone I barely knew. Her experiences were mine! I made my way to stalk autistic Facebook pages more and more and suddenly I felt myself gravitating toward a community that wrote, thought, and experienced the world like me.
Suddenly one of my core beliefs disappeared. I belonged! I fit in! I joined the Scottish Women’s Autism Network, where for the first time when I read, I read things I could have written. Where being coloured or Muslim made zero difference and being a woman celebrated.
What I realised was that all my life when I felt or believed that I didn’t fit in, it was because I was looking in the wrong places. I was desperate for approval from people who couldn’t imagine what my world was like. Even the one who birthed me.