“I have given full power of attorney over to my husband. He will make all my decisions for me legally, financially, socially, medically, and in all other areas of my life.” These are the words of a healthy forty year old client who suffers from low self esteem and extreme anxiety. “I can’t trust myself because I have anxiety and I’m never sure if I’m making the right decisions about anything.” So I’m thinking, “What came first…the chicken or the egg.” Is her anxiety and low self esteem because she is refusing to take responsibility for her life or or visa versa. Digging deeper into her history and on-going one-on-one therapy sessions reveals that early childhood verbal abuse from a narcissistic and alcoholic mother robbed my client of her self esteem and any trust she might have in herself. Anxiety was a part of my client’s life from the time she was a child. When you understand what a core belief is and how a core belief is formed you begin to understand why someone like my client would become an adult whose life is completely out of her hands…relinquished and dismissed. Core beliefs are formed in early childhood about the self and the people and world around us. Core beliefs dictate our expectations of what our life is to be like and sets up patterns of behavior that guarantee that those expectations will come true. In my client’s case her expectation of life is that she will never have control over anything that is essential to her well being. This expectation or core belief has manifested itself to the point where she has no clue of how to take responsibility for anything of real importance in her life. So what is the solution for her happiness. Very simply to take responsibility for herself and her life. So how does a therapist help someone do this? Well, here is a little thumb nail sketch of a plan: First, the client has to recognize that they are in trouble and is willing to learn what they need to do to help themselves. Second, they need to be educated as to what core belief is, how a core belief is formed and how it can be matured and transformed into a core belief that supports healthy adult experience. Third, they need to be willing to face what they fear…those memories and emotions from childhood conflicting and stressful events and conditions. Once willing to feel their authentic feelings they are in a better position to transform and take responsibility. Finally, recognizing those things that hurt them they can recognize the faulty beliefs they took on and change them. In taking the risk in changing their perception of reality they can then start to put the new perceptions into action. Saying and doing the things one needs to say and do to take control of their lives. Consider this: you are responsible for your own happiness and well being. You are not responsible for anyone other’s happiness or well being. They are responsible for their own.