The Core Deficient Self


Somewhere along the way as we go through life, often in our early years, we begin to believe a lie about who we really are. And the lie sticks because we unconsciously repeat it to ourselves as we grow into adulthood. I call that lie the story of the core deficient self. It arises from the part of our identity that continuously creates the core story of who we think we are.

This false story comes in many forms, but it’s usually a version of There’s something wrong with me. It’s a lie through and through because there actually is no core deficient self at all, and so the story can’t be anything more than a set of thoughts—that’s all. The story seems true, though, because we believe it.

Facing a core emotional wound can seem way too scary for most people. Even when you momentarily have the confidence to look more closely at your story of core deficiency—for example, when you want to free yourself from its grip—what you often find yourself doing instead is reconfirming your story.

The less willing and able you are to confront your core story of deficiency and its accompanying emotional wound, the more you’ll point outward to keep from having to look within, and this outward pointing is what will keep you continuously blind to the inner lie that something is wrong with you. The story of your core deficiency constitutes a blind spot because you can’t see your story as long as you’re pointing away from it. When you protect the story of your core deficient self instead of facing it and seeing through it, you unconsciously feed that story, and then you blame others for your emotional pain instead of taking responsibility for what you’ve come to believe about yourself. (That’s not to say that you don’t also blame yourself sometimes, too, further strengthening the story about something being wrong with you.) You point outward from your blind spot, and that outward pointing fuels your emotional pain, which in turn fuels your need for more self-protection and self-preservation, and those needs produce still more outward pointing. It’s an insidious, vicious cycle, and it’s something we all unconsciously do to ourselves. That’s why it really hurts.

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