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What are core issues?

At Fulshear Treatment to Transition, we have a dialectic underlying every young woman’s unique treatment plan. Ultimately, the goal is to go from living through one’s core issue (or fear) to living through one’s core meaning. But what do these even mean?

Core Issue = Negative Self-belief

Both are beliefs everybody holds about themselves, regardless of being in or out of treatment. Someone’s core issue is a negative self-belief validated by negative life experiences. For example, my core issue is that I’m not good enough; validated by setting personal high expectations yet failing to meet them, and feeling like my best is never enough. I have felt this way in competitive outlets as well as in my relationships. Because I believe this about myself, I tend to overcompensate in my relationships with people and send the message that I’m trying too hard to be perfect. My core fear of not being good enough makes it very easy to be rejected or to reject myself for not being smart enough, funny enough, skinny enough, or, overall, good enough.

Core Meaning = Positive Self-belief

More recently, I have stopped believing my core issue. Now I live through my core meaning. My core meaning is that I’m a capable influence for good. This belief is also validated by life experience but has less validation than a core issue. It is easier to believe in a core issue than a core meaning because core issues have more negative validation than the positive experiences reinforcing a core meaning. My core meaning is validated by my joyful ability to help others and be satisfied with doing so. When I am living through my core meaning, I am genuine and true to myself and am overall a happier person.

Discover Your Core

To find your own core issue, you can ask yourself:

  1. What do you fear to be true about yourself?
  2. What experiences do you focus on that validate that negative belief?

Your core meaning can be found by thinking about times when you have felt capable and accomplished in your life.  Ask yourself:

  1. What were you doing when you felt this way?
  2. What does that say about you as a person?

When we are able to view others through their core issue (or fear) and core meaning, we are more able to show empathy and understanding for them in the relationship.