The Belief Change Cycle

The natural cycle of belief change can be likened to the changing of the seasons. A new belief is like a seed that becomes planted in the Spring. The seed grows into the Summer where it matures, becomes strong and takes root. During the process of its growth, the seed must at times compete for survival with other plants or weeds that may already be growing in the garden. To successfully accomplish this, the new seed may require the assistance of the gardener in order to help fertilize it or provide protection from the weeds.

Like crops in the Autumn, the belief eventually serves its purpose, and begins to become outdated and wither. The 'fruits' of the belief, however, (the positive intentions and purposes behind it) are retained or Tiarvested', and separated from the parts that are no longer necessary. Finally, in the Winter, the parts of the belief which are no longer needed are let go of and fade away, allowing the cycle to begin again.

As we prepare for the different stages in our lives or careers, we repeat this cycle many times: (a) We begin by 'wanting to believe' that we will be able to manage the new challenge successfully and resourcefully. As we enter that stage of life and learn the lessons that we need in order to manage, we (b) become 'open to believe' that we may, in fact, have the capabilities to be successful and resourceful. As our capabilities become confirmed, we (c) become confident in our 'belief that we are successful and resourceful and that what we are doing is right for us now.

Sometimes our new conviction comes in conflict with existing limiting beliefs that contradict the new generalization or judgment we are attempting to establish. Frequently, these interfering beliefs are generalizations that have served to support or protect us at some time in the past, by establishing limits and priorities perceived as necessary for safety or survival at that time in our lives. As we recognize that we are passing that stage of life or work, we begin to become (d) 'open to doubt' that the boundaries and decisions associated with that stage are really what is most important, priorital or 'true' for us anymore.

When we are able to move on to the next stage in our lives or careers, we can look back and see that what used to be important and true for us is no longer the case. We can recognize that we (e) 'used to believe' that we were a certain way and that certain things were important. We can also retain the beliefs and capabilities that will help us in our current phase, but we realize that our values, priorities and beliefs are now different.

All one needs to do is to reflect upon the cycles of change that one has gone through since childhood, adolescence, and the stages of adulthood, to find many examples of this cycle. As we enter and pass through relationships, jobs, friendships, partnerships, etc., we develop beliefs and values which serve us, and let them go again as we transition to a new part of our life's path.

The fundamental steps of this cycle include:

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