We invariably behave in a certain way at every moment in our lives for reasons. We might believe it is the right thing to do. We might feel that acting in this way will bring us closer to what we desire.
This model proposes that things that happen to us—what we experience—create thoughts and beliefs, and feelings and emotions. Usually we are not fully aware (conscious) of what these are.
These in turn in drive our behaviour or, put the other way around, our behaviour is “caused by” our thoughts and beliefs, and feelings an emotions.
If we choose to have a different belief about an experience we have had (the man was rude to me because he was under stress, not because I am a bad person), we can behave differently (more helpfully and more usefully). There is feedback: we have different experiences which potentially generate different feels and change our beliefs about the system.
And, in truth, the model would be more accurate, but a lot less useful, if all the lines between all the boxes had an arrow head at each end. If one is “forced” to behave differently, as in my story about Alsatian dogs, then one can create different beliefs and feelings. But the model as shown indicates the main direction of forces, the prevailing winds, if you like.
An important nuance to this description is that it is actually our memories of our experiences, not the experiences themselves (which happened long ago maybe), which condition our beliefs and feelings. This raises an interesting idea—given that our memories are not reliable computer records of what happened—namely that we modify our memories to suit our current circumstances. We almost always do this unconsciously and so don’t know we’ve done it.
> Behaviour cycle
> Alsatians [story]
© 2015 Jeremy Marchant Limited . by Jeremy Marchant . uploaded 9 may 2015 . image: Free images