Intentionality is your secret weapon in your war on mediocrity.

โ€”Brian Moran & Michael LenningtonThe 12 Week Year

I love the psychology of change and personal growth – maybe it’s because I’m slightly obsessed with unlocking human potential and seeing what we can evolve into.

One thing I’ve studied more closely than ever these past 18 months is what personal growth really entails – and what makes people quit on a good thing (and themselves) and sends them scampering back to their familiar comfort zone, tail between legs.

Every day people decide on goals they want to bring to life – but do not get clear on whether the psychological cost involved (temporary stretching beyond the comfort zone) is outweighed by actually achieving it.

This is a big mistake.

Many also don’t take the time to formulate a powerful vision of what they want and WHY they want it.ย ๐Ÿ˜ฉ

This is paramount. You will need sufficient inspiration to get there.

These preparatory steps are essential to give yourself the best chance to make significant positive change/personal growth – and turn it into your new normal.

There are a few primary psychological stages people move through when they attempt change, whether in business or personal life,:

Psychologists Kelley and Connor have formulated and outlined the “Emotional Cycle of Change”1 (ECOC) as follows…


The Emotional Cycle of Change

Phase 1: Uninformed Optimism

Here we’re feeling good about our goal and vision, seeing all the potential benefits and none of the negatives or costs. We don’t really realise what we’re in for!

Phase 2: Informed Pessimism

Here the costs of change start to become apparent and our emotions take a nosedive south. We’re questioning if it’s really worth the effort, looking for reasons to sabotage our efforts and return to the comfort zone we are biochemically addicted and habituated to.

Because we’re engaging in new thoughts and new behaviour patterns, this means a new neurotransmitter cocktail is being generated by your limbic brain. Your old neuro-cocktail was probably very well established and your body’s cells were more than merely accustomed to it – they were a little bit addicted!

Our cells are now screaming “No, this doesn’t feel right, wrong way, go back!” Heard that one before from someone in a liminal space?

It’s important not to listen to your cranky addict cells! This is just your subconscious mind talking, but you need to choose to live from creative wilfulness and that means acting consciously, from your frontal lobe, the most evolved part of the brain.2

Phase 3:ย ๐Ÿค•ย The Valley of Despair

Where most people give up and quit on themselves. All the pain of change is apparent and the benefits seem distant and abstract. The whole endeavour looks futile – what we were thinking trying to grow and up-level our lives?!

Having a crystal clear vision and reason WHY is absolutely CRUCIAL for surviving the Valley of Despair. This is the raw emotional fuel to sustain your commitment.

You also need a rock solid mindset to stay focused and on task, implementing your day-to-day tactics while keeping an eye on the Big Picture. You’ll also want to acquire a relevant SKILL set and even a mentor to help navigate your way out of the Valley to the fourth stage…

Phase 4: Informed Optimism

Now you’re starting to feel good again and your work is starting to yield some results. Importantly, here your new thought patterns and actions are more routine and therefore producing LESS discomfort.

You’re adapting and now is not the time to stop! Your chances of success here have improved significantly.ย  โฌ†๏ธ

Phase 5: Success and Fulfilment

Now you get to reap the harvest you’ve sown and enjoy the benefits of your prior discomfort. The rewards of change are apparent and the costs are becoming a distant memory.

Congratulations, you’ve completed the Emotional Cycle of Change in spite of yourself!

You’re a new person with new neural networks, serving up new neurotransmitter cocktails to your body’s cells, and now they’re loving it (as opposed to hating you for it) and will help you maintain your new state of being!

You have a new normal.

Time to head down to the local kombucha bar and reward yourself with a cold one.


Too many times a new opportunity shows up and we optimistically jump in, sensing a way to improve some aspect of our life…

…without even a rudimentary grasp on how to navigate the challenges we will inevitably face along the way as we push beyond our comfort zone and encounter the internal resistance that comes with that.

Understanding the ECOC can help us prepare to enter the battleground of meaningful personal growth and change and give ourselves a fighting chance.

Have at thee, evolution!

where did solfeggio frequencies come from


  1. Source for the ECOC model: The 12 Week Year by Brian Moran and Michael Lennington
  2. Evolve Your Brain, Joe Dispenza
Brendan D. Murphy

Brendan D. Murphy

Brendan D. Murphy is the Freedom Hacker and Truth Addict. A spiritual-intellectual and non-conformist, he is the author of highly acclaimed "The Grand Illusion: A Synthesis of Science and Spirituality" - Books 1 & 2, and co-founder of Trooth.network - where free speech lives (a censorship-free Fedbook alternative). "Freedom begins with truth."


  • Hazel Crawford says:

    Very, very cool Brendon! As ever your guiding vision is the stuff of transformation at a pivotal time of insecurity… born of a world at it’s tipping point.

  • Michael Marsden says:

    Brendon thanks for the materialistic view of brain hormonal changes in addressing and adapting to change. You’re take on it is half correct although most people are only aware of the half you presented, the atomic theory of molecular evolution. The only problem with atomic theory is there is another way to look at that reflects a reality we are told doesn’t exist, field theory actually creates the feeling of atomic theory. The only problem with atomic theory is we have never seen an atom as a thing, only as an area acting like a thing. This thing is a harmonic in a dielectric field that continually comes into our space effects change and returns to counter space. Counterspace is the place where we are not, the place inside a magnet that the dielectric field goes with all the changes gathered in regular space where our five senses work. When the changes including all molecular and structural changes the hormonal molecules make are returned to counter space they become a habit or a new normal. It takes repeated change to be reinforced to cause a habit to form in counterspace. This habit or as Rupert Sheldrake calls a morphogenic field causes the new habit to become the template we start with which becomes the new normal you speak of. It is the configuration of the new dielectric field that emerges from counterspace. The kicker is that it affects all humans a little bit worldwide each time it is reinforced. So one becomes many. This phenomenon has been proven absolutely true through rigorous testing. The only conjecture is the above explanation I propose. All the best mate….

    • Your model sounds analogous to Larson’s reciprocal time-space/space-time model – or Tiller’s D-space/R-space model, Michael. Thanks for the share. As you can probably imagine, in an article like that, the physics of reality is beyond the scope, but I always read your comments with interest anyway. Please feel free to recommend some specific reading materials for my future reference along those lines. ๐Ÿ™‚
      You’re also bang-on about the new morphic field being nonlocally reinforced each time one individual undergoes the change.
      Cheers, hope you’re well!

  • Bradley says:

    Hey Brendan,
    Am leaving a reply in regards to your Solfeggio Post and the Augmented fourth being associated with the diabolical.
    I am wondering if Bob Dylan’s Positively 4th Street recording from long ago is making reference to this. Or perhaps (unbeknownst to he …being someone who would later admit to selling his soul) …a channeled and inexplicable piece to this puzzle ! haha just a thought.

  • Mike Starman says:

    Thanks Brendan.
    At the moment I need this very much.
    A reminder. A refresher. An agent for hope and persistence.
    Mike xx