The Swiss Cheese Theory of Life: How To Get Through Life's Holes Without Getting Stuck In Them!

by Judith Belmont, M.S.
(Allentown, PA)

The Swiss Cheese Theory of Life uses Swiss Cheese as a metaphor for life itself. Life is not predictable and smooth like cream cheese. Our lives are really more like Swiss with all its distinctive holes, and without the holes, there would be no Swiss!

Our lives, likewise, have inevitable “holes,” and imperfections," yet these holes give us our unique character and depth. It’s a fact that the larger the holes of the Swiss, the sweeter and more distinctive the cheese.

What an analogy to our lives! We develop resiliency by overcoming challenges and obstacles. By moving through life’s holes rather than getting stuck in them, we become stronger.

All too often in life, people dig themselves deeper in a “hole.” Old patterns are hard to break, and only by learning to think more rationally can we “think straight to feel great!”

For example, the Swiss Cheese Theory teaches us that fondue can never turn back into a block of cheese!

What is done is done, and all too often people keep stuck in a hole because they keep reworking, almost like hoping things will get better, but of course we can only change how the past affects us in the present!

When we refuse to live in the land of the “woulda. coulda, shouldas” and “if onlys” we embrace the imperfections in our lives and we learn that mistakes, regrets and failures can be used as stepping stones towards success!

So go ahead - embrace the holes in you life, and smile and say CHEESE!

Judy Belmont, M.S., L.P.C. is a Psychotherapist and Speaker. She and Lora Shor, MSW, are the co-authors of “The Swiss Cheese Theory of Life: ” at

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