This is 5th out of 5 Step Process to Beat Your Habit (click here for Introduction)
Unlearn what you have learned
Unlearning a behavior that no longer serves us and shifting into a new one is a journey. It takes focus and determination. The good news is that if you have allowed yourself to take the time and work with yourself in the first four steps, you have really high chances for succeeding.
What does it really mean to shift into your new non-smoking self? Over years you may have developed an identity of a smoker. Your life was evolving around those 5 minutes when you can enjoy the smoke. It was your fun time, your alone time, your social time, your de-stress time. You were calling yourself and being called: a smoker. As weird as it may sound, it probably gave you a sense of belonging, “your place in the world,” your identity. Maybe you were told or said yourself a hundred times that “once a smoker always a smoker.”
The Reality is what You believe it is
If you believe it, it will, of course, be true. You can, however, choose to believe something else and make it your new truth! To maximize your chances of success you need to build a new version of yourself. In option three we have explained the positive and believable reprogramming of your brain. In this step, you need to take that process to the next level. You have to transition out of your “smoker identity.” You need to find a new, positive and a believable way to call yourself.
Your new identity.
Something that really resonates with you. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, have a look below to see what Marta has chosen for her new identity (read below).
From "Lacking" to "Having"
One more trick that will support you during the transition is to shift from “lacking” to “having.” Meaning that if you concentrate on what you can’t have and what you are missing (“I can’t smoke,” “I miss smoking”), you’ll indeed be feeling as if you are lacking something. And when we’re missing something we feel worse than when we are having something. It is therefore way cooler for you to shift to what you do have instead.
“I have a great opportunity to breath in clean air when I need to calm down” (instead of poisonous smoke).
“I have the energy and strength to run a marathon.”
“I have a beautiful smell around me.”
“I have a beautiful and youthful face”
“I have freedom and control over my life” (I am not controlled by my addiction).
Disclaimer! It is not to say that you shouldn’t acknowledge that you are feeling bad and that you do feel like you miss smoking. All emotions are fine and acceptable. The trick is to acknowledge them, deal with them and then let go. As opposed to creating that permanent sense of scarcity (lacking) which may just disempower you.
Shifting to your new self, requires dedication. So commit to yourself and respect that commitment. Remember also that it’s a difficult time, so make sure that you are your very best friend and that your actions and words are there to make you do and feel better.
Marta’s quitting smoking story
I quit smoking 13 years ago. It was a fear-based quitting smoking and it was such a negative and difficult journey! I have tried quitting several times before with no success. Finally, I had an incident where my heart suddenly started to hurt me so much, that I couldn’t stand up and walk for one hour. I got really scared! My partner supported me with an acupressure technique, which made a huge difference. I managed to quit smoking for good.
However, since I was using smoking as a way to deal with my emotions and I had no idea how to do it otherwise, I just replaced smoking with indulging in sweets. Additionally, for many years I have been feeding myself with this belief, repeating over and over again: “I am a smoker,” “Once a smoker, always a smoker.”
And you know what? I believed it! Recently I have chosen to believe that: “I am Marta”. That’s my identity! It’s amazing, I feel so free now! It is me who gets to choose who I am. I used to believe that when I’m old, I’ll start smoking again. But now… I’m like.. why would I want to do that? I choose to love my body and I want to feed it with healthy nutrients. I choose to sustain my youth.
There’s still a way for me in learning how to deal with my emotions in a positive and constructive manner. Life’s a journey. So dear Sam, it’s all in your hands. You get to decide what you want in life and which patterns serve you. You have the power to break a destructive habit and choose a constructive one instead. One that will add on to your healthy and loving living.
Acknowledge that breaking a habit is a journey so be gentle with yourself and treat yourself as you own very best friend.
Celebrate your small successes, learn from the failures and rock that smoke-free- Sam.
5 step process to beat your habit
Step 1: Inner journey (or root cause analysis)— dig deep to find out why have you been smoking all this time (please read here)
Step 2: More inner journey- determine why you REALLY want to quit (please read here)
Step 4: Game plan– figure out what you are going to do instead (please read here)
Step 5: Shift into your new non- smoking self (you are here)