I smoked cigarettes, years ago, back in the day when it was safe, or at least everyone thought it was… You may be thinking, “How could a fitness instructor and personal trainer of 34 years smoke???” Well, I did. In my crowd, you were cool if you smoked. We learned to be cool on TV, in magazines and from our parents. And in our teen years, we were desperate to be glamorous and cool too. We copied our idols, from their teased hairstyles, trend setting clothing, far out, and groovy language to their seemingly harmless behavior.
My best friend Barbra and I created rituals around smoking. We would sneak away (which was delicious in itself), and hide out while enjoying the grown up, act of smoking. The fear of being caught and getting in serious trouble made it all the more attractive. How much better could it be? We got to act out, rebel against authority and be glamorous and cool too. Oh yeah, we had many reasons to keep smoking.
Later, after learning of the dangers of smoking I tried to stop and couldn’t. After trying everything from writing about it, getting therapy, going cold turkey, and chewing gum, I realized I was addicted.
I kept telling myself I was going to quit after this one last cigarette, only to finish it and buy another pack! I’d say to myself, “As soon as this stress at work is over… or, maybe it’s not really hurting me anyway, people have lived into their 100’s and smoked, I’m safe…. or, who am I kidding, I’ll never be able to quit – might as well keep smoking…” If you’ve ever tried to give up a bad habit this may sound familiar.
With each failed attempt, I felt defeated. The mental torture was horrible. I sunk deeper into despair and self-loathing feeling disgusted. My desire to quit wasn’t motivated by fear of cancer or that my secret, nasty habit would be revealed. I wanted to quit because I felt bad about myself. The lack of self-control and my ensuing lack of trust, confidence and growing contempt for myself was my prime motivator.
I performed well in other areas of my life and yet I could not, for the life of me, conquer this nasty habit. If I couldn’t control myself, how could I master the other, bigger, and more important things?
Years later I entered a personal growth period in my life. Reading self-help books, like, “Healing the Child Within”, by Charles L. Whitfield, MD, “Changes That Heal”, by Dr. Henry Cloud, “Learning To Love Yourself”, by Gay Hendricks helped me learn the importance of creating a healthy relationship with myself, and this became my new goal.
I began to develop compassion and forgiveness where I felt like a failure – like smoking. I found myself feeling more protective about my body, and I began making healthier choices. Learning about the power of our mind in creating our success or failure fueled me with the desire to make permanent, positive changes in my life. I made a commitment to change my inner world to one of love, compassion, forgiveness and support for myself.
As I changed my thinking I was able to successfully and permanently give up the habit. This time the decision to quit came from a strong desire to regain self-respect, self-control, and confidence and to begin to deeply care for myself.
I was successful this time, with no turning back! Freedom and independence were mine the day I quit.
We all can change our habits and our lives. We have the ability to free ourselves from limiting, negative, and destructive beliefs and behaviors and create our own independence day!
If you want to make changes and need help and support, you can avoid years of struggle like me and choose hypnotherapy. Hypnotherapy will help you make these changes quickly, powerfully and enjoyably.
The following activity may help.
1. From what limiting, destructive belief or behavior do you want freedom?
2. How is it affecting various areas your life?
3. How is it affecting the way you feel about yourself?
4. What would your life be like if this were resolved?
5. What can you do to support yourself now?
6. When will you begin?
Wishing you freedom, independence and success.
Copyright©2014 Patricia Eslava Vessey… All Rights Reserved