Ready to overcome an undesirable habit?

What an amazing year ahead!  I hope you have set some big outcomes for yourself and are focused on making things happen.

This year, I have taken on the President role of CAPS (Canadian Association of Professional Speakers) Calgary Chapter, focused on helping speakers develop a style of being more CAPTIVATING.

On Saturday I am attending the Edmonton Dream Society Fundraiser as the keynote speaker. The Edmonton Dream Society supports women and children fighting to overcome addiction, homelessness and violence.

As I prep for this presentation, it occurs to me that there are more similarities between those hi-jacked by an addiction or fighting against homelessness and those of us who struggle to a lesser degree to change our own undesirable habits.

Consider for a moment that to change any behaviour, a person must be motivated to do so and (more importantly perhaps) believe they can.   Options are also a big part of the equation. Let’s face it, that which is easy to do is often just as easy not to do. Remember your last commitment to those workouts, diet plan or giving up coffee?  How did you make out?

Understanding Addictive Behaviour

Imagine for a moment, that you never really felt comfortable with who you are. It could be because you believed that you failed at things you tried, or you were not satisfied with the level of success you did achieve. It could be because you had thoughts and emotions that made you feel different from other people, particularly if you felt you weren’t as good or as lovable as others. Or perhaps you were actually told, or shown, that you were no good, worthless, or that you existed just to meet other people’s needs.

Then imagine you have an experience — you drink, take a drug, win a bet or a game, have a sexual experience, overeat, or buy something for yourself, and suddenly, everything feels great. You feel as if success is easy and right for you, that perhaps others don’t understand, but now it feels good to be alive. There is finally something you can depend on to feel OK.

It might be easy to get what feels good — for a food addict, a quick trip to the corner store and a few dollars can replenish your cookie supplies — or it might be difficult, for a heroin addict costing a lot of cash, significant risks, and interaction with people you can’t trust. But compared to the emptiness of what you felt before, investing in the chance that you could again feel good about yourself and about being alive is what matters.

Sure, other people don’t understand. But that just makes you want to spend time with people who do understand, whose addictions make them feel exactly the way you do. You don’t even need to talk about it with them — between you, there is already an understanding. So now you don’t feel like an outsider, you feel like an insider, a member of a secret club. Let’s face it, we all want to feel like we belong somewhere!
Of course, there is a price to pay. You may put on or lose weight, experience health problems, or lose a lot of money, things, or relationships. But none of that made you feel happy anyway, and, at least for a short time, your addiction does.

How many of you reading this article have ever attempted to change a behaviour (smoking, weight loss, shopping or heck even epic cleaning) and found that in short order, it was a big challenge to maintain the enthusiasm for the change and you slipped silently back to your old habits, perhaps feeling hopeless?

So what makes you think it is any easier for someone who is using their addiction to escape a life of disappointment or poor self-image?

Whether you are trying to kick an addiction or just a bad habit, having support and accountability is a big part of your success.   Our current habits have designed our neurology. To shift behaviour and habit, we need to actually re-engineer the architecture of our brain. We need to start believing we have the capacity to be different in spite of setbacks.

How important is success for you?  Will you be willing to expect it to be trying at times?  Will you demand more of yourself and when you fail to keep the promise to yourself – dust yourself off and start again! The real secret to success is in the commitment to being consistent in your efforts.

As you shift into a new pattern of thinking and behaving, look for supporters not enablers. Be willing to seek out help and invest in your own success.

It’s January and perhaps some of you are already struggling to keep your promises (small or big) to yourself. I want to help. Lets take one small step together and start out by downloading the Personal Inspiration Hypnosis MP3 pack for $5.  Take a leap of faith and invite me into your mind to help you start developing a root belief in yourself again.

Its just one small step.  Will you be brave and bold enough to go for it?  Wishing you profound success as you launch into 2014.  Many small steps can produce big rewards.