Fooling yourself into being awesome

I find with any life changing endeavor, three things are equally and epically important:

1. Know who you are.
2. Know how to tell yourself the truth.
3. Know how to trick yourself into a lie.

The reason these things are important are best summed up by how I have FINALLY quit smoking with such resolve, I’m not at all concerned about a relapse:

As December 2010 was approaching, I started formulating a plan in my head of how to live a healthier lifestyle. My goals were, as they should be, selfish – I wanted to feel more confident both clothed and naked (hey ladies, men have body issues too). I’d already lost from 230lbs – 195lbs… but I was still flabby and I still felt rundown. As I thought about how much all this sucked… I lit up…….. my 25th cigarette for the day.

Now, I have tried to quit and tried to quit and tried to quit…. but looking back, I never really TRIED to quit. It became obvious that the next thing to go would have to be the smoking (should have been the first thing to be honest) and then I could start in on exercise and stress management, etc. This sounded great on paper… the problem, of course, was actually putting the cancer sticks down once and for all.

Enter important needs number 1 and 2 – Know who you are, Know how to tell yourself the truth:

It was at this moment that I realized and admitted the following:

I was lazy
I was unwilling to stop smoking
The only time I’ve wanted to quit in the past year was when a few of my friends were relentlessly teasing me about smelling after a smoke break………….

Enter important need number 3 – Know how to trick yourself into a lie:

See, knowing the above information is great.. but ultimately worthless. It’s like a fire alarm going off when you’re in a room you’ve never been in before and have no idea of where the fire exits are.

Point being, you need the plan… you need the method of making you, the lazy/unwilling you, want to do these things that you well… want to do but don’t WANT to do.

So I tricked myself into the lie… via peer pressure, and spite.

Many people apply peer pressure for appalling/ludicrous/ridiculous/stupid “causes”. It’s actually how I started smoking. People think doing something out of spite is immature… probably, but it works to your benefit if you use it right.

I found a way to use both for good though by finding various people to fill my support base. My support base is made up of the following:

1 – Best friend who also smokes that I asked to quit with me.
1 – Coworker/Friend I respect who has quit smoking before that I mentioned “needing” drugs or laser treatments to quit, knowing he would be condescending about me being too weak-willed to quit on my own.
1 – Best friend who had quit smoking before that would also tease me for being weak-willed but also be supportive, almost like a quit coach.

As planned… hearing the coworker tell me “if you need snake oil to man up, go ahead, it’s a waste of money and I’ll probably think less of you if you go through with it” set my willpower in motion. Hearing my best friend tease me about being weak and then back me up with a few helpful tips for quitting not only fueled the fire but made me feel like I had a contingency plan. Lastly, having an accountability partner to be there day after day and raise bloody hell if I cheated ensured that no craving was worth the risk.

Regardless of what you’re trying to overcome on your path to healthiness (or even just life), just remember to know who you are, be honest about who that is, and know the best way to con that person into what you really want to happen in your life.

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