I had to give up coffee this week and as a thank you, my body gave me a massive headache. This got me thinking just how hard it is to give things up even when it’s for your greater good. My body should be thanking me but instead, I can still feel the pounding in the back of my head and I suspect, I’ll get the same tomorrow.
Makes you want to have that coffee, except I can’t. I just invested in a teeth whitening kit and the dentist said no coffee, tea, red wine or other staining food. Instant motivation.
Here are some thoughts around giving up which I hope you’ll find helpful if you’re in the same boat.
1. There has to be a desire to change or a motivation
To be able to give something up, you have to really want to. If you’re giving something up for someone else, it is unlikely that you’ll succeed (unless they are bribing you or something). The desire to change is key here and this has to be serious.
So thinking about something you want to give up, what language do you use? Do you say: “I want to try to stop smoking” or do you say “I’m giving up smoking”. Big difference.
In my case, I want white teeth and for that to happen I have to stay off the coffee for a couple of weeks. That’s the motivation. Also, I did pay quite a bit of money…
2. You may have invested quite a bit in the behaviour
There is a pay off to every behaviour, whether a negative or a positive one. I like coffee and it gives me a bit of a buzz, that’s the pay off. Plus, it helps me get through boring periods at work. I feel better doing something boring if I’m drinking a nice latte. That may be shallow, but that is the truth.
What is the pay off from the behaviour / thing you want to give up? Could you keep the pay off? In my case, I replaced the coffee with herbal tea. Not so much of a buzz but nice to drink (I like herbal tea) and there are tons of flavours to chose from.
3. Your body, friends, husband, wife may have an investment in your behaviour
So it may not be just you that gains from the behaviour. My body obviously is not ready to give up coffee, I have to be conscious of that. The good thing is, the last thing I want to do when I get a headache is drink coffee so kind of easy this one.
But what if your family gets really nice dinners out of your love of food and then you go on a diet and you don’t cook anymore. Not sure they will like it. So best know this in advance and plan for it.
4. You may need to change some unconscious belief
If the change you need to make is really hard, maybe you’ve failed a few times. Then you may need to look deeper.
This is where hypnotherapy can help. I find that knowing you need to change at an intellectual level is often not enough, you need to get to the belief. The pay off that is registered in your unconscious and change it.
5. You can succeed
Know this. There are countless examples of people changing their behaviours and giving things up. Countless. So you can succeed. But you really need to want to. So pay attention to your language.
Are you saying ‘I’m trying to’ or are you saying ‘I am’. There’s a big difference between ‘I’m trying to lose weight’ and ‘I am losing weight’. Which one is it?