Don’t worry – this is not an episode of Crimewatch and you are not in trouble! You see, 7 years ago on Tuesday I made a life changing decision. That’s why I remember the day and the date well. You may not have a specific reason to remember the 14th June 2015. But I want you to think about how your life has changed – or not – since then.
Let me take you back even further. How about 30 years? 30 years ago, I was a 20 something with a life full of distractions. Of course, I didn’t know they were distractions at the time.
One of my distractions was ‘another pair of shoes’ – just because I love shoes, and I deserved them. At least, that’s what I told myself every time I bought yet another pair. Distraction number 2 – more holidays – as many as I could fit into a year with my measly holiday allowance! Because I deserved it.
Binge watching TV / films at the weekend also fell into the ‘distraction’ bucket – as did my old mates Gordon and Stella. No, not actual mates of mine – though I felt very fond of them. I’m talking about Gin and Lager.
As I am sure you can see as an outsider looking in, I was distracting. I was distracting, as many people do, from my feelings – I was lonely, felt insignificant and had massive imposter syndrome. I was also married to a depressed person, whom I had no clue how to help. I ultimately tried the ultimate distraction from life – death, and am still paying higher insurance premiums 30 years later.
One particular part of my life – which didn’t seem like a distraction, was that when I was running an off license, I took and passed exams as a wine taster. We used to hold tasting evenings in the premises and of course, there was always an open bottle or 4 left at the end. It would be a shame to waste them, right?
I told my self it was a perk of the job. And then later, when I was in a different career (I use the word loosely – not sure selling bath mats out of a shipping container while working for Dracula, classes as a “career”), the old excuse emerged – “because I deserve it”. I worked hard and long hours, so why should I not chill out with Gordon and Stella in the evening…and on a Friday night…in fact all weekend.
Isn’t it funny the stories we tell ourselves?
I have heard friends who smoke tell themselves, that it chills them out, reduces their stress and keeps them slim. Well, there may be a grain of truth in the latter, but not in a good way. The chemicals in smoking actually stop you digesting food properly – so yes, you don’t get as many calories, but equally you don’t get the nutrition! Vitamin C, E and Folic acid are particularly affected.
And if you look at a smoker’s vitals when smoking – you don’t see a calming effect, you see increased heart rate and blood pressure. Never mind all the well-known long-term diseases and conditions and the fact that long term smoking kills half the people who do it.
But that’s not a story we want to tell ourselves when we smoke – because what would we do instead if we didn’t smoke? We might have to face the fact that we are distracting. And it’s an addiction, right? So, no one said it was easy. But if we start to tell ourselves the truth, rather than the stories, then it becomes do-able.
Believe me, I know.
How To Give Up Addiction
Giving up an addiction successfully is much more than just stopping doing the thing you are addicted to. It’s not just about not inhaling cigarette smoke, not eating that extra piece of chocolate, not putting the next bet on, not buying clothes you don’t need – or any of the other things people are addicted to.
It’s about looking the truth in the face, accepting accountability, wanting and being ready to change your life and then asking for the help you need.
How do I know?
Because 7 years ago I decided to stop drinking alcohol. I finally accepted that the stories were lies. I WASN’T happier when I drank, I was just masking the feelings I didn’t want to deal with. I DIDN’T have it under control and I WASN’T just a social drinker. When you wake up with puke all over your hotel room and not quite sure what you did the night before – you have to face the truth.
I chose to finally look at what I was distracting from and how I wanted my life to be. I realised that nothing was going to change unless I changed it, and that all the distracting behaviours were damaging me, my relationships and my future.
So, I stopped buying stuff I really didn’t need – one in, one out is the mantra now. I stopped drinking alcohol – completely. I stopped wasting my nights and weekends binge watching Netflix, and used the time instead to fill my mind with possibilities. I turned to self-development and started focusing on what I wanted in my life, and getting rid of what I didn’t (rather than drowning it out with alcohol).
7 years on my life looks very different – and in a good way! Now the things that I tell myself I deserve are things which enhance my life and let me live it to the full. Things like the amazing and beautiful house with a view that I now live in; the fresh and nutrition rich food that I eat; spending time with people I love and care about; doing the work I am here on earth to do; learning more about myself every day – creating space and time for me.
How’s your life looking now compared to 2015? Are you where you want to be right now? Or are you kinda stuck – your life looking fairly similar to 5, 7, 10 years ago, just a few circumstantial changes? Maybe you have hit a big crossroads, and aren’t sure which path to take, or whether you are even able to change anything in your life?
If any of that resonates, then let me ask you a question. What are you doing at 10am tomorrow? Because I would love it if you joined me on a virtual class I am running.
Here’s what we will be talking about and what you will learn.
- How to assess where you are right now on this journey called “Life”!
- A unique 3 step process to ‘Find Your Why’ – called the Find Your WHY Formula
- What might be holding you back from the life you really want.
And much more…..
By the end of the free virtual experience, you will have taken the first steps to finding your WHY and creating the life that you REALLY deserve.
And if you are reading this after the event – please email me on email@example.com mentioning ‘virtual experience’ and I will let you know if it is running again.