Giving Up

Last week I asked you if you were going Sober for October – if you are, I hope it’s going well.

Giving up anything is a bit of a process and I’d like to share some insights about it with you so you know what to expect. Once you know what I’m going to tell you I hope it’ll make sticking to your resolution a bit easier.

What you really need to know is that you are going to try and talk yourself back into your old way of doing things. Maybe not right away, but soon enough. I’m not telling you that to scare you or make you think you’re not going to be able to do it, I’m warning you so when it happens you can catch it for what it is and power through.

The habit you are breaking right now started as a way to make you feel good/more confident/happy or something along those lines. Things that make us feel bad don’t get the chance to become habits. Anything with no positive gain falls by the wayside really quickly. This habit has been so effective in making you feel the way you wanted that it became your go-to route to get there. Each time you travelled down the path the route got easier to use until it became a nice wide, quiet motorway-esque pathway in your brain.

There may be other routes, but they are more like B roads, or even footpaths – they will get you there eventually but it takes more effort.

Now you’ve decided you’re not going to take the motorway anymore you’ve got 2 choices. First, you could not go or second you have to take the scenic route.

Maybe you’re so accustomed to taking the journey it’s taken you a while to notice the town is now run down and deserted and it isn’t somewhere you want to go anymore, if that is the case it’s time to stop going. Be aware that your mind is going to keep chirping up and suggesting you go. “You know where we haven’t been in a while!? Don’t you remember how lovely it is there with the lights and the fun and stuff? Let’s go again for old time’s sake!”

If it is somewhere you still want to go it’s time to start exploring other routes – each route will get easier every time you use it, and each time you don’t use the motorway it crumbles a little. “But wouldn’t it be easier if we just took the motorway? You know how easy it is! Look, the slip road is right there!”

That voice in your head is your ego trying to keep the status quo. Your ego is not a big fan of change so it will try and encourage you to back onto the motorway. This is what you’re on the lookout for. At this point you need to recognise these thoughts for what they are, and politely decline. Or not so politely, it’s your ego, feel free to offend it if you wish, it’s not the delicate flower it would have you believe.

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