By Rev. George Wissing
Author of Stop Smoking for the Last Time
Most smokers and overeaters believe they lack willpower and most, who do not have these addictions, tend to agree. Yet, is willpower what really helps people break these addictions? What is the mind power that truly helps kick bad habits?
The common use of the word willpower has come to mean “self-control”. This common definition means that a person should be able to use self control to win a battle against the urge to smoke or overeat over a lifetime.
Isn’t a better strategy to eliminate the urge completely? — To have a final energetic event, a complete shift in perception, that simply ends the urge? Simply, the best way to stop smoking or overeating, is to have an energetic event within the mind that ends the desire completely. This is sometimes called spontaneous remission — the “ah ha” moment— the way millions “just quit”.
Nothing can make you do what you truly do not want to do. This is a universal law: nothing can force you to change your will. As you believe you are receiving benefits from smoking or overeating, that you think are invaluable, you will resist stopping. While you hold onto the desire behind your addiction, there will be an internal struggle that stirs up a great internal conflict, especially at moments of stress. How could it be otherwise?
Willpower against inner desire is a poor strategy. Willpower seems to disappear at times of tragedy or worry. The willpower struggle can be summarized like this:
My addiction may kill me, so I should stop...
But I enjoy it or it can serve me well right now...
So deep inside, I still prefer my addiction (I’ll take my chances).
So, smokers and overeaters do not lack willpower, the problem is they currently will to smoke or eat because of inner belief system built up over a lifetime.
The better way than willpower
Jim was driving his pregnant wife, Jill, to the hospital. Jill was urging him to hurry because the baby was surely on its way. As Jim sped down a single-lane country road, he spotted a mule up ahead, blocking his way. Jim honked his horn, to no avail. He jumped out of the car and started pushing and pushing and grunting and grunting. The mule would not move. Jim came back to the car, defeated. Jill said, “Maybe I can help.” Jim laughed, “How could you possibly help? You can hardly move.” Jill replied, “Reach into my lunch bag there and grab a carrot.”
Jim finally got the mule to move with no effort at all. The carrot was a better plan. Effort is not always the best solution. Using willpower is like pushing the mule—you can keep pushing and pushing, but failure usually occurs, and you get exhausted and frustrated. Is it hard to move a mule? If you do it the willpower way, it certainly is!
You have in your mind a list of reasons, beliefs and desires to keep your addiction. Once you bring these reasons to light, when they are brought to your awareness and honest scrutiny, these thoughts and beliefs become weak and even ridiculous. Isn’t it a much better strategy to convince yourself you no longer want to smoke or overeat and really BELIEVE it? Wouldn’t this make it easier to stop? If you realized you did not have to sacrifice anything, but that you actually prefer to stop, wouldn’t it be easier?
One of the most common reasons I hear when I ask smokers why they want to stop is, “I have to stop.” My immediate response is, “You do not have to do anything.” Let’s face it—you can depart this world in any way you choose. Nobody has to stop smoking even if it is killing him—we have the right to choose cigarettes over life. It’s a free world.
How to End Your Conflict Completely
People will tell you it is impossible to move a mule because they are so stubborn, yet a better plan is all it takes. When you DECIDE fully to stop smoking, with every part of your mind, you will no longer need strong willpower. When you truly DECIDE, there is an Energetic Finality, and the conflict subsides. When you DECIDE to change your mind about smoking and realize it does nothing for you, then you no longer have to stop. Instead, you really want to stop.
When you realize that bingeing does not serve you and only hurts you, you can also begin to curb your eating problem. Sheer willpower says, “I will stop doing something that I really want to do.” A shift in perception says, “I just don’t want to or need to anymore.” In other words, you can smoke or overeat if you choose to, but you now just choose not to. This is a much more powerful position than, “I have to”. This shift in perception overrides the willpower struggle. It is an Energetic Finality that ends the conflict completely.
An Energetic Finality to end smoking or overeating can happen spontaneously, but assistance from a Hypnosis and Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) professional is an excellent way to help. When you use hypnosis, the experience of shedding your addiction can literally be struggle-free because the willpower battle becomes unnecessary.
One scientific explanation for this is top-down processes of the brain discovered in 2005 by neuroscientists. Both overeating and smoking are conditioned behaviors and once you are convinced with all your mind, sometimes called congruence, your brain will rush to your assistance with top-down processing power 10X stronger than your learned behaviors. Hypnosis has been proven to activate these processes in the brain, so hypnosis can be very useful in breaking addiction instantly and struggle-free.
What is willpower, anyway? In my opinion, the word “willpower” has gone quite awry. My favorite definition is the one found in the 2003 edition of Webster’s Dictionary: “energetic determination.” The same dictionary also defines the word “determination” as “ending a controversy” or the “resolving of an argument”—this is exactly what needs to happen to end addiction, both an argument and a controversy needs to end. The way to end a conflict is with finality—a final DECISION that cannot be reversed. Too bad this definition of willpower has become obsolete but how do you attain this level of DECISION that releases the power to quit struggle-free? Ah, that is where a good hypnosis professional can help.