Why Willpower Never Works by Sherri Hughes, Cht

If I wanted to, I could…always seems to be our excuse to why we haven’t: stopped smoking, lost weight, stopped drinking, quit yelling at the kids, gotten rid of that unwanted habit, released that fear, did better in school, or found that perfect mate.

We see things about ourselves we would like to change but often feel trapped or imprisoned by ourselves ­condemned to what we don’t want. We set deadlines (i.e. birthdays, anniversaries, pregnancies, vacations, New Years) to change our lives only to see the dates come and go with only our self-esteem and self-confidence disappearing.

We have tried every pill, program and patch ­yet to no avail.

How do I know this? Been there, done that.

Until I found a different way. Now nearly a decade as a nonsmoker and currently diminishing inches around my waist I have found a new way and it has been the easiest thing I ever did and It Had Nothing To Do With Will Power. It Simply Had To Do With Choice.

Through my years as a Clinical Hypnotherapist, I have had the opportunity to see what does and does not work. I have come to realize the attitudes needed to create permanent and lasting change in one’s life. When we understand how the mind works we can create what we desire. It is like learning to drive a car, when we understand how it operates it can take us to our destination. Our Minds Are A Vehicle Of Transportation Should Not An Obstacle To Our Goals. Many of us tend to back away from what we don’t want rather than head towards what we do. We try to get to our destination by shifting into reverse and backing away from where we don¹t want to be.

This Leads Us To The First Attitude Of Positive Change: Don’t Resist.
What you resist does persist. Let me give you an example: Okay, ready, count to ten and don’t think of three. Don¹t think of pink elephants. Get it? Notice that when you want to stop doing something you want to do it even more. Remember that last attempt at loosing weight when you promised yourself you would not have ice cream every day or how you smoked twice as much the day you said you would cut down? Resistance to a thing, behavior or action directs your energy to it and empowers that which you don’t want.

Where Attention Goes Energy Flows. While in the process of changing a behavior enjoy the cigarette, savor the ice cream, and forgive the angry outburst. Guilt Does Not Work and runs interference between you and your goal. Guilt is like driving your car with the breaks on. Willpower Has No Place Here, change is not a battle but a CHOICE.

The Second Attitude to Positive Change Is Be Willing to Be Willing to Change.

If you were already willing to stop smoking, lose weight, stop drinking, control anger there would be no need to have a resolution­ it would have already occurred. How does one express this willingness? Many of you have heard of affirmations, for those who have not, an affirmation is a statement about the future made in the present as if it has occurred in the past. It is the destination of our vehicle of change. An example: The active smoker affirms, “I am a nonsmoker with ease, health and abundance.” The person wishing to loose weight, “I am slim trim healthy firm and strong.” An affirmation should be personal, present and positive. Not “I will be a nonsmoker,” but “I am a nonsmoker.” Not “I will not get cancer,” but “I am healthy.”

Be careful what you think, say or feel after “I Am.” The words “I Am” unleash the creative force of your mind. Simply stated, how you see yourself is a self-fulfilling prophecy. How our affirmations become a statement of our willingness to be willing is by adding two simple words to it, “I CHOOSE.” For example: “I choose I am a nonsmoker.” “I choose I am slim, trim, healthy, firm and strong.” I have found a dramatic jump in the success rate of my clients using this technique.

Remember, I mentioned stopping smoking was the easiest thing I ever did once I put these simple attitudes into effect. I stopped smoking by saying, “I choose I am a nonsmoker with ease, peace, health and abundance” while puffing on a cigarette. One of the pitfalls about affirmations is that we think an affirmation should be a deterrent. An example: on our way to the refrigerator we repeat our affirmation, “I am slim, trim healthy, firm and strong” thinking that will cause us to make a U-turn between the couch and the refrigerator. That is resistance. Rather, while you are scooping out a large bowl of ice cream and slathering it with chocolate sauce simply affirm your destination. Recall, that guilt never accomplishes anything positive. Keep affirming and your mind will soon catch up and make better and better choices.

The Third Attitude To Positive Change Is Never Say Never, Which Also Is Resistance. Never say you’ve had your last cigarette, last bowl of ice cream, last drink or last emotional outburst. Rather choose to not have one Now. I have not yet had my last cigarette but for nearly a decade I have not had one now. Affirm your change for the now and the future will take care of itself. The result is your mind will work for you and simply you will forget to smoke, no longer desire the ice cream, be free of addiction, be calmer, healthier and happier because you have come to fully realize The Choice Is Yours. Make It.

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