Quit Expectations Skills - Baby Steps
Are you just beginning a new quit? What do you currently expect of yourself? Do you truly believe that you will NEVER EVER smoke another cigarette for the REMAINDER of your life? It's a bit hard to believe, isn't it! Then why begin your journey by imposing such distant, remote or unrealistic expectations? Try this instead. Do you truly believe that you have the ability to not smoke for the next HOUR? Of course you can! We all can!
If we are being honest and realistic with ourselves then why would we force our mind to accept the concept or goal of quitting FOREVER when today it seems unrealistic? Why not instead develop an outlook that focuses entirely on remaining successful here and now, by engaging in what we each know that we are 100% capable of doing - quitting for the next 60 minutes! In fact, if our definition of success at quitting is in staying quit FOREVER, instead of here and now, the only time we will ever feel that we've achieved victory and entitled to celebrate is after we've died as an ex-smoker. What good would that do us? Why not celebrate each hour and each day as its own victory!
Here at Freedom you'll hear our members refer to this important quit expectations skill as "baby steps," "One Day at a Time," or simply as patience! New babies don't start out by attempting to run or even believing it possible! We each crawled and gradually over time our confidence grew. It's the same with quitting. To begin, we should each be content with crawling just one hour at a time! If you focus on remaining successful for the next 60 minutes, it won't be long until the hours will have built themselves into an entire day of healing!
Most of the anxiety associated with quitting is self-induced. An initial unrealistic goal of quitting FOREVER (like trying to force a new born baby to run immediately upon birth) can be extremely discouraging and act as anxiety fuel that seems only to magnify the intensity of a crave that would have ended within three minutes anyway. Learn to crawl first! There will be plenty of time later for walking and then running!
Picture yourself as a mountain climber engaged in a steep 72 hour climb to the top. Like the new born crawling babe, the entire climb will be on all fours. Would it benefit the climber to allow their mind to constantly remain filled with thoughts about how much further remains to be climbed or would that only create unnecessary anxieties? Would it benefit the climber to allow their mind to constantly dwell upon the thought of how far they would fall if they lost their grip, or would that only create unnecessary anxieties?
Baby steps is an expectations skill that allows quitters to concentrate on remaining successful here and now by doing what they already know they can do - baby steps! It encourages all engaged in climbing withdrawal's mountain to focus upon getting a solid grip on the rocks (one hour at a time) beneath their hands, knees and feet. It's a mental tool and skill that allows all new quitters to successfully navigate this temporary period called quitting, so that the can begin feeling the comfort and calmness beyond! No nicotine here and now! Give your confidence a chance to build! Baby steps! YQB John : )