Are you WILLING to quit?

I guess I'm starting to become one of the old vets on the forum, with a quit that's now 164 days long. Bear that in mind as I crawl up on a pedestal and offer my thoughts to the assembled masses in the public square. I'm just a humble quit-partner with a few months of success under my belt. I'm NOT an expert.

Most of the posts on this forum are from people just starting or barely into their quit, which makes sense. They need the support, they want to pat themselves on their back for getting through Day 1, or Week 1, or Month 1, etc. (And they deserve our congratulations.) Lately, I've been seeing a lot of newbies saying something that actually makes me cringe. They say:

I really need to quit.

They usually have a host of good reasons - health, saving money, improving self esteem and self respect, etc. From a logical point of view, they are right, and what they're saying is true - they do "need" to quit. But - "needing" to quit is never, ever, ever going to be enough reason to successfully quit, in my humble opinion. Just like you can't quit for someone else (my wife wants me to quit, etc.) you won't succeed just because you "need" to do it.

Right now, I need to lose 40 pounds. I need to exercise more. I need to improve my diet and nutrition. I need to repair a few relationships. I need to get more focused on my work. I could have written all of those sentences every year for the past X number of years. It hasn't been enough.

I used to think the way to work with "I need to..." is to reframe it as, "I want to..." I don't even think that's good enough any more.

I'm a writer. I used to say "I want to write a book about..." for years and years. Until seven years ago, I had written NO books, but still "wanted to..." Now I've published five, after changing my thinking.

In terms of smoking, if you're one of those who's saying to yourself, "I need to quit," I'm going to recommend you reconsider making the effort just now. If that's as far as you go in terms of working on your head before you quit, you're almost certainly doomed to fail. Strong words, and perhaps many won't agree. It's my opinion.

Until you can say, emphatically and with complete conviction, "I am WILLING to quit," I bet you will find ways to sabotage your quit. In other words, I believe it's not enough to "need" to quit, or even to "want" to quit, to be successful. You have to be WILLING to quit.

Willing to get through Hell Week. Willing to say NO! to each and every crave until they give up. Willing to take on any challenge (for me, it was four days in a casino) and NOT smoke.

Ask yourself: "Are you WILLING to quit?"

8 Replies

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  • DGee absolutely agree with this. I posted earlier exactly that, you have to get your head right, otherwise there is no way it's going to happen.

    I've had many unsuccessful quits and it's totally mind set that has got me through so far.

  • DGee absolutely agree with this. I posted earlier exactly that, you have to get your head right, otherwise there is no way it's going to happen.

    I've had many unsuccessful quits and it's totally mind set that has got me through so far.

    At the risk of sounding contrary, I think "it depends". :D

    That is, theoretically it is possible to stop without being convinced that it will actually work, and without having your head in the right place. For example, the price of tobacco is such that a person feels the "need" - as DGee puts it - to save money instead of wasting it on tobacco. Another person might feel that they "need" to stop because it is becoming increasingly antisocial. Both these people might not be convinced about their reasons, but eventually after several days, weeks, or months of having quit, they come around to thinking that quitting was the right thing to do, and their mindset is such that they feel relieved to be rid of smoking.

    That is the theory which encourages people to try to quit even if they are not really convinced that they can (or perhaps even want to deep down inside).

    However, I don't know if any such people really exist! I'm sure somebody will put their hand in the air to save this theory. :D

    Alex.

  • At the risk of sounding contrary:D

    I said I have had many unsuccessful quits over my smoking life which I have.

    So what is the difference? Probably desperation :confused:

    I can use every reason in the book, health, family, money etc. and they will all apply, but at the end of the day it has to be for YOU

  • At the risk of sounding contrary:D

    I said I have had many unsuccessful quits over my smoking life which I have.

    Sorry, I wasn't referring specifically to you but to the phenomenon in general. I would like to know if anyone has gone into quitting half-heartedly and has ended up quitting successfully and happily.

    Alex.

  • motives for quitting

    Been reading various peoples views on reasons for quitting and comments on methods which perhaps are not their text book quit. The reality of the situation is that there doesn't seem to be a tried and tested formula/method for a successful quit.

    It's horses for courses and thank God for that

    Michael

  • Mmm..interesting. I won't say I went into quitting half heartedly BUT..

    I did 24hrs without a cigarette after a dental extraction. It was torture. I then smoked and got an infection. That was agony.

    A fortnight later for the next extraction I decided that I needed to go for longer than 24hrs without a ciggie so I put a patch on to see if it helped..I think I had in the back of my mind that if I did ok I might carry on.

    It was less torment this time so I decided to see if I could keep going for two weeks until the next extraction, otherwise I would have had to go through it all again..you can see where I'm going with this. I did it! So I have the next extraction and I've got to go about another 72 hrs without, so when I've done that I just keep going.

    So I suppose I had the motivation of avoiding excruciating pain, but having done it for seventeen days, I was fairly amazed at myself.

    I am now at 12 weeks. I use the odd e-cig puff on "at home" days. I have been leaving it in the house when I go out. Today is a big test of that, as we are going to the pub :eek:

    Thank you for being the kind of forum that does not pile vitriol on the heads of those (me) who puff e-cigs to stop us cracking. 48 years is a long time to smoke and then give up. It alters absolutely everything in your life, most of it good, but some of it just plain weird. It's like completely re-wiring your life.

  • It's definitely about re-wiring your brain! :eek: Takes a bit of time to retrain the brain, but we get there :D

  • Until you can say, emphatically and with complete conviction, "I am WILLING to quit," I bet you will find ways to sabotage your quit. In other words, I believe it's not enough to "need" to quit, or even to "want" to quit, to be successful. You have to be WILLING to quit.

    All quitters want to stop.

    If pressed, they really, really, really want to stop, cross their heart and hope not to get COPD or heaven forbid cancer, want to stop.

    That's a conscious statement of quitting and takes absolutely no effort.

    Someone stopping 'at the end of the week' doesn't actually want to stop for the simple reason they're happy to smoke until the end of the week. The odds of their subconscious jumping on the wagon on Friday are somewhat small.

    They may cease smoking on the Friday but undoubtedly they still wish to smoke.

    When someone says you have to want to be a non-smoker to successfully stop they really mean (whether they understand it or not) that your subconscious needs to not want to smoke.

    Unfortunately because we don't talk directly to the subconscious we have no idea whether it's taken on board the conscious decision to quit, however, if you still want to smoke the answer is clearly, 'it hasn't'

    Remember that abstinence, public announcements of cessation, setting a quit date and throwing away fag related stuff, going to the GP and following a prescription are all conscious decisions to quit. The subconscious may still be on 60 a day.

    It's worth remembering even if you think there's little you can do about it.

    :)

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