Ever thought about how many of us can be very kind and helpful toward friends, while not being the same toward ourselves? Do you ever ask yourself the question: “How can help you?”
This post is to inspire you to ask that gentle and loving question to yourself at the right moments so that you can achieve transformation in your life.
Say you have a desire to quit smoking. Like many, you probably have had that desire for quite a while, but you haven’t manage to really stop the habit yet. Often bringing about a change in your life like this involves not just loving and constructive thinking toward oneself. You might find yourself beating yourself up (psychologically speaking) for every time you failed. And then setting a new goal. “Next time I won’t…” But next time you did, and what did you do? You probably felt bad about yourself.
Or you might be in a stage where you’re practicing self-compassion. And so you might be more indulgent with yourself, letting yourself smoke, and just practicing to love yourself while you’re smoking. Beautiful.
But is any of that really helping you to stop the action you want to stop? Probably not that much. So instead of setting new goals, feeling bad about yourself, and/or trying to be self-compassionate, you might like to take a moment to simply ask yourself: “How can I help you achieve your goal?”
Let’s take a look at both.
Now the beauty of this question is that you’re actually aligning with yourself ánd acknowledging that it’s YOUR goal to quit this addiction.
Aligning with Yourself
You’re aligning with yourself. Meaning that in the moment you’re asking yourself “How can I help you?” you are not making yourself wrong, and you are not trying to force something upon yourself, you’re just being a friendly ally to yourself. Just like when you have a friend you would like to help to do something, and you’re not judging this friend for not having accomplished this goal yet, you’re solely trying to be of help to them. And so you ask: “How can I help you?”. Be that friendly ally for yourself too, by asking this question to yourself.
It’s YOUR goal
Secondly, you’re acknowledging that it’s YOUR goal to quit this addiction. It might sometimes happen that a dichotomy starts to appear in our psyche. One part of me wants to eat those chips. And the other part of me wants to stop myself and feels bad about the existence of that other part of myself that want to eat the chips. So there’s almost a feeling of a “lower” part that wants to stay addicted, and a “higher” part that knows better and wants to quit.
And maybe, just maybe, this whole internal dynamic inside of us exists because our parents parented us like that. They didn’t just let us indulge and develop our own sense of responsibility, vision, and decision-making. Instead, they told us how much chips we were allowed to eat and they forbid us to smoke. (I mean, the details might be different for your specific childhood, of course, but you get the idea!)
But the whole point I want to make in this section is that:
it’s YOUR goal. It’s not being forced upon you, YOU WANT this yourself!
(Ha ha okay, or maybe not. Maybe you are really totally fine with your habit, and it’s really just people from the outside world trying to talk you out of your habit. And that would be a whole different case, in which I would encourage you to just check in with yourself what feels integer and authentic to do. And probably it will be best if you just shine your own authentic light into the world!
A friend of mine is involved with the startup of a platform where people who need help draw up their own goals, and are then linked to different service providers who help them achieve THEIR goals, as opposed to a service provider who forces their own vision onto their clients.
I want you to think of helping yourself in the same way. You’re helping yourself achieve the goals you defined yourself.
Be of service to yourself.
A third powerful aspect of this question is that it’s action-oriented. It’s a HOW-question. It’s not a ‘Why can’t I stop this addiction?’ or ‘What’s wrong with me?’ – no. It’s an action-oriented question that will get your mind on the right track of searching for ways that will bring about that positive change you’re looking for. Just ask this question and your mind will automatically be on the task!
Why don’t you take a moment right now to either close your eyes and ask yourself that question (and don’t forget to wait a few minutes to let some answers come in!) or to write down the question “How can I help you achieve your goal?” on a piece of paper, and write down some answers that come up in you?
In addition, I would encourage you to make this a friendly and helpful habit. Ask this question to yourself whenever you think you can use some loving support.
Good luck! You can do it!
Oefff… of course, just this one tip might be helpful on your path of quitting addictions, but you might need other things too! Like a good dosage of self-love, or a well-defined vision. Here are my recommendations for you:
>> Click here for Overcoming Addiction with Self-Love
>> Click here for Building New Habits Effectively Without Negative Self-Talk