Every smoker has a story; a justification of why they smoke and a reason why they do not want – or even need – to quit smoking.
These are some of the most common ones:
- Everybody's going to die of something – at least I will be killed by something I enjoy doing.
- If it was really as bad as everyone says it is, it would be against the law.
- Every doctor that has told me to quit smokers like a chimney himself. Anyways, I'm healthier and I get fewer colds than all the non-smokers I know.
- My boyfriend / girlfriend / husband / wife / friends would not like me anymore if I quit smoking.
- If I quit, I would be so stressed out that I would not be any fun at all. I owe it to the people who love me to keep smoking.
- I deserve a few cigarettes at the end of the day. If you had to live my life, you'd smoke too.
- Of course I want to quit, but I do not want to waste my money. Just let me finish this pack first.
Whether you recognize yourself in one – or more – of the above stories, or whether you have one that's uniquely your own, it's important that you recognize one important truth … it's not real. It is just a story.
So, who would you be without that story?
Pause for a moment and imagine waking up tomorrow morning to a miracle: you no longer smoke, or even have any urge or desire to light up. You have absolutely no craving for cigarettes. Do you think you would still cling to your story about why you should keep doing it? How about if you got through the entire day feeling great without any desire for a cigarette?
Think about this …
The real reason you have not quit smoking yet is not because of your story; it's because the choice is not yet yours to make – it's not yet up to you.
The thing that's kept you smoking in the past is your brain chemistry and psychological addiction. The “stories” you tell yourself are merely the way you justified smoking to yourself. This is the main reason why smoking is such a hard habit to break.
The chances of quitting smoking “cold turkey” are extremely low, because of these effects on your brain chemistry. As you give up cigarettes, you brain challenges to adjust, causing all the classic nicotine withdrawal symptoms – stress, irritability, headache, anxiety, nausea, etc. And since you know that relief from these unpleasant feelings is just a cigarette away, you are extremely likely to light up and soothe your struggling brain.