Freeing yourself from smoking is possible, on the condition that you remember the key to your strategy is the intensity of your true desire to quit smoking, in other words, the intensity of your ‘motivation’ to quit! Where would you place yourself on a scale of 0 to 10?
What is motivation?
Smokers frequently experience conflict between two contradictory desires: the desire and the refusal to quit smoking! They cannot foresee giving up the pleasure of smoking, but they fear illness, disability, or worse, if they do not quit smoking.
Just as fruit requires a certain amount of sunshine to mature, smokers also need a certain amount of time to decide to finally quit smoking. At some point, they will be convinced that the benefits they will gain if they manage to quit smoking are more important than the pleasures and superficial support which cigarettes provide on a daily basis. This is a personal acknowledgement which cannot be made by anyone but the smoker. It is also important to understand that the number of reasons to quit smoking has little connection with the intensity of desire to quit smoking, which depends solely upon the degree of ‘psychological maturity’ of smokers.
This maturity develops over time. New smokers are quite comfortable with their current situation as they are young and believe they are ‘immortal’. But over time, smokers become aware of the disadvantages of cigarettes, the dangers which threaten them and that become more severe with age. They begin to regret ever lighting their first cigarette, especially when they realise how difficult it is to quit smoking! It is the burden of this disappointment which leads them to finally decide to contemplate quitting smoking permanently. What will you gain by quitting smoking in relation to what you will lose? How confident are you about following the advice of your tobacco treatment specialist on a scale of 0 to 10? Answering these questions will set you on the right track.
Motivation is a force which urges us to act in order to satisfy a personal need, whether it be material or moral in nature. Being motivated means finding meaning and value for a decision or action. Of course, we all have different values. What counts is that our own values are of great importance to us, so that can we can live by them. When we believe an action has meaning, our energy to accomplish it is heightened.
Our motivations change over time and what we do not perceive as being an important objective to achieve today, could be seen as being a significant one tomorrow…and vice versa! Only the result obtained will enable adequate conclusions to be drawn about our degree of motivation at the moment we set our goal…
With regard to smoking, our brain switches between continuing to smoke and quitting. The motivation to quit is a ‘honeymoon period’ which is often strived for and which is achieved when this contradictory, ambivalent situation has been overcome, eventually leading us to make the right decision.