We tend to shape our future by constantly looking in rear mirror.
This, essentially means that our past keeps running on repeat - just in different shapes and forms. When we are battling any type of addiction, we will want to understand a couple things in order to prevent dabbling between different self-destructive patterns.
A) What triggered my addiction - emotionally and physically?
I.e. physical triggers: Did I go on a diet that messed with my body's biochemistry, did I start smoking, did I take up alcohol as a daily after-work habit?
Emotional triggers: Did I lose someone, did I lose my own values and mold according to other people's demands, did I turn into a people-pleaser, did I focus on accomplishing rather than just being - where did my self-worth stem from etc.
B) What are my current toxic self-beliefs?
This is usually running on autoplay in the background - the stronger and the longer it has been running, the less we pay conscious notice of it. It has become part of us - and we take the nasties that we tell ourselves over and over again for granted and to be the undisputed truth. This is also why it is super painful to say them out loud. It seems pathetic. Well, it is pathetic - it is pathetic that we think so little ourselves that we allow this negative self-talk to take place, that is correct. And yet as long as our toxic self-talk remains unsaid, the greater power it holds over us. We cannot change what we are not willing to admit to ourselves. We have to acknowledge and take ownership of just how pathetic we have become - this is totally changeable and does not attach to our value as beings, so just let go of the stigma attached to it and do the exercise.
Our toxic self-talk will be very childish - not academic or smart language.
It will be centered around reasons, why we are not enough in the skin we are in (although we are). The more rigid we are and stubborn in our sense of pride, the less willing we will be to even contemplate doing this exercise.
However, just for the fun of it, write down on a piece of paper using "I am ..." language to take ownership of the crap you tell yourself daily.
Then, question the validity - is it absolutely, undeniably true that these nasties are the only truth about you?
And if you feel they are - some of us won't even be willing to question the validity, because we feel these are true statements about ourselves - then imagine yourself as a chameleon. You can change your story by changing the person you want to be. We all have the right to play pretend. Simply identify the skills and traits in other people which you admire - and take them on as yours. These traits are what you are striving for to mold your destiny. Who cares if you have them right now or not - view it as a game, you can always return to your same later on.
And the trick here is, that if you can identify a skill or something that you envy in others, well, then you already have it within you - because we cannot recognize in others what we do not already ourselves have to some degree. The key is to allow the trait we long for to grow.
Many of us tend to substitute different - more or less socially acceptable, but regardless still soul-killing - addictions for one another, rather than fully breaking the addiction pattern we are stuck in.
If we want to break our addictive mindset and change lanes, the easiest way to do this is to identify what traits we want in another being - and then hit copy paste. Keep the image of this person with you throughout your day, and ask whenever you are about to crawl back in your shell: what would that person do? And then do it. 4 out of 5 times you will still end up doing your old pattern, but that one time you break out, will decide whether you create a new path moving forward. It is all the small things.
The only thing you need to commit to is asking yourself in the moment: what would that person do.
This enables you to slowly rewire your brain without getting a panic attack. You change at a pace where you can still breathe.
Want more? One of my favorite books on habits is this one: