When was the last time you wanted to shout, “I QUIT!”
I felt this way just yesterday.
What if you could do that at any time? QUIT!
Admit you need a change so badly that you stop and make a big change?
The good news, according to Maxwell Maltz, M.D., is you can.
In our current technologically-dominated world, we’re bombarded with information.
TechJury.net says humans produce “2.5 quintillion bytes of data” every day. That’s a lot of zeroes (2.5 followed by 18, to be exact)!
Add to these additional external stimuli—such as children playing, sirens, traffic noise, construction sounds, cell phone rings and notifications, smartwatch notifications, email notifications, doorbells, trains, airplanes, helicopters, news flashes—and we experience stimuli overload.
Even when we lay down to rest, most of us don’t hear crickets; we hear traffic sounds, sirens, or our neighbors.
Constant noise barrage.
No wonder we want to quit.
Maltz, in Psycho-Cybernetics, encourages us to quit responding to artificial interruptions.
Just because your phone rings (cell or landline), you don’t HAVE to answer it. We’re all conditioned to respond to phone rings, cell phone texts, and email notifications. Maltz suggests this overresponse is a bad habit we can cure. We’ve allowed this over-stimulation to condition us to respond to these external interruptions like Pavlov’s dog.
Here’s the good news, we aren’t animals who don’t think logically when exposed to triggers. Humans have the ability to control their response to every trigger.
We can quit at any time.
Let’s avoid the beeps, dings, and mental distractions and apply this “I quit!” option to recovery.
Which one of these 3 distractions are getting in the way of your best life or your healing recovery?
Unhealthy responses to stimuli.
Over the last month, I’ve recognized certain triggers for my food addiction. Stress and fear, the twin-sister hair-triggers, compel me to search for something to eat. But, I’m not a dog who must respond in a trained manner. I get to choose even when I’m afraid. I’m not forced to eat. I might even find myself foraging for food before I recognize the trigger. That’s when I face a pivot point. Which path to take? Up to me. I can quit auto-responding to this trigger.
The same is true for Dave. When faced with a porn addiction trigger, he can choose to quit, not seek out the easily accessible porn on the internet. This takes awareness and determination to quit responding to the trigger. He turns a blind eye to it so he can pursue truth and honesty. In those moments, he chooses to protect himself and me and quits choosing destruction over our relationship.
Excuse the behavior.
We fall for this coping mechanism quite easily. At first, it’s because we don’t want to acknowledge the real issue. We may not even see it. We’re oblivious to the trigger and auto-response. This isn’t time to beat yourself up. It’s time to admit the issue so you can quit responding in an unhealthy manner. Words like “I can’t help it,” “it just happens,” “I’m a lousy person,” help identify when we fall into excuses.
The next time you hear an excuse, stop and analyze your words. Ask yourself what the truth is in the situation. You do have a choice.
Viktor Frankl, a Nazi concentration camp survivor, realized he could control his thoughts, words, and actions even though he had no control over his circumstances. Though the Nazis robbed him of decency, comforts, and food, they couldn’t steal his joy in life unless he allowed it. Even in that dire situation, he had a choice.
Several years ago, my coach challenged me to go on a DIET. Not a usual diet of calorie counting and carb-avoidance. But a diet specifically related to external stimuli. The people I admire, who accomplish their goals, know how to diet.
My coach calls this applying an Information DIET filter to your life. When he first mentioned it, I was skeptical. But, as I slowly applied this concept to my life, my goals seemed more attainable. What is this DIET?
D = Determine where you want to go
What are your goals? If you don’t like where you are today, it’s time to quit and be specific about where you want to be. It’s hard to hit a constantly moving target. You always miss. Get honest with yourself about your life goals. What will be your legacy?
I = Identify who’s getting the results you want
Who do you want to learn from? You don’t become that person, but you glean all you can from their successes. In today’s technological age, we can easily learn from another person, whether they’re alive or long gone, nearby or virtual, personally known by you or admired from a distance. If you don’t know Jesus, I suggest you start there. Pick up a Bible and start with the Gospel of John.
E = Eliminate all the empty calories
Dieting means you intentionally discard food that robs your body of nourishment. It’s the same thing with our lives. Look at your time each day. For the next week, track where you spend your time. Where are you wasting time? Now, how can you eliminate that?
- Coaching tips:
- In Google Mail, you can turn on filters to deal with certain email pieces without ever having to see them. What a time saver for me!
- Turn off the auto-notifications on apps, texts, and emails.
- Resist the urge to respond immediately every time someone sends you something or posts on social media. (ahem, Pavlov’s dog response).
- Stop binge-watching Netflix.
What could you use that time for that moves you toward where you want to go?
- Coaching tips:
T = Turn your focus
Change your focus only after squeezing and applying every last drop of value out of your current task. Stop hopping around without going deep. Who did you identify as your person to emulate? Until you’ve learned as much as you can about that person and applied this knowledge to your life, stay with that person. Don’t get distracted by those who are similar. When you work with a coach, you follow their instructions, listen, ask questions to ascertain their expertise, and practice what you learn. With great results! Do the same thing with your life. FOMO causes us to jump from one expert or idea to another. That’s a surefire way to ruin your DIET.
Coaching tip: Pick one expert that fits best at this moment, and dive deeply to gain all the wisdom you can. Apply and learn, then repeat. Quit jumping from one expert to another.
Here’s your permission to say, “I quit!” in one area of your life.
I know a young woman who decided to quit social media because she identified the negative impact more than any perceived value. It’s been a few months, and she’s more focused on her family and at work.
You can take the necessary steps to change your life’s direction toward where you want to go.
It’s time to quit auto-responses to external stimuli. It’s time to quit and relax. Just say, “I quit.”
What do you need to quit today?