In my early days in hypnosis I wanted to change the world and fix every smoker, but I realised that was impossible, and it took me a while to work out why.
Imagine a straight line and a quarter of the way in from each end there is another line which crosses the first.
The quarter at the right hand end represents crossing the threshold to total commitment to change.
The quarter at the left hand end represents crossing the threshold to total commitment to remaining the same, or keeping the habit.
The half in the middle is where most smokers live. You might want to keep smoking, but you know you should quit. You might talk about quitting and even make frequent attempts to do so, but you keep failing.
Perhaps others are pressuring you stop cigarettes, and you agree that they are right but you’re not quite ready.
Or you are sick of smoking but you still need to do it to relax or stop your boredom.
The problem with this middle ground is that it’s a very stressful place to live, you are constantly feeling guilty or beating yourself up. You keep trying and failing. One day you want to quit but then you go out for drinks with your friends and you enjoy smoking.
You might be the person who jokes that “I quit smoking easily, I do it every Monday” But jokes aside you are not having much fun.
My suggestion is that you either start a concerted process to move to cross the threshold to quitting, with a strong commitment to never go back and never retreat.
Or you just cross the left hand threshold and declare that you will smoke for as long as you want, and never make excuses for your behavior. The upside is that you no longer have the pressure of being in the middle ground, you can relax and smoke to your heart’s content.
However you do have to accept the reality that you may become sick and possibly die, and that you made that decision and will have to live with the consequences.
Ultimately it’s your life, but if you want to quit using hypnosis, the most powerful method available, then doing it with the left end mindset is hopeless, doing it from the centre has a modest success rate, but using hypnosis to stop cigarettes you are virtually guaranteed to quit for life.