The most powerful self-assertion to tell yourself whenever you want to break a habit (to give up a bad addiction)

Sometimes, I want to break a bad habit. So, there’s some “poem” that goes inside my head, there’s a “story” I like to tell myself.

I heard a lot of times that assertions like these work very well to break a bad habit:

  • “I’m better than this. I can overcome this. I have the power in me. I am the master of my behavior.”
  • “Think of the future! The advantages of giving up this habit are so big! Look at me, two months from now, one year from now, five years from now. I’ll be [habit ABC]-free!”
  • “What would the future me say of my bad habit of today?”
  • “When I was little, did I imagine myself doing this?”
  • “What stops me from achieving my goal, of being [habit ABC]-free?”
  • “habit ABC is evil”.
  • “Don’t postpone giving up the habit! Give up [habit ABC] now!”
  • “What would others say of my habit?”

For my experience, I found a much more powerful assertion. A single one, simple & easy:

  • “I don’t even enjoy this!”

It’s very negative, and it manages to cut any enthusiasm I have in having a bad habit. For example, eating some tasty junk food. If I say to myself “I don’t even like this cookie”, I come to realize that, actually, I don’t even like it. Just by using the assertion forces me to come up with some additional questions (“Do I like this? Is it good for me? Should I buy the cookie?”), and, generally, it’s much easier to break a habit with this question.

Celestine Chua - Excellence, a habit, https://flic.kr/p/fMNtNk
Celestine Chua – Excellence, a habit, https://flic.kr/p/fMNtNk

I am a Freelancer. My expertise is in SEO (Search Engine Optimization) / UX (user experience) / WordPress. Co-founder of lumeaseoppc.ro (series of events on SEO & PPC) and cetd.ro (Book on branding for MDs). On a personal level, I like self-development - events, sports, healthy living, volunteering, reading. I live in London, and lots of things live in me.

2 Comments

  • Corina

    28 January 2015 - 13:32

    This article is really useful, thanks for sharing! “I don’t enjoy this” works very well! But it takes some time to quit the bad habit, depending on the degree of addiction, so just don’t give up repeating yourself “I don’t enjoy this.” When I first time quit smoking it took me several weeks to analyze the “taste” of a cigarette, the unpleasant smell of it, the bad breath I used to have… Above all, I hated that smoking controlled my life. After each smoke I realized and told myself “I hate smoking, then why do I have to smoke?” till one day when I just quit: no cravings, no tears.

    After a long while I felt again into the sin and I had a cigarette. After first, I had the second and so on…
    Now I am back to the stage of telling myself what I don’t like about smoking and I know I’ll quit. Important thing is to quit the habit, not quit repeating myself how much I dislike this ugly addiction.

  • Olivian Breda

    28 January 2015 - 14:24

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts. :)

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