I’m gradually realising that you shouldn’t judge yourself every time you take a step back. Falling back into old habits does not imply weakness. It doesn’t mean you’ll never be able to kick your bad habit. It simply means that you must pause for a second, take a breath, and then fire another shot.
You might not be able to break your bad habit on the first try. You might not be able to break it on your second, third, or tenth attempt. But you must not be discouraged by your setbacks. You must never give up on yourself.
You must maintain your motivation to improve yourself, because if you lose motivation, you will revert to your old habits. You’ll throw up your hands and wonder what the point of trying is. That is the very last thing you want. That way of thinking will not lead you anywhere good. It will only lead to a self-destructive cycle.
When you’re trying to break a bad habit, you must be kind to yourself. When you take an unintentional step back, you must be understanding and accepting of yourself. You can’t label yourself a loser, a failure, or a lunatic because you made a mistake. You cannot use yourself as a punching bag. You will make mistakes, but you do not need to dwell on them. You don’t have to despise yourself as a result of them.
Of course, when you’re trying to break a bad habit, you have to be tough on yourself. When you’re trying to wean yourself off of the stuck, you can’t allow yourself to indulge in a cigarette, fast food, or alcohol simply because you’re in a bad mood and want something to relax you. You must make every effort to stay on track. You can’t give up after just one bad day. You can’t let a bad mood make you stop caring.
I’m gradually learning that when you’re trying to break a bad habit, there will be times when you’re more confident than others. There will be times when you believe you have everything under control, and other times when you believe it is only a matter of time before everything falls apart.
When you’re doubting your ability to maintain your productive streak, remind yourself to take it one day at a time, or even one minute at a time. Don’t think about how difficult it will be to never engage in your bad habit again. Stop looking at the big picture and concentrate solely on the present. You can be concerned about tomorrow later.
I’m learning that breaking a bad habit is never easy. You’re unlikely to succeed the first time around. It may take you years and buckets of tears to arrive at your destination, but that doesn’t mean you should give up. To succeed, you must continue to strive. You must continue to strive to improve yourself.
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