The greatest obstacle to our success in staying off cigarettes is what goes on between our two ears! Our minds will talk us right back to smoking if we let it. Watch out for these kinds of thoughts!
"I DON'T WANT TO SMOKE"
This tape is caused by fear. You are afraid to admit that you want to smoke for fear that you will smoke. So this is an attempt to put distance between yourself and your urges for fear you will give into them. Yes, the urges are sometimes strong and even overwhelming, but they are temporary, and they won’t last for the rest of your life if you don’t give into them.
You may not want the consequences of smoking, but you sure do want to smoke! That is after all, what withdrawal is - lots of desires to smoke, one after another. So what you are attempting to do with this negative self-talk is to get rid of, or repress, your desire to smoke. But repression does not work. Think about it, how can you get rid of the desire for the very thing you have been dependent on?
You have been addicted to cigarettes for a very long time. You probably have had your cigarettes with you longer than most of your friends. It's foolish to think you can get rid of your desire for cigarettes magically, by wishing them away. Repression is like a Jack-in-the-Box, -- you push down the desire and the desire builds and builds as you churn inside, until finally you explode. Saying, "I don't want to smoke" for someone who has smoked as long as you is simply not true. The only people who don't want to smoke are non-smokers. That’s not you.
Remember, the minute you try to get rid of something, it persists. When you fight the desire to smoke, you feed it energy, causing it to cling to you all the more. Paradoxically, the way to make your desire to smoke go away is have it. Let it be there for all it's worth. The way to end your withdrawal from cigarettes is by going through it and allowing yourself to experience it.
"I DON'T WANT TO STOP SMOKING"
This tape is an excellent way to bail out from your commitment to stopping smoking. If you can convince yourself and others that you do not want to stop smoking, then you need not take responsibility for stopping.
The source of this tape is based on a false assumption: you assume that, since you do smoke or like to smoke, this means you don't want to stop. You have forgotten you are an addict and at best can only be ambivalent about stopping. Part of you wants to stop and part of you wants to bail. It’s normal. The question is which side of you do you want to succeed?
Let’s face it, when you run this tape you destroy your motivation. The fact is, no matter how hard you try, you won't succeed if you reinforce that you really don't want to stop. Why succeed at something you don't really want? You see, you set yourself up to fail. This tape is a cop out.