DAY 62 | Trusting yourself

facing-addiction-trusting-yourselfI love Tony Robbins. I find his big energy, kind personality, and amazing life story incredibly inspiring. To me, Tony exudes a deep and robust understanding of human emotions.

Tony leads by example. His attitude and lifestyle show the effectiveness of the practical truths he spends his life imparting to others.

Similar to what was mentioned yesterday, Tony says there’s really no such thing as a decision until it’s been acted upon; before that, he says, you can only say you have a wish.

I listened to Tony’s profound audiobook, Awaken the Giant Within, and saw several connections between the Neuro-Associative Conditioning (NAC) method he teaches and what I’ve been sharing about self-management.

In Awaken the Giant Within, Tony explains how to tap into passion in order to achieve success. Here are the six steps of NAC he unpacks:

  1. Decide what you want, and then see what’s preventing that right now.
  2. Get leverage—associate massive pain with not changing now, and massive pleasure with changing.
  3. Interrupt limiting patterns—be aware of how the way you might naturally want to respond will limit you. Do something radically different in the face of those patterns to change your state.
  4. Create new, empowering alternatives to those patterns that provide the same benefits without the damage.
  5. Condition the new pattern until you react that way consistently. Schedule it. Reward yourself for doing it so your mind associates the new pattern with pleasure.
  6. Make sure it works. Test for ecology and effectiveness. Does it work in your business, your personal life, etc.? Is it benefiting you the way your old pattern did, but now without all the problems your old pattern caused?

While listening to the audiobook, I got high and wrote:

“How does going public with your experience/self-management compare to Tony Robbins’ method? Are they the same, or is my approach more like NAC’s mirror—each being everything the other isn’t?

“When you go public with your real experience, you can’t ignore what you want and what’s holding you back. That’s step one of NAC.

“Seeing the unpleasantness of your current state over time makes living in that state progressively less bearable. That’s the leverage described in step two of NAC.

“Going public with your experience cuts to the source of all limiting patterns and self-indulgent thoughts that tie you to your current state; what’s being held back by your limitations and compulsions becomes incredibly valuable to you; your perspective changes; new patterns become conditioned naturally as you begin to manage yourself in one important area of life after another.

“Is that not basically steps three through five of NAC?

“As for making sure it works, the beauty of self-management is it’s never fixed. Self-management adapts as you grow. Habits that either help or hinder your progress become obvious.

“You’re always becoming more efficient and effective.”

I was happy for a few days after that.

Then I got high again, and wrote:

“Sometimes it feels lonely and unstable in this space between all or nothing called balance and self-management. It would be so much easier just to settle in to some simple set of black and white instructions for how to not get high.

“Part of me still wants a plan to follow that I’ll never have to think about, adjust, or regulate.

“But hearing Tony’s book gave me every reason to believe I’m on the right track—that the basic ideas I’m sharing are valid.

“So why do I still feel trapped by my weed addiction, even considering all the progress I’ve made?

“I think I understand why, though obviously not yet deeply enough. Perhaps the one lesson that’s taking me forever to grasp on every level is this:

“Once you start preparing to go public with your experience, it really doesn’t matter how much (or often) you keep doing what you’re trying to quit or control.

“Just go public, and everything else works itself out.

“There’s such a sense of peace whenever I start to realize that.

“But my conscience sure doesn’t see things that way.

“My conscience only continually insists: ‘Why can’t you just ________, and then you’ll be perfect?!’

“Do I have to compromise my conscience in order to find balance amongst all the other parts of me that aren’t my conscience?

“No, it’s not compromise.

“Even the voice that asks if it’s compromise is actually still my conscience, weaving shame to plead its case like an authority figure. It uses all tactics but reason to intimidate me into doing what I think is right.

“The experience I’m preparing to share shows me who I am right now. It also shows me who I’ve been, and how everything I’ve done has simply been a choice between different values, some immediate and some long-term.

“Some of those choices for immediate gratification have negatively affected my state in the long run; but I see why I made them.

“My conscience thunders on with judgments and charges: ‘Just don’t ________; just ________!’

“But the words it yells only describe the long-term values I see I’m already moving toward overall.

“How silly would it be for someone to repeatedly shout a Math equation at someone else who’s already written it out and is slowly solving it?

“When I see that the words of my conscience match the values I’m already gradually reaching, I can literally start to change my conscience’s angry, indignant, condescending tone.

“My conscience is part of me. It doesn’t need to be compromised, coroneted, or cowered away from.

“If my perspective changes enough, my conscience’s voice can match my own. That’s when I’ll know I trust myself no matter what I see myself choosing.

“What I’m compelled to do (what I’m addicted to) is still valuable to me, even if I choose at times to do it more than I think I should.

“The idea of my Facing Addiction story has been to trade up from being broke, stupid, dissociative, and isolated. Yet the state I’m trading up to is really just another starting point along an endless line.

“I once read a review of a book about religion and masturbation. The reviewer got all excited about the idea that it might be beneficial for him to masturbate in certain circumstances.

“Basically, his convictions changed.

“But what if masturbation were to overtake and start to occupy more of his life than he felt comfortable with, perhaps hindering important long-term values?

“For me, success means trusting that even instances of compulsive weed use aren’t ultimately hindering the good things I see myself pursuing and developing.

“I mean, my addiction hasn’t stopped me yet, and it’s only losing ground.

“Here’s to the next starting point.”

Tomorrow: seeing changes you’d otherwise miss in time.

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Intro, DAY 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, Afterword


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