When I meet a new hypnosis client who wants to quit smoking, I don’t have to tell them about all the negatives about smoking. They usually tell me, instead.
But one interesting thing about smoking is that just knowing that it’s harmful doesn’t change the behavior. Some people will say that smokers are making bad choices.
I disagree. People who smoke are being very logical.
As a hypnotherapist, I believe that people who smoke are being very logical. Before I did hypnosis work, I would have thought differently.
Or to bring this to an even deeper level, who here has ever done something unhealthy? I just raised my hand. Of course, I’m the only one in this room. But most likely you’d be raising your hand, too, if you were in the room.
We have all made unwise choices. We’re all very human. So like the smoker, those who have never smoked also make unwise choices for a logical reason. Before anyone calls me crazy, let me repeat. We all make unwise choices for a logical reason. Why? Power.
Let’s visit a fictional arm wrestling tournament.
Dom “the Dominator” Jones is the defending champ. He’s built like a huge football linebacker, has big hands, and his muscles have muscles. You can see why he’s the defending champ.
The challenger is Tiny Tony Soprano (no relation to the TV character). He’s half the size of Dom. He’s got small hands, and I think his muscles got stuck in traffic, because I don’t see them around.
Dom and Tiny arm wrestle, and you know the rest. Dom absolutely dominates the match. Dom brings too much strength, too much power. Tiny does his best, but he’s just too weak. It makes sense that the more powerful athlete wins the match.
What does this arm wrestling match have to do with smoking and hypnosis?
We’ll get to that. First, let’s meet Jane Smith, a smoker. She has an internal battle. To piggyback off of the arm wrestling tournament, let’s call one subconscious part, Dom, and the other part, Tiny.
Dom wants to smoke, and Tiny wants to quit smoking. And inside of Jane’s mind, the two battle it out with a metaphorical arm wrestling match. You know that Dom will win. He’s bigger and stronger. Tiny is half the size of Dom.
If you look at smoking as a battle between two parts of Jane, then it’s very logical that Jane would smoke. Why? Because Dom is much stronger than Tiny. If Dom says smoke, Jane will smoke. In this case, power wins.
Is there more to this story?
Yup! One question that pops up is, “How come Dom wants to smoke, anyway?” If you came up with that question, you get a gold star.
Dom wants to smoke, because he believes that he gets some benefits. He connects smoking with pleasure, hanging out with friends, and having a reliable way of dealing with stress. In short, for Dom, smoking is a great thing!
Now for Tiny, well, let’s just say Tiny hates smoking. But since Tiny is much weaker than Dom, Tiny can’t stop Dom from smoking.
Tiny can try logic and say, “Hey Dom, if you quit smoking, you’ll get the benefits of better health, a few extra thousand dollars per year, and we’ll smell nice. And we’ll be able to walk up the stairs easily.”
Though the reasons seem logical, there’s one problem. Dom doesn’t care. They’re nice benefits, but for Dom, smoking is better. Smoking gives him what he needs.
At this point in the story, it seems like a pretty unfair fight, doesn’t it? Dom has the power, and Tiny doesn’t. Is there anything that can be done? Does Jane have any hope to stop smoking as Tiny battles the formidable Dom?
For the answers to those questions, tune in to part two, coming soon.