Suggested Coaching Strategy to Fight Addiction
This strategy has developed as I’ve been thinking about addiction as the polarity scale of free will, and so it is untested.
Two things with that: I’m really open to feedback and suggestions on improving this, as it’s a first draft.
I would also love to hear from people fighting addictions what they think of this as an approach.
Anyone who does want to try it, I’d been keen to watch and stay in touch as you do to see how it plays out as a DIY strategy.
So the thinking behind this is that addiction is triggered by three primary elements:
- Unfulfilled desire - you’ve never reached a point of having the need that drives this addiction satisfied or satiated
- Instant Gratification - living in the now moment means that if you aren’t doing it now then it isn’t happening. The best example of this is food and eating for taste. The moment the taste stops, you are no longer receiving the pleasure reward, and so you have to eat more. The taste sensation of pleasure numbs your other senses, like sensing when you are full and have had enough. It also gives them higher priority.
- FOMO or Fear Of Missing Out - your past experience of the pleasure this addiction brings makes you believe that no other experience will match it in pleasure or joy. You begin to believe that if the addiction is gone, then you will no longer be able to experience joy at any point; there is no light at the end of the tunnel in other words.
Suggested Addiction Strategy
1. Unfulfilled desire - identify the desire causing the addiction and redirect it
This part will take some digging and the answer will always be a life need of some sort, like 'I want to feel like a winner' or 'I want to be desired'.
Someone addicted to relationships may have a desire of 'wanting to be desired or loved'.
Someone addicted to gambling may desire to 'feel like a winner'.
Someone addicted to drugs may have a desire to 'escape from reality'.
Once you’ve identified the desire, find a HEALTHY redirect or outlet for the desire, e.g. finding a new love interest, pursuing a sport for gambling, or pursuing art for escaping from reality.
2. Instant gratification - find an in-the-moment redirect and create a new habit
You are looking for a tool, or set of tools, that the person can use to quell immediate urges and cravings, or the in-the-moment ‘taste’ urge mentioned above.
Think butterfly release or cortices tapping: http://lifecoachestoolbox.com/index.php/energy-healing-shifting-basics-free-resources
Alternately, find something similar to give a similar experience, e.g. replacing eating chocolate with sweet fruit, or allowing a recovering drug addict to transfer onto cigarettes. Smoking is healthier than heroin by any standards.
A gambler could play online games, just not gambling games with real buy ins. Preferably not any gambling games, but games that offer lots of points and flashy explosions as a visual form of reward.
The repeated use of this tool will create a new habit of action over time. NLP practitioners and coaches can reinforce this by chaining anchors before the client begins the process.
3. FOMO - own your fears and lacks
This one works on the process of owning your stuff - like you need to feel grief before it releases.
The basic premise is that by acknowledging the potential roadblocks upfront, you can avoid being able to use them as excuses to give up down the line.
The first lists you’ll draw up will be the short and long term fears behind giving the addiction up.
This includes everything from 'I’ll be grumpy in the moment', to 'I will feel discomfort', to 'I will never experience that particular joy again', and 'I will never be happy without this experience'.
The second lists you’re going to compile will be all the pros and cons of the addiction experience, as well as the pros and cons of the new experience or habit or action you have replaced it with. This includes both the in-the-moment habit, as well as the unfulfilled desire.
So you’ll end up with three pros and cons lists: old addiction experience, in the moment habit and desire redirect.
You want to know these parallels and what is missing - again to own them, so that they don’t become potential excuses down the line.
With this list, you can also identify other lacks to create in-the-moment distractions for. You can repeat the pros and cons with these too.
These lists cannot be too long!
Once the complete set of lists is compiled, the addict carries it with them to reference in the moment.
If the excuse they have matches anything on the list, then it’s not valid as a reason to go back.
I’d recommend signing and dating it so that you remember committing, and you have an immediate reference date for how long you have managed to keep going.
If you can include a photo of you signing a copy of it on the document as a visual stimulus reminder.
The more you can trick and remind your brain that you chose the commit to this, the more you will reinforce the experience and the easier it should become to sat committed. Kinda like an AA chip.
Curious to hear feedback <3