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All People > Giulia > Giulia's Blog > 2011 > June

Doing a Google search with reference to cognitive dissonance, I came upon the following:


“Smoking is often postulated as an example of cognitive dissonance because it is widely accepted that cigarettes can cause lung cancer, yet virtually everyone wants to live a long and healthy life. In terms of the theory, the desire to live a long life is dissonant with the activity of doing something that will most likely shorten one's life. The tension produced by these contradictory ideas can be reduced by quitting smoking, denying the evidence of lung cancer, or justifying one's smoking.  For example, smokers could rationalize their behavior by concluding that only a few smokers become ill, that it only happens to very heavy smokers, or that if smoking does not kill them, something else will. While chemical addiction may operate in addition to cognitive dissonance for existing smokers, new smokers may exhibit a simpler case of the latter.

“This case of dissonance could also be interpreted in terms of a threat to the self-concept.   The thought, "I am increasing my risk of lung cancer" is dissonant with the self-related belief, "I am a smart, reasonable person who makes good decisions." Because it is often easier to make excuses than it is to change behavior, dissonance theory leads to the conclusion that humans are sometimes rationalizing and not always rational beings.”


“Easier to make excuses than change behavior.”  How true is that statement. 

The “tension produced by contradictory ideas.”  When you stop making excuses to smoke, when you are fully committed to your quit - your dissonance will lessen.  In other words, you’re cravings won’t drive you as crazy.  Stay sane, y’all!


The Point of No Return

Posted by Giulia Champion Jun 7, 2011


“The point of no return is the point beyond which someone (...)  must continue on their current course of action, either because turning back is physically impossible, or because to do so would be prohibitively expensive or dangerous. It is also used when the distance or effort required to get back would be greater than the remainder of the journey or task as yet undertaken.”

Have you reached your point of no return in your smoking life?  If you’ve made a true deep commitment to quit, it happens the first day, that point of no return is Day One.  If you haven’t made that commitment and still wiffle waffle in your mind, then it happens later.  It may take a month for you to get to that point of no return, or 100 days, or your first year’s milestone.  It’s not the same for all of us.  Each journey is special and different and filled happening.  In all it’s ugliness and glory-filled beauty. 

But there does come a time for each long term quitter when there IS a point of no return.  When the distance and effort needed to start another Day 1 is greater than the remainder of the journey yet undertaken. 

What is your point of no return?  Are you there?  What do you need to do to get there.  What are you willing to do to achieve that?  Are you willing to jettison your smoking thoughts, your smoking habits, your smoking dreams, your smoking lifestyle, your smoking triggers, you’re smoking “idea” of yourself? 

The sooner you reach that imaginary point in your mind you will find your journey easier.  And if you have not yet reached it,  then you are not safe in your quit.  And more work needs to be done.  Which means more reading, more connection with those who support, and more interior analysis. 


Stay focused everybody.

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