Often people tell me they feel it is important for them to quit smoking, but is seems so difficult they lack confidence in their ability to actually succeed. This fear of failure becomes a hurdle and interferes with their motivation for quitting. This is normal. It is difficult, but there are many ways people can increase their confidence. Here are five suggestions:
- Remembering other things you have accomplished, even though they may have not been easy to do. If you think about it, you have gotten to today by overcoming difficult issues in your personal and work life, and yet you sometimes don’t recognize your strengths. If you think of specific accomplishments you have made, and begin to recognize the skills and abilities you already have, it will increase your confidence. Often the same skills of planning, remembering your specific reasons for doing this, avoiding triggers, focusing on the gains of doing it, and getting support, are the same skills that would help you stop smoking.
- Use the medications that are proven to help.
- Get support through your physician, people you come in contact with during your usual day, state Quitline, BecomeAnEX.org, and loved ones in your life.
- Don’t be afraid to get some counseling, as this also doubles your chance of quitting.
- Some people think of stopping smoking as an experiment and take it one day at a time, then after stopping for a few days, self confidence increases, and they feel they can do it!
It can be very difficult to stop smoking. Think about your strengths, use the tools available, get the support you need, and take that first step to becoming smoke-free.
Dr. Richard D. Hurt is an internationally recognized expert on tobacco dependence. A native of Murray, Kentucky, he joined Mayo Clinic in 1976 and is now a Professor of Medicine at its College of Medicine. In 1988, he founded the Mayo Clinic Nicotine Dependence Center and since then its staff has treated more than 50,000 patients for tobacco dependence. Send your questions directly to Dr. Hurt at AskTheExpert@becomeanex.org