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Beating Yourself Up Makes You Fail

[This is Excerpt #2 of my book, How To Stop A Bad Habit, due out in 2019. Any and all comments and feedback welcome!]

We all know the drill.  Conventional Wisdom’s rules for how to stop a bad habit have been around forever:

Motivation. Willpower. Morality.

You have to be motivated.  You have to have a big enough “Why.” You have to manage your willpower “muscle” carefully.  And try to be “good”–i.e. moral.

But what if there’s a completely different way to stop a bad habit?  One that’s easy, effortless and fun.   One that gives you more control over your “Feels Bad” Cortisol and  “Feels Good” Dopamine brain chemicals–just by the way you think?

What’s Cortisol and Dopamine?  

When your brain feels threatened (whether real or imagined) it releases the feel-bad brain chemical Cortisol  so you “Fight or Flight or Freeze or Forget” to get away from that threat.

When your brain needs motivation to go for a reward (like searching for food and water 10,000 years ago) it releases the feel-good brain chemical Dopamine so you keep doing the hard work to get to that reward.

In fact, research shows that when we are about 70% to any goal, our brain releases Dopamine to give us an extra, “feel good” push to spur us on to reach it.*

At the beginning of each chapter in this book is a graphic that represents the “Eye of the Storm.”  And isn’t that what we all need today? A new way to stop a bad habit without beating ourselves up about it.  One that even (gasp!) feels good?

Here’s a secret:  Beating yourself up makes you fail.

Conventional Wisdom experts always say, “Don’t beat yourself up!” but they don’t show you easy ways how not to do it.  But this book will.

Knowing how your brain works is the first step.

No, you don’t have to have a degree in neuroscience.  I don’t. But I’ve found understanding a few easy layman’s things about how the brain works makes it so much easier for me to stop bad habits.

*Here’s a tip:  You can plan your day so you’re often at about 70% to various goals. It works best if you have a lot of easy to achieve goals all day long–“Giggle Step” goals.  Doing that gives you an all-day “Dopamine Drip” of feel-good brain chemicals.  

And this is key:  Your logical, rational brain works exponentially better when it’s running on feel-good Dopamine than feel-bad Cortisol.  See Chapter X for more about this.

 

 

 

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