What Your Addictive Habits Might Be Telling You

Do you have any addictive behaviors or unhealthy habits?

Maybe you find yourself having a few drinks after the end of every board meeting or making a purchase on Amazon after another stressful work week.  Maybe it’s gotten to the point where you have a daily vice you just can’t seem to shake.

The truth is these addictive behaviors (no matter the degree) keep us from addressing what is really going on inside of us. 

They are the quick and easy fix which becomes our way of avoiding the pain, and any self-confrontation or change that may need to take place in our life.

When there’s consistency in addictive behaviors there’s trouble.

Step #1 : You must ask When. 

Track. Track. Track. Your habits. When are they happening? What time of day? Which days? Which events? Which people? Identify all the specifics around when you turn to “your comfort”.

Step #2: You must ask What. 

Once you’ve identified the main times of pain avoidance, now you dig deeper into the what. What specifically happened that day? What meetings took place? What conversations?  Who did you talk to about what topic?

Key: Where do you see any underlying fear triggers? 

Step #3: You must ask Why. 

Now you go to the depths of your soul. At the why most people say, “If I knew why I wouldn’t be here?” Fair enough. So, ask yourself different questions to help get you there such as…

* If you were you a counselor what advice would you give someone in your shoes? What makes it hard to take that advice? 

  * What are the strongest emotions you feel when dealing with this behavior? Where have you felt this before? 

  * What makes you feel like you deserve or have earned this behavior? Where might boundaries need to be put in place with you or others?

In our culture addiction has become the most common way to deal with pain.  We watch television incessantly.  We keep busy, running from one activity to another.  We work 70 hours a week, indulge in overeating, drinking, and taking pills – anything to help us avoid the pain.

But true growth always involves some sort of pain. 

If it’s obvious where your addiction tendencies lie the next question becomes…

What’s the pain you are seeking to avoid? 

Start with the when, what, and why questions and remember that regardless of how small or insignificant your addiction…it’s always hindering your natural gradient towards growth!

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