My office mate who recently quit smoking started running and he was asking me for advice.
He told me last Sunday, after running for 1 kilometer non-stop, he was almost about to collapse and he was catching his breath and gasping for air.
I was trying my best not to laugh and tease him because I could run 10K non-stop.
I told him running is just practice. “Run more often,” I suggested “this will definitely improve your endurance.”
“I myself took 1 month’s practice right after quitting smoking before I could run non-stop for 30 minutes,” I continued.
“The most important thing is, you must have the sheer motivation to run.”
“And lastly, when you run, forget everything, just run as much as you can and as far as you can.”
“Don’t worry about getting home late later, forget about the rain and forget about the werewolves and vampires.” I said laughing out loud.
He said thanks (also laughing) and we went back to our offices.
When I started running, I would run, walk, run and walk. But I never run as far as I wanted to.
I was afraid to travel far distances because I feared that if I traveled too far, I might not be able to come back quickly if something bad happens.
I was afraid the rain might fall unexpectedly and I will get wet.
I was also afraid if I go too far, darkness would catch up and terrible things might happen like what you see in the movies (I am an afternoon runner by the way).
But with patience and an overhaul of my belief systems, I controlled and restricted my fears behind me.
Now I run the longest distance I could run not worrying about the travel back.
I don’t care if it rains. Last week, the rain caught up on me twice and I just continued running.
Now I don’t mind the darkness. I will run when I feel like running and I even run at night when I want to.
So how was I able to change and remove all those fears inside me?
I took it one day at a time.
I changed the way I think about running long distances, I told myself there is no harm even it takes me 2 – 3 hours running and walking.
I told myself there are no werewolves or vampires that would attack me in case the dark comes sooner.
Thankfully my place is peaceful and there are no bad guys who will jump over me whenever I turn around the corner.
And what about the rain?
I tried recalling my young fun memories when I was running through the rain. So I convinced myself, it’s not bad at all if the rain comes in the middle of my run.
I controlled my fear of seeing my clothes and shoes getting wet. What harm will it do if I could dry them later on.
And I let go of the fear of what would people would say to me (someone NUTS) when they see me on the road running through the rain.
So soon enough I was running and walking for hours non-stop having the fun of my life.
And it’s the same thing with smoking.
I know everyone is familiar with the following expressions below.
“Oh jeez! Oh shit! Oh my gosh! I only got 2 sticks left of cigarettes, I need to replenish it as soon as possible.”
You have to fight this anxiety attack whenever you’re running out of cigarettes.
“Damn it! I left my lighter at home, how stupid was I to forget it.”
Be calm whenever you left your lighter at home.
“What? You don’t accept credit cards? What the hell is wrong with this store?”
And try to control your anger whenever the nearest store won’t sell you cigarettes because they don’t accept credit cards and you run out of cash.
These are fears that chain you to your addiction and the only way for you to quit successfully is by controlling and eliminating those fears.
“My boss is always pressuring me at work. How the hell could I cope up with this kind of stress if I’m trying to quit smoking?”
Come to think of it, whether you are a smoker or a non-smoker, you have to live with that kind of life.
You should try to accept that stresses are part of life. You must learn to deal with them and must learn to live life again without nicotine.
Like running, once you have released your fears, changed your mindset and belief systems everything will be easy.
You just need to practice, practice and practice while dealing with your fears, coping with stress and changing your belief system.
If you can’t quit cold turkey now, bear in mind that you will not become a non-smoker overnight. It might take you days, weeks or even months.
And you may have to quit several times before you can extinguish your final cigarette successfully.
Relapses might also happen, so stay connected (subscribe to this quit smoking blog) and guard yourself.
But by learning from my experience and by reading my ebook, you can quit in 30 days or less.
And no matter what happens, don’t quit quitting.
You have to remember, as you experience one failure after the other, you become a stronger and a better person each time you stand up and each time you take that step that gets near you to your goal.