“Temptation is the feeling we get when encountered by an opportunity to do what we innately know we shouldn’t.” -Steve Maraboli
We all face temptation in our lives on a daily basis. It could be something as innocent as wanting another piece of cake when we’re on a diet, or something as dangerous as wanting another drink before we have to drive. Whatever it is in life that might tempt you, it’s important to know that you have more control over those urges than you may think.
Here are a few steps that might help you in your fight to turn temptation into discipline:
- Identify what tempts you – Temptation is the desire to do something that you know can have a negative impact on you. Identify and isolate those temptations.
- Find out what your triggers are – Boredom, stress, frustration, lack of faith, short-sightedness, depression, the need for attention, etc. Really look inside of yourself and find out what it is that makes you want whatever it is that you know you shouldn’t have.
- Realize the consequences of giving-in to your temptations – It’s easy to forget that – often – momentary pleasures can lead to long-term consequences. Think of all of the negatives that come when you succumb to your temptations. Not only to just you, but to your friends and family as well.
- Develop a plan and exercise your willpower – You’re going to face temptations in life -accept that. But once you’ve identified what it is that tempts you and what your triggers are, it becomes a lot easier to develop a plan to regain control. Try visualization. Picture yourself confronting your temptation and not letting it overcome you.
- Create distance between you and what tempts you – Remove the source of your temptation away from your life. This can include people who may draw you in the wrong direction.
- Learn to distract yourself – Go on a hike, exercise, take a class that interests you, discover a new hobby, do something of substance in your life to give it a new perspective and new meaning.
- Seek help – Reach out to other people for help. A close friend, a family member, a teacher, a counselor, or even someone else going through the same struggle as you. Never be afraid to seek help.
“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” Also in that space is opportunity. Opportunities for distraction are also opportunities to practice focus and discipline. It’s no walk in the park, but it can be done as long as you have a high sense of alertness. If you are aware of your distractions and triggers, then you can effectively use the techniques mentioned above to tackle your addiction.