Thursday, October 29, 2015


   Have you ever made a promise to yourself, implemented a new life course, or made a positive behavioral change….only to later break that promise, go off course, and go back to the same negative behavior you were seeking to correct? Welcome to the backslide.

   If you’re thinking this is going to be one of those inspirational posts reinforcing positivity…you’re right. If you don’t need to be lifted up and all is well, I invite you to peruse my other posts for something that interests you. However, if you are falling victim to your own humanity and find that things have gone slightly awry from what you planned, stay with me on this….and hopefully we can get you back on track.

   We all struggle with…something. You name it, and someone somewhere is struggling with it. When I say struggle, I mean actively trying to make a change and finding that decision to be much tougher than the simple desire to want change. Life is constant change, but not all of it is good and not all of it is voluntary. That said, we should be especially motivated when we have the opportunity to take initiative and exercise some measure of control.

  Now…we can read all the self-help books, watch all the experts, read all the inspirational blogs, and still not experience success with that which we struggle. Of course the opposite can also be said as there are many people that benefit greatly from the aforementioned inspirational tools.

   The first step in this whole process is to recognize the need or desire to change, after which a commitment is made reflected in taking the appropriate actions that facilitate that change. The first step in correcting the backslide though is to recognize that the commitment is wavering as reflected in your inaction or counter-actions to facilitating the change that is needed or desired.

      If we were to put this in religious terms (and why not since religious belief is yet, another tool by which we change our lives)…simply put, admit you are a sinner.

   Too heavy for you? Think about these following examples: You want to control your drinking habits, but you have to first admit you have a drinking habit. You want to quit smoking, but you first have to acknowledge you are a smoker. Any addiction you have and want to break comes with the acknowledgment first that you have the addiction. Any habit you want to change comes with the acknowledgement you have the habit. Even if you wish to become a vegan, you must first acknowledge that you have dietary habits counter to that.

   Why am I harping on this aspect so much? Many people often fail to correct the backslide primarily because they refuse to admit they are backsliding to begin with.

   You have quit smoking….for several weeks, then have one cigarette. It’s just one, no big deal…you are still a non-smoker right? Wrong. Just one becomes just one this month, then just one this week, then just one today…and so forth until full reversion has taken place. The backslide need not result in full reversion of behavior if you can recognize the severity and urgency of that one smoke to begin with, and take action at that time to recommit fully to the change that you needed ( I say needed here because it is, without a doubt, disastrous to your health to smoke).

   I’m here to tell you that you can overcome any backslide you are experiencing right now. How you do it can be a bit tricky, but until you exhaust all available options, you cannot say your situation is insurmountable. The only time it becomes insurmountable is when you decide it is, and neglect to even try.

   Are you backsliding today? If so…tomorrow can absolutely be different.

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