Throughout life, we develop healthy and, sometimes, unhealthy attachments to things. Have you experienced pain because you're addicted to something? All addictions need addressing. Addictions range from alcohol to pornography to food to exercise to work. Your addiction might be small and manageable now, but left unchecked, it can grow to take over your life. Here are 10 ways to beat an addiction.
1. Own up to it.
"The first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem." When you know you have an addiction, you can start dealing with it. You're the only person who can identify where you're truly at. This doesn't mean that everybody else is wrong, but that you understand yourself better than any other human. As long as you ignore what you know, change won't happen.
2. Desire change.
Even after you've acknowledged to yourself that there's a problem, there also has to be a desire to change. Sometimes, the tools and resources we need to change are right in front of us, but if they are neglected or we don't see the need for them, they're pointless to us. Be motivated to change this area.
3. Ask for help.
Once you've identified and admitted your addiction, it's OK if you don't know what to do. That's why there are resources available to encourage and help you move forward. Don't be afraid to seek the wisdom and advice of friends and professionals. Be open to their feedback and consider the advice they're giving.
4. Surround yourself with support.
You're not in this alone, so don't start thinking you are. Your family and loved ones expect the best for you and have all the confidence that you will change. For additional support, meet up with a person or group to keep you accountable. Remember, you have a team of people cheering you on.
5. Don't fear.
If you hold onto fear or keep telling yourself, "This is impossible" or "I'm afraid of what'll happen," you'll never move forward. Fear is a limiting factor. When fear is in the equation, no matter what is added or taken away, the equation will come out in the negative. Hold onto hope. Fear knocked on the door. Faith answered. There was no one there.
6. Plan for better.
You can plan by setting goals, or benchmarkers. Doing so enables you to keep track of where you've come. This is also a way to keep yourself accountable. Try writing them down and displaying them somewhere you look often.
7. Take action.
This is possibly the easiest part: do something. Most of the steps leading up to this one deal with your mind. Now it's up to your legs. Run to your new life. After all that thinking, you can now put your plan into action. It won't always be easy, so be prepared to fight for your freedom.
8. Time is your friend.
It's easy to become impatient during this time, but remember that it took time to get where you are, and it'll take time to leave that place. One battle that everyone fights is finding the balance between taking your time and pushing forward. Yes, there is a time for everything, so take your time, but avoid complacency.
9. Celebrate your accomplishments.
Over time, as you've achieved some of your goals, throw a party to commend yourself for where you've come. Invite your support group and closest friends to honor and thank them for all of their encouragement. This would also be a great time to reflect on where you've come and where you would like to see yourself going.
10. Share your story.
This suggestion is not heard very often, but it is probably one of the most important ones. Talking about your experiences not only gives you freedom, but it also encourages others by giving them hope. And it makes you even more accountable.
Who is the No. 1 person you would go to when facing addiction?
Mark W. Merrill is the president of All Pro Dad and Family First , a national nonprofit organization. He is also the voice of a daily radio program called "The Family Minute."
This article originally appeared at allprodad.com.
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