Could referring to yourself as a non-smoker when you try to quit actually be keeping you stuck? If you’re curious and you want to know why the term “non-smoker” is an issue, or even more importantly if you want to know what you should do and how should you refer to yourself to be successful at quitting smoking then read to the end. I’m going to show you exactly how you should refer to yourself if you’re quitting smoking.
I’m going to simply show you how to reframe the term, “I’m a non-smoker” so that you can be successful at your quit smoking journey. I’m also going to put a link at the end where you can put yourself in my calendar for a free 15-minute phone consultation. I’ll simply get you on the right track to quitting smoking for the rest of your life. It’s a conversation. It’s easy, it’s fun, and it’s free so take advantage of it.
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Let’s jump right in. Why is it a bad idea to refer to ourselves as a non-smoker when we try to quit smoking? Here’s why. It has to do with identity and the way that we create an identity ourselves.
First, I’m just going to describe to you what identity is so that we have a baseline to go from.
How do we create a successful identity? I’m going to explain you how the identity of “I am now a non-smoker” is a terrible idea, and why it’s going to keep you stuck.
Identity: sometimes referred to as self-identity, refers to the stable and prominent aspects of one’s self-perception.
That’s a terrible definition, but if you google it that’s what you’re going to find. What it means is something like this. When I think of myself as a green consumer I’m basically referring to a part of myself or an aspect of myself my self-perception as an identity. So here’s a better definition. Identity is the qualities, beliefs, personality, looks, or expressions that make you a person.
Let’s deconstruct that to make it even simpler. Identity is a psychological thing that relates to our self-image. It’s a mental model of our self.
That’s all identity is. Identity is just a model that we create of our self. That’s it. It’s really no more complex than that.
Here’s what we know about identity. When we create identities for ourselves it’s often determined by the language we use and how we frame our thoughts about ourselves. Language and thoughts in our mind create and craft our identity. The question becomes does calling ourselves a non-smoker help or does it hinder that.
Let’s just take a step back and really look at this. Identity is constructed in your mind not only through language, but in how you frame reality. You now know your identity is a direct reflection of how you frame your world. Here’s how you do it. The best way to think of this is in the expression the map is not the territory.
What does that mean?
Here’s what it means. It all has to do with the way you create meaning in your mind. Your mind’s job is to create meaning. All of your meaning and all the maps of your reality exist in your mind.
As we bring information in we use the meaning of our experience to create a map of the outside world. The outside world between you and me is the territory. You’re going to make your own map, and I’m going to make my own map of the territory between us or of our experience. This is why we can both see the same thing and have different thoughts about the reality or the territory between us. It is why eyewitness testimony is not that valid in court.
We understand the psychology of the human brain. We take in the territory, the reality of the experience, and we create meaning in our head. We create a map, but the territory is the actual reality.
That’s how our brain actually works.
This happens when we’re a smoker. We think to ourselves “I’m a non-smoker”. What are we doing is we’re creating a map in our head and an identity of ourselves as a non-smoker.
Now, that may sound like a good idea at first blush, but does framing our map of ourselves as a non-smoker really help us, or does it hinder us?
Well here’s the issue. When we refer ourselves as a non-smoker it has smoking built into the identity. We are still identifying ourselves as a smoker even if it is in the context as a past smoker. We still have in there the self-constructed identity as a smoker and it keeps us stuck. It is why people who fail at quitting smoking often refer to themselves as a non-smoker quit and then are smoking again a month later.
People who quit 10 years ago and don’t smoke anymore don’t refer to themselves as a non-smoker do they? They just say, “I don’t smoke.” They don’t frame their reality that way. Their map and the meaning of who they are, and their identity in their head isn’t as a former smoker. It doesn’t have smoking built into it.
We shouldn’t refer to ourselves as a non-smoker because what it does is it puts in our brain that smoking is part of our identity.
If that’s a bad idea and it hinders us, well, how should we refer to ourselves? We should just simply say, “I don’t smoke.”
Here’s why. We don’t want to construct any identity that has smoking built into it. We want to construct an identity that is separate and we simply don’t smoke.
So here’s all you need to do whenever you quit smoking, and you have to talk about smoking. You are simply just going to say, “I don’t smoke.”
You are not going to refer to yourself as a non-smoker.
Here’s why referring to yourself as a non-smoker is actually kind of insane if you actually think about this and think through it logically.
Do you believe in Santa Claus? Yes, or no?
Now, I get it. A lot of people say, “Yes. I believe for my kids” but I mean like do you really believe? Do you actually, really believe there’s a guy with a white beard at the North Pole who makes presents with elves and delivers them on a sleigh?
Do you actually honestly believe that in reality? No. You don’t do you!
Are you a non-Santa Clausist? No, you’re not are you! I mean it’s silly. Isn’t it.
Do you believe in the Tooth Fairy? Do you actually really and honestly believe in the tooth fairy? No, you don’t.
Are you a non-toothfairyist?
See it’s silly and it’s stupid. We do not refer to ourselves as things that we are not so why would you do it as a smoker?
Why would you refer to yourself as a non-smoker? You’re not a non-smoker! You just don’t smoke anymore.
Saying that you’re a non-smoker is a self-constructed identity that has failure built into it. It actually is not helping you. It’s a hindrance.
So back to the question I posed right at the top, is referring to ourselves as a non-smoker helpful or a hindrance. It’s a hindrance and not a good idea if you want to be successful.
How should you refer to yourself? Simply say, “I don’t smoke.”
If this post was helpful and if you want to take advantage of that link I put at the end to a free 15 minute phone conversation with me please do. It’s easy and it’s fun. I’ll simply get you on the right track to quitting smoking for life. You can book yourself into my calendar here: https://quitsmokingtoronto.ca/ .
If you found this content helpful, and you want more tips, tricks, and hacks on how quit smoking for the rest of your life then check out my YouTube channel and subscribe. You can find it here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC4I5TmCiWs3cStE4SIiq4Ww. Please share and like the content.
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Thank you so much for your time and blessings to everyone. I will talk to you soon.