A Smoking Surprise

{Note: Personal transformation stories from Polaris Institute members
are published anonymously to allow the members to share openly and
honestly. This story is from “Sarah A.”)

I smoked for about 10 years. It was something I wanted to quit but never had success. And honestly, it wasn’t something I went into Polaris Institute to work on. The things I focused on initially with the Polaris ProcessTM were family and self-image issues. I worked to reframe how I viewed myself by focusing on listening more to my own heart and listening less to other people’s opinions.

An accidental benefit


One day, I realized that I wasn’t craving cigarettes as much as I had before. I was still craving them, but the urge felt less powerful somehow. This was not planned. It’s just an unexpected additional benefit that came along with the work I was doing on my self-image. I realized that working on how I viewed myself as well as some key relationships in my life was reducing the stress that tended to trigger a desire for a cigarette. By reducing the hold those self-image and relationship issues had on me, I discovered that I was unknowingly also reducing the hold that cigarettes had on me. That was a very empowering realization.

There was more down this path than I realized


From that point, I felt like I could win the battle. It turned out that quitting smoking was just a little further down the road I was already on. I continued to use the Polaris Process (microsteps, not beating myself up for missteps, understanding that change is incremental and builds like compound interest, and so on) and eventually reached a place where I went from wanting a cigarette less to not wanting them at all—permanently. That was 5 months ago.

Your results may vary


I don’t know if this would work for anyone else (in fact, I didn’t know it would even happen for me), but it was a great extra benefit I got from my Polaris Institute experience.

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