An interview with NLP Life, reveals how Richard Bandler gave up smoking so easily.NLP Life: You were once a smoker and then became a non-smoker in a very short time. How did you do it?
Richard Bandler: I stopped smoking cigarettes. If you don’t put them in your mouth and you don’t like them then you’re not a smoker!
What I did is I just made a decision that I would stop smoking. It was probably 25 years ago and somebody explained to me in a way I understood that it wasn’t good for me. I made a decision that no matter how unpleasant the feelings came, it just meant I was doing the right thing. So, then if I felt bad for three weeks, I would be free for the rest of my life and I’d be healthier and I could taste food better and I would piss off all the people that said it was hard to quit smoking. That was motivation enough for me.
Certainly, that first couple of days I would really crave cigarettes and I kept saying to myself, this means I’m doing exactly the right thing. You go three weeks. Hmm, I’ve only got two weeks now and five days, two weeks and four days and so on.
Three weeks later I barely thought about it and six months after that I couldn’t even conceive of smoking a cigarette.
I think most people make these things harder than they are. They diet and expect not be hungry. If you’re dieting you’re supposed to be hungry, you’re dieting! Every time you feel hungry, you should go I’m really dieting, aren’t I doing great, I’m starving I must be doing the right thing and smoking is like that.
I know they’ve got patches and all that stuff. I never use any of it. If somebody comes into me I tell them you have to learn to enjoy that you’re suffering because it means you’re doing the right thing and then you notice three days later you’re not quite suffering as much; that means you’re really doing the right thing, you’re getting it and you start looking forward to diminishing.
You count the number of times that you crave a cigarette during a day. First it was every minute of every day and a week later it’s a few times during the day and then it’s twice a day and then you don’t think about it for two days and every time you notice that you feel better.
That’s the magic formula – to lock your mind, make those big decisions. Everybody’s made big decisions. They made a decision they were going to move, they made a decision they’d go to college and they stuck with it, they made a decision they were never going to talk to some guy ever again and stuck to it. We’ve all made those kind of decisions, they have a certain location in our mind, big pictures to go with it. They need to see themselves not smoking and everybody around them smoking and want to be that person more than they want a cigarette.
You ask yourself: Do I want to be this person or do I want this stupid cigarette? When you switch them it gets a lot easier.