For a long time, scientists believed that giving a loud promise to commit an action contributes to its future execution. How surprised they were when recent studies found quite an opposite: words and actions are perceived nearly identically by our brain. That means thoughts about resisting a temptation indirectly lead to giving in to the temptation.
So what to do and how to resist?
There are at least two forces that cause us to be tempted:
- The belief in our own right.
- The blame for the failure, which leads to the total failure of the mission.
These are two features of human psychology that make us give ourselves indulgence to the inclinations (for example, the leadership and best workers often illegally use the budget for their own purposes as they think they deserve the reward).
You could eat the whole pizza, but ate only three pieces? You could completely update our wardrobe, but stopped just in a new jacket? Too often we excuse ourselves!
Interesting fact: even such a reliable and recommended “to do list” can backfire. Has it ever happened that, having made a list of what you have to do (for example, on a major project), you feel extremely happy with yourself, believing the work is done? If so, then you are not alone.
We often confuse a list of upcoming steps with the real work. Students often admit they love seminars for productivity improvement as after listening to a lecture, they already feel successful, despite the fact that they have not done anything yet. This is a classic brain trick!
Interesting Scientific Experiments
The psychologists from Northwestern University in Chicago have proved that very few people can resist temptations. Moreover, the less resistant the person considers himself, the more likely he is not tempted.
The participants were 53 smokers. They were randomly divided into two groups. The members of the first one were called “persistent” while the members of the second one – “susceptible to temptation.” Then both groups were asked to watch a half-hour excerpt from the film “Coffee and Cigarettes” by Jim Jarmusch. Also, the participants were promised a prize for abstinence from smoking. The ability to resist the temptation could be proven in several ways:
- Leaving a cigarette in the other room.
- Putting a pack on the table beside oneself.
- Holding a cigarette in the mouth.
For the most part, the “susceptible to temptation” left cigarettes in the other room or on the table thereby avoiding temptation, while the “persistent” tried to show their strength of will, but finally, started smoking.
This conclusion was confirmed by another series of experiments, which measured the success of ex-smokers – first, the weeks after quitting smoking, and then after four months of abstinence. The second test showed that 60% of former smokers who had claimed that they could easily give up went back to the bad habit, whereas 40% of “susceptible to temptation” started smoking again.
How to Resist Temptations
There are a few tricks that may help you:
- Study the way you talk to yourself and others about the successes and achievements of your willpower. Do you praise yourself for victories? Do you blame yourself when giving in to the temptation? Do you use your “good” behavior to allow yourself something “bad”? It is harmless encouragement or it undermines your major goal?
- Change your attitude to concessions. Consider them as a threat to your objectives. This may help you to decrease the attractiveness of doing something amazingly well just to further give up the slack.
- Try to think about thighs you need more than the temptation. Your desires must be great! Let’s say you’re stuck on the hated work and want to find better career opportunities. Coming home, the first thing comes to your mind is to ear and have a rest. It is very tempting…but if you wish to change the job, don’t you think it’s better to spend that time on reading a book or honing your skills?
If you do not resist the temptations, you will always back to the level where nothing happens and nothing is done. You will miss a lot of opportunities. But if you want something more and if you overcome at least one temptation, you will see a perspective opportunity to become a better version of yourself.
People susceptible to temptation hardly reach the comfortable life speed. They have to start over and over again. If you feel tempted – take a pause! Let the energy you want to spend on the temptation simply circulate through your body. Breathe and gain willpower that is necessary to resist the temptation. Focus on what you really want. The ability to resist the temptation is the same ability that allows you to reach the necessary life pace. Moving faster, you have more chances to resist the temptations.
Lucy Adams is an essay writer and a blogger. She’s a loyal partner of https://bestessay4u.co.uk/. This diligent author is always ready to bring your ideas to life, so don’t miss the chance to start the mutually beneficial collaboration.