What make us all crave more, why can’t we ever feel satisfied, why can’t we say no and mean it?
Our world is full of more, everywhere we look we are always being pulled to have one more. Whether it be one more chocolate, one more worry, one more dress, it just seems that as a society we are all searching for the one more thing which we need and seemingly can’t be happy without it.
Let’s take a step back and consider this, our internal flight and fight response has been driving us to survive as a species for millions of years and this is the driver that leads us to wanting more. Hopefully you have read Life is Addictive which has started us on this journey of understanding addiction and today I will help you take the next steps.
The desire to always want more comes from a place of craving security and we have confused this with wanting food, clothes, even worries. Whatever we crave, if we have one more it will keep us safe. Just look through your social media feeds, TV adverts, magazines and newspapers they are all driving us to have this one thing that is so much better than the one you have already. Of course, advertising is entices you in, making you feel that you want it, it is this feeling that drives you and not the need for it.
Advertising is a 500-billion-dollar business and it is everywhere we look, from the first moments we open our eyes we are bombarded with advertisements. From the label on your pyjamas, to the tooth paste by the sink, the breakfast cereal and milk, the list goes on. This is before we have even switched on the TV or our phone or tablet, once these bright, alluring screens have come to life before our eyes we are lost in them. As adults, we do a great job of trying to pretend that we’re not, but just look at the children around us and how mesmerised they are with technology. Think of the toddler desperate to prise your phone out of your hand, or if it’s left on the side for a few moments- how they are drawn to pick it up. Have you ever seen a child or even an adult engrossed in the TV? They can be mesmerised by it and getting their attention is often very hard, they just don’t seem to even hear us let alone see us. I do feel in these moments we are so engrossed we forget ourselves completely. Getting lost in things is a form of escapism and yes it can seem nice at times, but are we all getting lost in this world of technology and the desires of wanting things, at the expense of missing the real experiences in our lives. Last week’s blog Life is Addictive, looked at the genetics of this and the habitual pull within us and it’s the same thing, we’re lost to the bright, enticing lights and naturally our children around us are merely just copying us.
Are we just moths to a flame, shouting “don’tlook, look away. Oh damn, it’s so lovely, let’s just take one little look”, oops we have just got burnt. You would think we would learn our lesson, but no time and time again we keep doing this, so addicted and mesmerised we just can’t help but to dive in for just one more. This could be another quick look at your phone, Facebook, a worry, another biscuit or new pair of shoes. It doesn’t matter what our weakness is, it all comes back to thesame thing. This obsessional need is everywhere and like a junkie we never feel satisfied we always just want one more, because it’s all about the need to feel safe and sure.
Ok let’s look at this a little more as I know this may seem a bit hard to believe that it all stems back to this point. But for many of us it does, safety and security is a learned and developed habit from childhood. Sometimes our experiences, our family, the people around us and just the lives we have lead can stop us from developing inner safety and security. In the blog Life is Addictive we talked about all our habits and patterns being learned and set by the age of about 6, so if this hasn’t developed within us as a small child then it can be hard to develop after that. However, what we can start to do is build some outer confidence. You might be saying what’s the difference between, confidence and safety / security? Well safety is the inner feeling we have inside and confidence is about learning to do things and develop skills in things like writing, talking, driving etc., and it is often normal for us to have one without the other. Of course, on a deeper level within our minds we know that we should have the safety and security within us, even if we don’t know consciously. With this being missing it can lead us to start to start looking for security outside of ourselves and this could be the beginning of the habits that you might be still battling with today.
If we have one more biscuit, one more worry, one more word of reassurance or whatever it is in our lives then this will make us better. Maybe in the beginning it did help, for a moment we forget about ourselves while we ate something or felt a little safer when someone gave us the reassurances we wanted, or we were distracted with a new thing in our lives. Of course, it’s not real safety and security, our inner minds have always known this. Each time we did these things, our inner minds didn’t develop the safety we crave. It actually did the opposite and kept reminding us that we don’t feel safe and secure, because if we did we wouldn’t need to keep comforting ourselves with things. If you are struggling with any type of addiction in your life then now is the time to take a step back and consider what could be the underlying issues around safety and security. It’s time to be honest and authentic with ourselves and accept that we are just using all these things around us as some kind of comforter and that biscuit, new item, that reassurance is just like a comfort blanket.
Each time we add another comfort blanket on, with whatever we are using to comfort ourselves with, are we just smothering ourselves? This continual negative reinforcement, doesn’t help, it actually just keeps reminding us that we don’t feel safe, so the more we smother ourselves the more we unsafe we feel, until we feel we can’t even breath under the pressure of this. We can then feel that we need more and more to try and fulfil this need, the habits just grow and in turn our insecurities grow too, feeling more under pressure and uncomfortable. These issues can then get embedded with time and we can get very confused as to what is truly driving us, but if we take the time and strip back the layers, for many of us, we will see that this lack of safety and security is at the root of things.
If this is the case then the ‘comforter’ can become the problem, each time you are just cementing the fact that your inner mind doesn’t feel safe. Compounding every time, you have the biscuit, new item, reassurance etc., the insecurities and the habits just get stronger and more embedded in your everyday life and we continue to feel more out of control with these habits and addictions. Is this really true? Are we out of control? is the thing we crave and need controlling us? Or is it just the habit and the continual compounding of failure in our lives each time we have unsuccessfully tried to change? What has happened is that we are now constantly living in this place of failure and because of this each time we approach these different situations we have a negative belief system which is pushing against us changing.
To combat it, we need to step back and see our addictions. We need to understand that it is just a habit and the only reason we have it is because our experiences have allowed it to grow and embed within us. Once we can see and understand then is the first step to reclaiming back our control, and we can start taking those steps to break them. Of course, like any habit, (hopefully you have read Don’t Feed The Cat) you will realise it’s not just going to go away instantly, but with time and commitment we can start breaking down those habits and letting them go. In the process, we can start to get our lives back and then we can start working on some of those underlying insecurities.
We may or may not know why we don’t feel safe and secure, it doesn’t really matter either way. The most important thing is to be honest and authentic with ourselves and just accept that we’re not secure. With that knowledge and a clear view of the issues then we can start learning to feel safe and realise that we don’t need the biscuit, the reassurance, the new thing in our lives to help us do this. Then we start forming new habits, learning to relax within ourselves and the safety and security will grow so that we won’t need anything to comfort ourselves with. Teaching ourselves to let go and relax, will enable us to start taking care of ourselves and supporting / comforting ourselves in ways that will truly help. As our inner selves become stronger, we in turn take those steps forward enabling us to be better people, happier more relaxed and secure. With this we can begin to realise that we don’t need to keep having one more, and we can grow stronger. Everywhere we go and whatever we do, we take this safety and security with us, we carry it inside. We can approach things from a whole different view point, as the habits start to fade and our confidence continues to grow.
Over the next few weeks the blogs are going to look at the motivation and the belief systems that drive us. Empowering you to become the best version of yourself to continue your journey of understanding about what makes us tick. Once we start to understand it, it is now no longer this big horrible thing that’s chasing us, with us feeling out of control, it something that we can makes sense of. By making sense of things we can start to take control.
If you know anyone that would benefit from reading this, then please share this with them.
Thanks for dropping by and joining me Down The Rabbit Hole