This post is an answer to a submitted question. It aims to provide help and solutions to overcome the issue.
Podcast version: HERE
Quote: “Keep your promises to yourself, because the self-talk that follows is destructive if you don't!”
Adding to the quote:
If your self-awareness is low, often described by individuals as "I feel like I am on autopilot" or "I feel like I am coasting through life, doing the same things over and over," then you're likely listening to your self-talk, believing it, without much acknowledgement or questioning how or what the thought really is.
Thoughts are simply products of our programming and conditioning, influenced by our past experiences and the fears that have shaped us. They are like fractured pieces of a puzzle, fragments of information that may not accurately reflect reality.
When we lack self-awareness, we tend to take these thoughts at face value, without questioning their validity or examining their origins. We believe them without much thought or introspection, allowing them to dictate our actions and shape our reality. Basically living life in full reactivity.
If you want to truly understand yourself and live a more fulfilling life, develop a greater sense of self-awareness. The best way to do this is with a coach like me.
“I am currently a medical student. I've realized how much of my life I have wasted consuming completely useless media such as YouTube, Tiktok, etc. I think I have an addiction to it and although I've been able to cut out everything else for the past year and a half, I have just replaced it with watching YouTube and randomly browsing other things. I've realized that because of this my procrastination is horrible and I get into this horrible cycle of putting things off to watch YouTube or do something on the internet, and then feeling guilty and staying up to finish the work I need to get done and I end up not spending time with family or friends, or even going out at all.
What made me notice how bad my addiction is how all of my friends are in relationships, and while I know that's not something I should judge myself for, I know for a fact that the reason why I haven't been able to be in a relationship is because of my lack of organization in life that would allow me to go out and mingle.
My internet addiction is ruining me emotionally, socially, academically, physically and mentally, and I have no idea how to stop myself.”
My Response if we were in a coaching setting. Although without being able to ask questions, I may assume or use scenarios to fill in the gaps.
I hear you, and this feels really burdensome and there’s a sense of hopelessness.
It’s normal and natural for it to appear this way when we are focusing on things that we don’t have, things you can’t control, and focusing on the past and future.
In your submission not having a relationship with someone. Feeling out of control with managing your time. Worried about how you’ve missed out on socialization in the past and worried about how this cycle will affect you in the future.
What we say to ourselves, what we believe, and the stories we tell ourselves by thoughts we hear, and the thoughts that play in our non-conscious mind create our reality.
Worded differently the stories we wrap around the things we do or don’t do is what’s creating the suffering, not Tiktock, Social Media, YouTube, or Netflix, these things can’t make us feel any certain way at all, it’s not possible, it boils down to our thoughts, our imagination.
By claiming and stating the identity “my procrastination” “my internet addiction” followed up by proof and evidence that we are a certain way it’s feeding our brain what to focus on and to continue to gather proof and evidence we are that way. Making the problem larger, more magnified and creates more of it in our life. Our brain loves certainty, it loves to gather data points, proof and information to not only ensure our safety but to preserve our energy.
When we label things as good or bad we often add to the drama.
Stating something is “horrible” adds to the story, the drama the perception of what you’re doing and ramps up the emotions wrapped around the behavior. I like to think of our inner thoughts as a small child running around with scissors, would you tell them they are horrible, awful, and name call them to stop doing something? We often speak to ourselves super poorly without really realizing it. How would you speak to yourself in a way that you’d get results, in a way that pulls you into action verses pushing, forcing and making yourself do something?
Look around you where you sit, do you see something that’s yours, something that you value, maybe something that you have sentimental value connected to, something that you earned, purchased, worked hard to obtain.
What’s that thing?
How do you describe it?
Let’s say it’s a purse, or an expensive headset, or laptop, if you pointed to it and talked about it, how would you describe it?
My purse, my headset, my laptop right? There’s ownership there, it’s declared as something that you possess and in no way want to rid yourself of it. When you say “my'' followed by whatever you’re referring to in a possessive way and your mind and brain are recognizing it as something that is yours to keep. It’s a story. When we state “my” and follow it with a trait, a habit, a label, a way of being, it becomes fixed, part of us, for our mind will continue to gather proof we are that way, limiting us, blocking us from being any other way.
Rid your thoughts and language of phases that have a sense of ownership towards anything you don’t want to keep.
There’s an old phrase “Tell a lie big enough, loud enough, and long enough and sooner or later people will believe it”. Do you know who said that? Hitler. So watch your words, watch what you’re thinking, your words hold tremendous power.
This goes for anything that you listen to, read, consume, be super careful and protect your brain, mind and thoughts from things that don’t serve you, stretch you into being who you want to be.
Anything listened to on repeat is like hypnosis. You start to believe it if you hear it over and over.
There’s nothing wrong with you, you’re not broken, you don’t need to be fixed. You’re human and have learned some patterns of thought that can be unlearned, rather quickly if you’re consistent, if it’s really important to you and persistent.
What you describe is your brain is moving you towards what feels good and familiar.
These habits feel good in some way, fashion or form. They feel familiar with any amount of repetition.
Our brain is super duper simplistic like the giant computers back in the early 90’s. With each repetitive action that generates a sense of a good feeling and is done in a repetitive manner the brain loves, because it thrives in certainty along with what feels safe. It’s also being fed that your identity and who you are and how you describe yourself is a self fulfilling prophecy.
If we think sad thoughts we feel sad.
If we think joyful thoughts we feel joyful.
See how super simplistic the brain is?
Looking at what you’re describing your brain is delivering what it’s being conditioned and numbing out with the deep dark black hole of the internet is what’s familiar and provides a good feeling plus it’s super easy to access. If there’s something you’re not wanting to indulge in don’t make it easy to access. I don’t keep ice cream in the house. If it was possible to have ice cream on the counter and I walked by it 15+ times a day you betcha I would have some bites. I can’t tell you the last time I had it, it’s been years. It’s not easily accessible.
Emotions beat logic every single time.
You know logically what to do, I nor no one needs to tell you what to do. Your submission really didn’t have a direct question to answer. I am just assuming that’s what you’re asking, what to do. Most people don’t do what others tell them to do anyways. The point I am making is that I am unclear how you want to feel. What is it that you do want? Your brain also doesn’t know. Are you able to articulate what you want, are you able to imagine it, can you see yourself being the type of person that’s productive perhaps, in a relationship, and happy? What does a person that has all these things do daily? Maybe hourly? What are they doing with their time? Where do they go daily, weekly, what plans are they making? How are they behaving, where are they spending their time? Who are they associating with? What hobbies, and interests do they have? How are they growing, learning and stretching themselves each month into greater discoveries and how are they experiencing life fully? I am not sure being home alone is really experiencing life in full 3D color.
Isolation is a form of torture.
We often get overwhelmed by thinking too big, I like to break it down to super micro manageable steps.
What I am curious about is what stories, thoughts, beliefs, judgments, assumptions, impressions you have about doing the things that you could see yourself doing if you were to be the person you might describe as having what you want. Often there’s a boat load of fear that pops up with this type of question. Typically this is the block that prevents people from moving out of old habits, patterns and cycles.
Your brain working super hard giving you exactly what you want, if it feels too scary to change or it feels too hard or difficult, that’s the story your mind is making up to keep you in your comfort zone. Keeping you stuck. Ensuring what’s certain, what safe, what’s manageable and it’s controlling your life.
Train your brain to work for you, rather than against what you want.
I hope this is helpful.
I wish you all the best.
Please share this with anyone you believe would benefit from the insights. Post a comment, I read and reply to them all. Thank you in advance!
If you want to send a question, please send to email@example.com please include:
- A coachable question (something that addresses what's in your control, your thoughts, feelings or actions.)
- And context, explain a situation in the past, currently going through, or worries/concerns of the future, giving me some details on your thoughts and feelings about it.