Learn How To Use Your Mind Effectively So You Can Become Addiction-Free & Addiction-Proof
Hey, my name is Kevin Edwards...
I'm the founder of Unaddictable, creator of the Identity Emergence Method, and a full-time Relapse Prevention Specialist.
I help people quit alcohol, prescription drugs, and illegal drugs in the comfort of their homes using powerful scientific methods.
In this article, I'm going to hook you up with some valuable insights from my research, personal experiences, and client feedback to help you overcome the beliefs that are fueling your suffering and your addiction.
If you’re serious about ending your addiction forever, make sure you read EVERY word so you fully understand how to become addiction-free and addiction-proof (i.e. unaddictable).
Watch the Recovery Accelerator workshop for FREE! You'll learn how to end your addiction faster (and smarter) in the comfort of your home!
Let’s start with some FAQs to calibrate your mind:
1) Is addiction a disease?
No. The main reason why the majority of the addiction treatment industry (therapists, counselors, psychologists, psychiatrists, recovery coaches, rehabs, sober living facilities, doctors, pharmaceutical companies, etc.) continues to promote the disease theory is for financial gain. The addiction treatment industry is a multi-billion dollar industry. The last time I checked, the market for addiction treatment in the United States was about $42 billion per year. Most of that money is generated by the disease theory because the vast majority of addiction treatment is based either partially or entirely on the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). And, of course, AA relentlessly promotes the disease theory. Here's the thing though: a theory is an idea (aka supposition, hypothesis, speculation) intended to explain something. A theory is NOT a fact. Plus, when you compare addiction to true diseases, you'll discover that there's no infectious agent (as in tuberculosis), no pathological biological process (as in diabetes), and no biologically degenerative condition (as in Alzheimer's disease). So, apart from being scientifically baseless, the disease theory undermines hope, fails to end stigma, and prevents a lot of people from getting the help they need.
2) What is addiction?
Addiction is compulsive behavior despite adverse consequences. It can also be defined as emotional immaturity or a response to suffering.
3) What causes addiction?
Suffering causes addiction.
4) What causes suffering?
Suffering is caused by our core beliefs about ourselves, other people, the world, and the future. And our beliefs are upheld by the stories we tell ourselves.
5) What is the purpose of addiction?
The purpose of addiction is to relieve suffering (i.e. unpleasant emotions such as sadness, anger, shame, and feeling helpless or powerless).
6) What is recovery?
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) currently defines recovery as "a process of change through which individuals improve their health and wellness, live self-directed lives, and strive to reach their full potential."
7) What does unaddictable mean?
Unaddictable means addiction-proof. It’s when you know (without a doubt) that you’ll never become addicted again no matter what happens. This certainty is the result of forming a new, helpful, and unshakable belief system, mastering emotion regulation skills, creating healthy habits, and consistently experiencing fulfillment in the areas of life that are deeply important to you.
8) How do I become unaddictable?
The fastest and easiest way to become unaddictable is to discover the systems and processes that work best for you. Schedule a free strategy session with me to see if my Unaddictable Mentoring program is the best option for you. If not, I'll still give you my best advice based on your situation, goals, and preferences.
Now you know more about addiction than most of the world.
Next, it’s helpful to understand the fundamentals of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT).
So here’s a diagram that explains how your addiction (i.e. compulsive behavior) is a symptom of your feelings, your feelings are a symptom of your thoughts, and your thoughts are a symptom of your beliefs.
In other words, your beliefs impact how you think, your thoughts impact how you feel, and your feelings impact how you behave.
As you can see in the diagram, this cycle also works in reverse: your behavior impacts your feelings, and your feelings impact your thoughts.
The good news?
You can change what you believe and how you think.
It's called neuroplasticity.
Neuroplasticity is the ability of the brain to change continuously throughout an individual's life.
What we can learn, we can unlearn.
Therefore, you're not powerless.
The 12-step cult, rehab racket, and pharmaceutical cartel want you to believe that you’re powerless so you'll continue to be a pawn in their operations, but they’re full of shit. 💩
By definition, power means 1) the ability to do something or act in a particular way or 2) the capacity or ability to direct or influence the behavior of others or the course of events... and you can do BOTH!
You're powerful beyond measure.
Your life will instantly begin to improve as soon as you understand and embrace this fact.
That said, let’s get into the all cool stuff about beliefs that I said I would share with you to help you end your suffering and your addiction.
Every client I've helped had one (or more) of the following 7 beliefs:
1) "I’m not good enough."
2) "I’m unworthy (of love, acceptance, success, etc.)."
3) "I’m not important."
4) "I’m incapable (of creating, achieving, or obtaining what I want)."
5) "Mistakes and failures are bad."
6) "If I make a mistake or fail I’ll be rejected."
7) "I’m so different that I can’t connect with others."
Can you imagine how these beliefs can create overwhelming feelings of helplessness, powerlessness, sadness, anger, and shame? 😔
Most of your beliefs were formed during your childhood.
The strongest or most repeated messages that you received as a child became the core issues that are impacting you now.
For example, many parents try to make their children smarter, tougher, and more likable by criticizing and shaming them.
They believe this is the most effective way to change them into who they think they should become.
They'll say things like:
"Your room is a mess! A pig would be ashamed to come in here! Clean it up now!"
"Why can't you be more like your sister and get better grades?"
"You're not going to eat all that, are you? That's why you're so fat."
"Stop peeing in your bed. It's disgusting!"
"Why can't you do anything right?"
"Oh my God! You're so stupid!"
"You'll never amount to anything!"
"Stop crying! You don't want people to call you a sissy, do you?"
Even if the parent has good intentions behind these words, what beliefs do you think a child will form after receiving these messages?
They tend to believe they're unworthy, incapable, weak, bad, incompetent, inadequate, etc.
Then, they tend to become confused, insecure, and fearful.
Next, they carry these self-judgments with them into adulthood and they influence their experiences.
And, unfortunately, they torture themselves with criticism and shame since they've been programmed by their parents to believe that they'll change if they do it enough.
Holding these self-judgments, unhelpful beliefs, and constantly berating themselves causes overwhelming discomfort known as depression, anxiety, and self-loathing. 😢
Many parents that truly love their children believe they're "coaching" them to be a better human and more prepared for life experiences, but they're unknowingly building a "mental filter" through which their children will interpret themselves, their futures, and others.
This mental filter impacts the meaning they attach to every event that happens during their lives and they build their identity off of those events.
Children also absorb everything their parents say or do even if it's not directed at them.
For example, when a child witnesses an argument or tension, they absorb that uncomfortable feeling too.
Of course, other authority figures (e.g., teachers), students, siblings, relatives, friends, society, television, movies, music, internet, video games, and advertising also contribute to this initial programming that forms beliefs.
Likewise, interactions with these people and things continue to reaffirm and reinforce your existing beliefs.
If you've been incredibly lucky and you haven't experienced any trauma, don't have any emotional scars, and supposedly don't have any repressed or unprocessed thoughts and feelings from your childhood, you may have developed unhelpful beliefs and psychological issues by experiencing a lack of control, not having enough of a supportive structure, or living through trauma as an adolescent or young adult.
However, if none of these apply to you, your problems are clearly not the result of deep, inner conflicts, or emotional disorders.
Rather, you experience stress, distress, and other unwanted thoughts and feelings because your life lacks ingredients such as peace, joy, and fulfillment.
If that's the case, your beliefs are the reason you're lacking those ingredients in your life.
Either way, your beliefs are extremely powerful and you have the power to change them.
Forgive your parents and everyone else that's hurt, harmed, teased, bullied, tormented, or negatively affected you in any way.
They were simply behaving based on the beliefs that they were programmed with.
After identifying how a belief is formed, you need to challenge the validity of that belief.
You do this by recreating the situation in which the belief was formed.
However, this time you consciously question if the belief is true.
By doing this, you create a different outcome — a new interpretation of what the event means.
This new experience is vital in reprogramming your thought patterns and breaking the cycle you've been stuck in for so long.
Your current beliefs were created by the strongest or most repeated messages that you've received throughout your life.
In other words, they were created by repetition and emotional intensity.
You can create new beliefs in the same way. 🙌
There are 3 fundamental ways you can change your subconscious programming:
● Hypnosis (ex. Listening to subliminal recordings while you're sleeping)
● Repetition (ex. Daily meditation)
● Energy Psychology (ex. EFT tapping)
Of course, your subconscious mind can also change from an epiphany or a major life experience that causes emotional shock or trauma, but these types of experiences aren't predictable or controllable so I don't recommend trying to create them intentionally.
Also, it's helpful to understand that every belief is upheld by a story (or a combination of stories).
Ultimately, the stability of the belief is based on the number of stories that are supporting it and the intensity of the emotions attached to those stories.
For example, imagine each of your beliefs as a tabletop.
The stories you tell yourself about that belief are the table legs (i.e. belief reinforcement).
If you replace the stories that are reinforcing your unhelpful beliefs, the old belief will fall and a new one can take its place.
My favorite method for creating new beliefs is listening to hypnotherapy sessions.
I use wireless headband headphones to listen to them at night before I go to sleep and while I'm sleeping.
This is my favorite method because it's EFFORTLESS and very effective because of the slower and lower frequency brainwave patterns associated with deep relaxation and different stages of sleep.
Monitor everything you think and say.
Then, each time you notice yourself thinking or saying something unhelpful or negative, immediately stop what you were thinking or saying and restate it in helpful or positive terms.
For example, if you've been going to 12-step meetings and saying "I'm (your first name) and I'm an alcoholic," I highly recommend that you quit saying that immediately.
"I am" are two of the most powerful words you can ever say.
What you continuously think and say after "I am" will manifest in your life.
If you're always telling yourself and others that you're an "alcoholic," your subconscious mind is going to do everything it can to prove you're not a liar.
It makes your internal beliefs your external reality.
So, instead of saying "I'm (your first name) and I'm an alcoholic," I recommend saying something like "I'm a human being and I have trouble managing my emotions sometimes."
This is an accurate statement and it's much more beneficial to your psyche than imposing an unhelpful label on yourself.
Beliefs ➡️ Thoughts ➡️ Feelings ➡️ Actions ➡️ Results (Reaffirm Beliefs)
First, you make your beliefs.
Then, your beliefs make you.
And when you go out in the world, the world will support your beliefs.
You must ask yourself, "What belief is keeping me stuck?"
This is important because whatever benefit you think you’re still getting from your addiction needs to be examined and shattered.
Otherwise, you’ll forever be dragged back to that sticky spot.
Next, once you identify the need for your addiction, you must be willing to release the need.
When the need is gone, you'll have no desire for the addiction.
The willingness to let go of the old is the key.
This is important because according to your paradigm (i.e. your collection of beliefs, judgments, acceptances, stories, concepts, and thought patterns), you "need" to have certain outer effects or experiences.
In other words, every addiction is the result of trying to escape from something by going in the direction of a need that's currently not being met.
To overcome your addiction, it's very helpful to understand what you're trying to use your addiction to get away from and what need you're trying to use your addiction to meet.
There are six basic emotional needs:
● Certainty – A sense of security, safety, and comfort in the world
● Variety – A sense of change, interest, and adventure
● Significance – A sense of uniqueness, individuality, and being special
● Love & Connection – A sense of acceptance, belonging, and support
● Growth – A desire to learn, grow, and evolve
● Contribution – The desire to help and give to those around us
Does your addiction help you meet any of these needs? 🤔
For example, when you're experiencing overwhelming feelings of helplessness or powerlessness, are you fairly certain your addictive behavior will provide a sense of empowerment, control, comfort, or relief?
Understanding the dynamics of addiction will help you focus beyond the object of your addiction to the ROOT of your problem.
You're not seeking a drink, drug, bet, or any other addictive behavior, but a sense of empowerment in the face of old and persistent feelings of helplessness.
Your emotions are fueling your addictive behavior.
And the root cause of your emotions is your beliefs.
We are wired as meaning-makers.
If we can't find positive sources of meaning, we often gravitate to negative ones, amplifying our social, emotional, and physical concerns.
But, always remember this: Nothing has any meaning except for the meaning you give it.
In other words, the events that happen have no effect, but the meaning we attach to them is what causes our problems.
That means the root cause of suffering is identification with our thoughts, the "stories" that are continuously running through our minds.
And it's A LOT!
Research shows that most humans typically have 50,000 - 70,000 thoughts per day. 🤯
And the breakthrough scientific discovery of neuroplasticity indicates that every thought you think physically rewires your brain. 🧠
Plus, research shows that about 90% of your thoughts on any given day are the same as the day before and about 80% of them are negative.
So, you have to find the interpretation of the "negative" events and change them.
That's the solution... the answer... the cure... the remedy... the source of transformation... or whatever you prefer to call it.
Since you got your current programs through repetition, you can create new programs in the same way.
By using repetition, you can replace or create any new program you choose.
Simply put, here are the 3 ways the mind works:
1) It does what it thinks you want it to do (what it really believes is in your best interest)
2) It loves what's familiar (and dislikes what's unfamiliar)
3) It responds to the words and images in your head
So, your self-talk (the internal chatter and conversations you have with yourself in your mind and out loud) and your self-image (your mental picture of yourself created from your self-talk and beliefs) are the "walls" standing in your way.
Let's do a quick exercise to make sure this sinks in...
Imagine waking up from a coma and not having any memories of your life.
You don’t remember your family, your mistakes, nothing whatsoever.
Now, imagine your family told you that you used to be shy, depressed, and cleaned toilets for minimum wage.
How would you think, feel, and act?
Now, imagine that they told you that you were confident, peaceful, happy, and earned so much money that you gave 50% of your profits to your favorite charities.
How would you think, feel, and act?
You would think, feel, and act differently depending on which story you were told, right?
The stories you believe make all the difference — especially the stories you tell yourself about who you are.
One of the greatest things about life is that you can choose what you want to believe.
Nothing is stopping you from choosing more helpful beliefs and believing in yourself except for the stories you've been telling yourself as to why you can't or shouldn't.
So, again, your self-talk has created your self-image and the result is your current reality.
This is not a theory... it's a simple but powerful fact.
Your mind simply believes what you tell it most.
And what you tell it about you, it will create.
It has no choice.
Also, let go of any unhelpful beliefs you have about how life "should" be.
This "gap of desire" between your expectations and your experiences causes a lot of unnecessary stress and discomfort.
Your perception is more important than "reality."
Think about it: two people lose their jobs.
One gets depressed and shuts down, one shrugs and finds a better job.
What's the difference?
Only their perception of what the event means to them, about them, and about the world.
It's the interpretation of events in life that are crucial, not the events themselves.
Here's another example: identical twins grow up in a household with parents that used heroin and verbally abused them daily.
One uses their childhood experience as an excuse to use heroin and verbally abuse people, the other uses it as a reason not to use heroin or verbally abuse people.
You can consider yourself a victim or a survivor by simply shifting your perception and it will make all the difference in your world.
Again, NOTHING has any meaning except for the meaning you give it.
It's not what happens to us, it's our opinion of what happens to us that determines our thoughts, feelings, actions, and responses — and all of those together create our very lives.
Read that again and write it down. ✍️
Your life is nothing more than your opinion of your past, your present, and your future.
Where does your past exist? Only in your mind.
Where does your present exist? Only in your mind.
And where does the future exist? Only in your mind.
Nowhere else in the universe do these three things exist.
If you want to end your addiction and live the life of your dreams, change your opinion of your past, your present, and your future.
Your life reflects the beliefs you've settled for... and it doesn’t even matter whether a belief is true or not... what matters is whether it’s HELPFUL.
Ultimately, your life can be like this...
Beliefs ➡️ Suffering ➡️ Addiction
or it can be like this...
Beliefs ➡️ Bliss ➡️ Unaddictable
Now that you have all this life-changing information about beliefs and how to use your mind effectively so you can become addiction-free and addiction-proof, you have 3 options:
1) You can keep doing what you've been doing. (I don't recommend this option.)
2) You can apply this information on your own and learn through trial and error. (I don't recommend this option either.)
3) You can let me help you. (This is the best option!)
Schedule a free strategy session with me and I'll help you figure out the best way to end your addiction in the comfort of your home based on your situation, goals, and preferences.
Trust me, the life you want is so much closer than you think.
Kevin Edwards is the founder of Unaddictable, creator of the Identity Emergence Method, and a full-time Relapse Prevention Specialist.
When he’s not helping his clients, he loves having fun with his family, traveling, reading books, writing poetry, watching movies, and playing poker.