Andrew Ducker (andrewducker) wrote,
Andrew Ducker
andrewducker

Changing who you are

I avoid eating sugar because it makes me feel awful.

It took me a long time to wean myself off of it, and I tried a number of different tactics.

Exerting self-control is rarely easy - your conscious mind just is not good at keeping control over your physical drives for long periods of time.

And saying to myself "I don't want any chocolate cake." just felt wrong - because it clearly wasn't true. I _did_ want chocolate, or cake, or whatever it was I shouldn't want.

What worked the best for me was saying "I am not the kind of person who eats cake." - changing my perceptions of who I was, and pretending to be someone else seemed to entirely bypass the quibbling of my subconscious.

And thus I'm not surprised by research from Yellowstone Park saying that when they put up signs saying "Please don't litter" it had no effect, but putting up signs saying "People who love the environment take their litter home" caused a drop in the amount of rubbish left lying around.

The first is a request - we weight it up against all of our own desires and then make a decision. The second cuts to the core of our being - we have to make a decision about whether we're the Right kind of person or the Wrong kind of person. It's fairly obvious that that kind of approach works massively well.
Subscribe

  • Interesting Links for 12-05-2021

    How To Do Everything You Need To Do With a Newborn When Your Partner's Gone Back To Work (tags: babies viaJane ) This illiberal Queen's Speech…

  • Interesting Links for 11-05-2021

    Scottish independence referendum to go ahead when Covid crisis 'stable,' says SNP (tags: Scotland independence pandemic ) How the transphobes…

  • Interesting Links for 10-05-2021

    Here's Britain's beloved royal family selling access to Putin (tags: UK monarchy Russia corruption ) Serious questions for the Electoral…

  • Post a new comment

    Error

    Anonymous comments are disabled in this journal

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

  • 29 comments

  • Interesting Links for 12-05-2021

    How To Do Everything You Need To Do With a Newborn When Your Partner's Gone Back To Work (tags: babies viaJane ) This illiberal Queen's Speech…

  • Interesting Links for 11-05-2021

    Scottish independence referendum to go ahead when Covid crisis 'stable,' says SNP (tags: Scotland independence pandemic ) How the transphobes…

  • Interesting Links for 10-05-2021

    Here's Britain's beloved royal family selling access to Putin (tags: UK monarchy Russia corruption ) Serious questions for the Electoral…