In the first post I explained the events leading up to me becoming aware of a bad habit that was holding me back in many areas of my life.
For me, it was alcohol, but ANY bad behavior has the ability to dramatically affect how you perceive the world, whether you have healthy or unhealthy mindsets, and your overall decision making process.
One way to transform bad habits into healthy mindsets is through a thorough process of reframing the habit.
In the second post I started the reframing process by looking at 2 of Nathaniel Branden’s Pillars of Self Esteem, explaining how the bad behavior negatively impacted these aspects of MY self esteem, and giving you questions on how you can use similar reframes to combat your own bad habits.
Through the process of determining my own “higher purpose,” self esteem, I was able to create a healthier perspective towards how I viewed the lower level day-to-day decisions I made.
The problem as I said earlier, was that there were no tangible negative side effects from drinking for me, but there WERE obvious benefits if I were to stop it.
The self esteem reframe was just the start, more impactful reframes were necessary to create the leverage to stop.
Disciplinary decisions don’t work. You can’t just decide to stop drinking, or try to force yourself to approach a girl because you think it’s the right thing to do. You need to create enough leverage where it is DISGUSTINGLY IMPOSSIBLE not to do it.
This is why so many people fail at developing new positive habits, they have no leverage.
This is also why it usually takes someone to hit rock bottom before they make a change.
But you don’t need to go to rehab, have your parents abuse you, or have your girlfriend cheat on you to make a change. Instead, you can consciously use reframing in a way to get EXTREME leverage.
Today I want to explain the Six Human Needs, and the constant unconscious battle going on inside your head trying to satisfy these needs.
Once I had the realization that this one habit was affecting so many aspects of my life subconsciously, change was inevitable.
Credit Tony Robbins here, he says there are six human needs that control human behavior, how you perceive situations and experiences, and your decision making process.
Any decision you make, whether you act or not, consciously or unconsciously fulfills one of these six human needs.
The first four needs are necessary for human survival, whereas 5-6 are more about life fulfillment and happiness, which is beyond the scope of this article.
Any behavior, perception, or action you take is in an effort to satisfy one of these four survival needs, and when a behavior satisfies 3 or more, you become ADDICTED to it.
So let’s look at a few examples, explain the needs, and see how decisions are made to satisfy these needs.
People need CERTAINTY to know that their world is safe and secure. They want to know and understand their environment, and therefore make decisions to increase the certainty they have in the world.
For me with alcohol, the certainty was that because my friends drink, there is the fear that if I stop drinking, I might have less in common with them, and therefore risk affecting my social network.
I think more subtly, yet more importantly, drinking also allowed me to maintain a certain self image of myself. By drinking, if I were to go up to a girl and get rejected, or if there was any social awkwardness, the booze numbed myself to the reactions of the environment, and I was therefore able to protect the self image of my awesomeness.
Another example of maintaining your self image is why most guys don’t approach when they see an attractive woman.
There is a fear that, if they approach, how they view themselves will be challenged by the girl’s response. The larger problem here is that their identity is tied to external feedback, but by not approaching, their perception of themselves remains intact, and certainty prevails.
Even though people strive for certainty, if things are TOO certain, life would be dull and boring. So there is the need for some uncertainty and variety as well.
There is a spectrum here of whether someone is more VARIETY-centric or CERTAINTY-centric.
As an example, I am way more variety-centric, as seen by my travel schedule and enjoyment of being put in new and crazy situations.
Alcohol is a tool for variety in that it changes your physiologic state, easily satisfying the need for variety. Not to mention the various random crazy shit that happens when you’re drunk.
Using the approach anxiety example again, how can variety be satisfied?
Oooh, this goes deeper.
Think about the emotional swings you experience when you look at that hot girl in front of you.
Excitement leads to anxiety, leads to anger for not approaching, leads to sadness for never doing what you want, and back and forth.
There is a CRAZY amount of emotional variety going on inside your head, even though your life might be boring as hell on the outside.
People have the need to feel they are special, that they are significant. This need could be met through being depressed, resulting in people comforting you, or by being motivated to excel in something to get positive feedback from others.
For me alcohol created significance because it was like jet fuel for my ego. After a few drinks I feel like GOD in the club. My own perception of myself went up, and I had many positive experiences where OTHER people viewed me highly while I was in a boozed up state, whether that be gorgeous women, or my friends and colleagues.
Back to the approach anxiety example again, by not approaching, one common emotional response is anger.
You start feeling big and the self talk begins, “You are never going to get this handled! Why can’t girls approach me?! It’s because I’m not good looking! It’s all bullshit! That guy with the girl looks like a douche anyway! That guy approaching looks so try hard!!!”
Even though it’s a negative thought pattern, you feel more significant as opposed to small, insecure, and sad.
But the sadness comes too, which plays into the next human need.
People have a desire to feel connection with friends, family, a significant other, or themselves. This can again be accomplished through something like depression, where a women can go off and cry with her friends and feel a connection with them, or by someone working hard at their job to have more time off to spend with their children.
For me alcohol created a camaraderie with friends through toasting drinks, laughing about adventures, and creating pre-game rituals before going out.
For approach anxiety, in the moment when anger swings to sadness, you connect deeper with yourself and start feeling sorry for yourself.
Self talk, “It’s so hard for me. I just have too many obstacles. It’s so much easier for everyone else. I’m different!”
All four needs were easily identifiable for me, which almost made me want to puke.
Was alcohol necessary for me to satisfy these needs?!
Certainty- I don’t need to drink a chemical to feel more certain about my identity.
Variety- My life has an insane amount of variety, I can make the decision to do something fun, as opposed to waiting for some sweet elixir to kick in before I do something outside my comfort zone.
Significance- Self esteem creates my level of significance, not my environment or some dependency.
Connection- And by stopping drinking, I’ll evolve higher on the self development ladder, become a better example for others, and ultimately affect THOUSANDS of people through being a better teacher and person.
Remember I said EVERY action you make is to satisfy these needs, positive behaviors are in response to these needs as well.
So with a conscious understanding of them, you can now cultivate positive behaviors to satisfy your needs instead of negative ones.
The problem now was that I didn’t want to COMPLETELY stop drinking cold turkey.
As I said before, I enjoy a nice Merlot with my Filet Mignon.
But what I realized is that enjoying a drink is very different than utilizing alcohol to meet my human needs.
The problem was not casual drinking, but drinking BOOZE.
No one drinks vodka because they like the flavor. No one takes shots of Jameson and Jack Daniels to discern how many years it’s been fermented, and if it was in metal or oak barrels.
Booze, hard alcohol, that was the evil for me.
So I have decided that I can drink a beer, have a glass of wine, and not need to fully go stone sober, but moderate myself in a way that I’m not using alcohol for anything more than this.
As I said in the first video, every time I choose to drink a beer, I ask myself “Are you doing this to change your state, or are you just enjoying it?”
This approach still quenches my self assertive needs as well in that I constantly deny shots or redbull vodka. I just deny the gesture, and chill back drinking water and the occasional beer in the club.
This sticking point is literally 14-16 months in the making, and interestingly enough, it’s taken me about the same length of time to grow my hair out into the beautiful mane of glory.
So what better way for a constant reminder and anchor of my new decisions than to cut that shit off!
Every time I look in the mirror, or go to comb through my glorious hair, I remind myself how fucking bomb my life is, how I have full control over my life, and my self esteem is BALLOONING as a result.
The first night out with this new mindset and behavior, I INSTANTLY got slapped me in the face with multiple new problems and sticking points that had been hiding beneath the surface for the last year and a half.
My game was like an old treasure chest at the bottom of the ocean, calcified shut from lack of use, just a crack open that at times let out pure gold, but largely closed off from use.
And it showed.
I started approaching and realized how tenuous my state was. To maintain it on a high level I really did have to keep taking action, and get the flow going.
I was amused at myself as I was talking to girls, running out of shit to say, and getting back turns and shit early in the night.
But instead of going into a chode headspace, I was STOKED to see new areas where I can boost my skills.
It only took a few nights out, and the old chops are back. But things are different…
It like a renaissance back to 2007!
I’m hitting shit up like never before, difficult approaches, icy demeanor, fucking CUT THROAT attitude.
Well, it doesn’t hurt that I’ve been in Brazil for a month with gorgeous women EVERYWHERE.
Results are cray cray, and I’ve been dealing with new sticking points, and literally pushing through them IN A NIGHT.
Like high level shit, which I plan to incorporate in the next few articles.
Epic post over. I’ve been going to the gym 3 times a week, hitting squats and bench like a boss, reading The Primal Blueprint amping up my Paleo diet, getting a few hours of work on the business a day, getting tan, and hitting up some of the hottest women I’ve ever seen in real life.
I hope this post can offer some inspiration, and if it has affected you, I’d like to hear how.
These are some newer concepts for me. I’m hoping to fine-tune and tailor them more towards my audience, so expect them to evolve with time and YOUR FEEDBACK!
Have a good weekend, and see ya next week.
Brad Branson has been an international dating coach with the leading dating company Real Social Dynamics for 3 years.
Through his own success and teaching experience, he has taught HUNDREDS of men how to create the dating life they desire.
He’s coached in over 35 countries on 4 continents, developing universal patterns that ANYONE can apply, no matter what city, age or income bracket they come from.