There is an established psychological principle which is called "Act as if". It is used in a number of rehabs around the UK, including those with the charity I used to work for.

The principle is an easy one - if we "act as if" we possess some characteristic that we don't believe we have, or we "act as if" we can do something, we are more likely to develop that characteristic or ability. 

It has limitations of course - I can't just act as if I am Superman and fly! But it does have truth in it, too. Shakespeare said "All the world's a stage" and this is pretty true.

For example if I stand up to do a presentation at work and am the most knowledgeable person on the topic, but stand up and look at the floor and mumble through it, the audience will probably think I don't know my subject.

Conversely, if I stand up to give a presentation on a topic I am not expert in, but hold my body confidently, speak well, and believe what I am saying, I will convince the audience. 

But what does this mean for gambling addiction? Simply, picture yourself or even someone else who you know who is not addicted to gambling, and act as if you were them. If you're finding it hard to keep away from gambling, act as if you are confident about it. Act as if you hate gambling and it's the last thing you want to do.

You see, every act starts with a belief and a thought; but if you believe you can act in a different way, you can overcome this addiction. You can create a new reality.

The central question is: What am I acting as if will happen in my life right now? Am I acting as if I am a gambler, or am I acting as if I am an ex-gambler?


Other self help strategies