“self-reliance is a frequently used but very poor strategy for coping with life’s adversity. That’s because we are biologically “wired” to reach out for support when we’re stressed; it’s in our nature. Consider what a child does when awakened at night by a nightmare or thunderstorm. The child instinctively runs to a parent’s bed for help. The child clings to Mom or Dad and then, after a few moments of soothing, falls asleep in the parent’s arms. When this natural coping process is interrupted by parents who are physically or emotionally unavailable, it’s replaced by self-reliance and stoicism. As this independent child grows into adulthood, cigarettes or food or other substances become dependable companions, providing comfort consistently and reliably—but with the unfortunate side effects of disease, obesity, or worse. If a person like this tries to quit the addiction without learning to ask others for help, that person is unlikely to succeed. Living without this “friend” is just too frightening.”

Robert Maurer

One Small Step Can Change Your Life: The Kaizen Way

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