Meet Vikki Horton
Video Game Addiction Coach & Founder of BeatYourVideoGameHabit.com
I myself was addicted to video games. It all started when I was using video games as a means to escape the stress of university. Instead of facing my fears and anxieties, I ran to the comfort of instant gratification and joy of being involved in a virtual world. Even though playing video games allowed me to relax and release stress, I ended up causing further stress because I did not keep on top of my studies and doing my background research, I just continuously played video games.
Picture of my Online GTA V Gaming
I kept saying to myself, I can start tomorrow I have three weeks to do that assignment. Then a day turned into a week, and one week turned in two weeks until I realised, I only had one week left to complete my assignments and background reading. Inevitably, I caused myself more stress in the long run when chasing this instant rewarding gratification. After a few months of realising I was defeating the object and putting my dream career on the line, I began to look more into my habits, seeing where my triggers were, figured out solutions for them and acted. I did not do this, I would have lost my degree!
After a few weeks, my stress was relieved by facing my fears, changing my environment (which had a huge impact my thinking and emotional state), acting on the work I needed to do and keeping on top of my university workload. I eventually began improving my grades. Throughout my last few months of my undergraduate course, I had a clearer mind, better problem-solving skills and a healthier lifestyle. I continued my new habits of only using video games as a reward for my hard work right throughout my masters to my fix term contracts in industry.
Even though I had overcome my addiction at university, the old habit slowly crept back after I graduated from my masters as I began getting rejections from positions within my dream career. Instead of doing what all successful people do, persisting and improving as much as I possibly could for my next interviews, I just ran straight back to my video games. Again, feeding that need for instant gratification and dopamine fix for instant (temporary) happiness for my brain. I got a full-time job within the hospital I worked in so I could earn more money and just play video games all through my free time.
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However, I still had a void in my heart quietly whispering, “This is not the dream you want”. Nevertheless, I accepted that this may be the best I can get as I have been rejected so many times. I had enough of hitting so many brick walls.
Myself and Dr. Wei Jun at BU
Myself and my friend Ken Celebrating Bali New Year
With my new full-time job, I finally had the money to go to Bali for a yoga retreat with my friends. This was the best thing I have ever did for myself. Bali gave me a huge wake up call. As beautiful and kind as the people are, their wisdom most of all shook my self-pity right out of my head. Whilst I attended my yoga classes, I went to the village to celebrate their new year. I met up with friends I made out there, Ken and his family, joining in on the celebrations. We got talking about what I do back home as they admired and loved our way of life and the opportunities our way of life provides. With their words hitting home, I told them that I had given up on my dream career because of all the knock backs I had. Looking at me very confused as to why I would do such a thing, Ken asked “Why? You have so much opportunity, why give up?” This made me think, if anything it made me wake to what I had back home. Not being able to answer him and his family, he suggested I do not give up on any dream. All dreams are hard but nothing good comes easy. I must keep working for it, consistently and respectfully. With every knock back, push back. With this, I could not believe how ungrateful and stupid I had been. Ken was right, I was wasting the very opportunities I had in front of me all for the sake of feeling happiness with a virtual world where I felt in control. Yes, it was bloody hard, but it will all be worth it in the long run.
The whole point of my university was not to get there faster, but to show me how long-term investments work. When you pay so much money for something, you do not reap the rewards a day later, hell no. You don’t see the rewards until 5 to 10 years down the line. That is how long-term investments work, you need to leave them to gain feedback, improve areas where needed and allow them to grow into a better reward in the future. After my time in Bali, as soon as I was home, I re-planned my life. I noted exactly what I wanted in life, I noted what I needed to do to get there and acted on it. From my kind new friends, I owed it to them to not let their wise words fall on deaf ears. NO more instant gratification, no more short-term happiness which will produce a negative compound affect in my future. I weaned myself off my video games, only playing them once all the important work was completed each day because if I didn't, my dream job and lifestyle would be the sacrifice! I will not lose that for the sake of video games!
Beach View from my hotel (Ketut's Bungalows) on Nusa Lembongan, Bali
After a few weeks, I had another interview. I prepared myself as much as possible and went to do my best. I had thought I had messed up the practical assessment of the interview. So, I made notes on where I knew I went wrong and began my improvements once I got home. Expecting another rejection, I had an offer. They told me that how I handle the mistake and my honesty on how I needed to improve in the future was what impressed them. To my absolute delight and shock, I took the job and now finally on my journey towards my dream career. I was finally an analytical technician on her way to becoming a forensic toxicologist. Instead of getting comfortable like usual, I continued my habit of continuously improving, giving value to my new company and keeping on top of analytical methods. The result now is that my video gaming addiction is basically non-existent. Finally, I am in control of my behaviour, my mind no longer craves that dopamine fix to fulfil the reward system of my brain. I am focused and more energised then before.
With this happening, I now want to give back to the world as it had provided me. My new goal is not just to become successful, but to also reach back and pull someone else up with me. Hence why, I have created this coaching business, to help people overcome their video game addiction in a short amount of time so they can become successful in their dream lifestyle as well. No matter what, you can overcome this like I did. On your own or with my help, it is possible to have the lifestyle you dream of.
Make those changes today and I look forward to celebrating your results and success with you!
Personal Development Awards from Bournmouth University (BU)
All the best,
Ticking off my bucket list - Flying and feeding a Bald Eagle
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