You keep thinking about quitting drinking, but every time you’re about to dive in and really go for it, the fear of failure takes over.
Suddenly, there are 101 reasons why now isn’t the right time: you’ve got a holiday coming up, you’re busy, your friends won’t like it, you never stick at things…
Lurking behind those different reasons tends to be one main fear: what if I try to quit, but I can’t do it?
Personally, I know the fear of failure held me back for a long time. It felt safer and easier to stay in my comfort zone instead.
Can you relate? In this blog I’m sharing two ways of reframing this fear and seeing things a little differently…
Here’s what you need to remember when your fear of failure kicks in:
Know that doing nothing is still a decision
When we’re catastrophizing and getting caught up in the fear of failure, we’ll often freeze and do nothing. It can feel safer to stay stuck, because when you’re not even trying to quit drinking, you protect yourself from the risk of failing.
Yet when we stop and think about this, it’s not quite so straightforward.
Choosing to do nothing isn’t as passive as you might think. It’s still a conscious choice. Not making a decision to do anything about your drinking is making a decision, because you’re choosing to make do with the status quo.
If you’re reading a blog like this, the chances are that you’re not happy with your relationship with alcohol. And yet by freezing – and letting your fear of failure take over – you’re choosing more of what’s making you miserable. You are choosing a life of hangovers, shame and regrets.
Worse still is that over time, the status quo will change. Your drinking is likely to increase and your quality of life will continue to degrade. It’s important to understand that this is what you’re choosing, when you decide to do nothing. (I wish I’d realised this a lot sooner.)
You can’t avoid discomfort – but you can make sure it’s worth it
Time for some truth talk: if you quit drinking, you’re going to feel some discomfort, because stepping outside your comfort zone is scary. And of course, there’s also the fear of failure; the risk that things won’t go well. That’s tough to deal with.
However, the status quo (drinking) is also causing you some serious discomfort right now. Hangovers are hard work, right? They make you feel terrible, physically and mentally, and struggling with your drinking can eat away at your confidence and self esteem.
My point is this: you’re going to have to tolerate some discomfort no matter what you do next.
That’s the bad news. The good news? If both options involve a bit of discomfort, why not take a gamble on sobriety? You’ve got nothing to lose.
You already know how alcohol makes you feel and it’s not good. Sobriety is the only option that has the potential for a happy outcome.
I know it’s hard and scary at first, but it won’t stay that way – I promise! In the long term, being alcohol-free is much easier than drinking. Sobriety can be completely life changing (just click here to see how it’s transformed the lives of my students).
Success is rarely a smooth path from A to B. When you’re trying to do something great – and sobriety truly is great – you might fall flat on your face from time to time. But even if that happens, you’re still making progress. You’re taking action, moving forward and giving yourself the opportunity to experience a more fulfilling way of life.
Go for it. You won’t regret it 🙂
If you need support to stop drinking or take a break from booze, click here for details of my online course