It’s nearly Halloween and all this talk of spooky stuff got me thinking about an important question: what would you do if you weren’t afraid?
When it comes to going alcohol-free, most of us are a bit scared. I certainly was. The thought of losing a crutch is bound to trigger a few fears.
If you’re not careful, those fears can hold you back and stop you from making the leap into sobriety.
Today I want to shine a light on 5 common fears about going alcohol-free, and explore how you could shift your thinking instead:
“I’m afraid of trying and failing.”
Whenever you try to do something big and brave like stopping drinking, there’s a high chance you’ll slip up and fall flat on your face. Failing hurts, so it can feel safer to not try at all, right?
A good reframe for this is to accept that you probably will trip up. After all, failure is part of success. It’s how you learn what works and what doesn’t.
Avoiding change might feel safer because you avoid the risk of failure, however in the long run you are essentially still ‘failing’ because you’re still stuck. So why not take a risk and go for it?
“I’m scared of what people will say.”
We all hate being judged by others. Some people will have opinions about you and your sobriety and annoyingly, they’ll probably want to share them with you!
How I reframe this is by remembering that we are ALL being judged, all of the time. Right this second you’re making judgements about me and this article and 101 other things.
People will judge you whether you’re thin or fat, rich or poor, drunk or teetotal. My point is, if we can’t avoid judgement – because we’re all being judged, all of the time – why not stop worrying about it?
“I’m afraid people will think I’m boring.”
Behind this fear is the belief that choosing not to drink says something about us. To get some perspective on this, switch drugs and look at how you treat people who choose not to smoke.
Do you dismiss non smokers as dull and boring? Of course not! When it comes to other drugs, you don’t judge people for abstaining. So why should alcohol be any different?
The latest stats show that more and more people are choosing an AF lifestyle, so you’ll be in good company. Anyone who tells you that you’re boring for not drinking is either very insecure or a bit of an idiot.
“I’m worried about how I’ll relax and switch off.”
If you’ve come to rely on alcohol for stress relief, the idea of doing anything else can feel intimidating. Yet the truth is that alcohol doesn’t solve stress. (If it did, you’d be a really chilled-out person.)
When you’re drinking, you’re literally pouring stress into your life, glass by glass. You can find other ways to relax naturally – there are so many options! I’ve written more about this subject here.
“I hate the idea of calling myself an alcoholic.”
If the A word doesn’t resonate with you, then don’t use it. I never do. After all, you don’t hear many ex smokers calling themselves ‘recovering nicotine-oholics’, do you?
Going alcohol-free should be no different to stopping smoking or giving up gluten – you can do it whenever you like, just because you want to. Your decision to quit drinking doesn’t define you.
My online coaching programme is specifically for women who want a label-free, positive and inspiring approach to quitting. You can find out more about my next course here.
“Everything you want is on the other side of fear.” Jack Canfield
This is one of my favourite quotes and it’s certainly true of sobriety. When you push through your fears and take action, the pay-off is incredible!
Let me know in the comments which of these fears resonate with you the most. And if you’ve already stopped drinking, tell us how things have turned out for you – did any of your fears actually come true?! I know your experience will inspire other people.
Have fun if you’re celebrating Halloween this week! 🎃