I was chatting to a woman recently on one of my free discovery calls. She’s a business coach with years of experience, and a lot of her work is done intuitively. She was interested in joining the January Reset, because she had found she was reaching for wine in the afternoon as a quick “go to” when she was feeling stressed. She said that it was starting to take a lot of energy to manage her drinking, and she was feeling very stuck.
However, she was feeling resistance to joining the course. As we talked, it became clear that her biggest feeling was fear. Fear of being judged by those around her. Fear of missing out on fun stuff with friends. And the biggest of all – fear of failure. She was in accustomed to nailing it. Getting things done. Kicking goals. What if she couldn’t “do” the Reset? What if she tried and had a drink before the end of the 21 days?
I know fear of failure was something that I struggled with too, when I was first trying to work out what role I wanted alcohol to play in my life. My drinking had steadily crept up over the years; I didn’t see myself as an alcoholic but I was definitely in the Grey Area Drinker camp. Alcohol was starting to cause more problems than it solved, which was weird, because it had seemed to fix everything for years! (turns out it didn’t fix anything, but that’s another story).
I kept trying to moderate, trying to stop, trying to just drink at weekends … I was trying all sorts of ideas to find something that would stick. This was a few years ago, and there just weren’t the online options there are now. I had SO many Day Ones! I felt like such a failure and my self esteem was at an all-time low.
Then I found a magic turnaround that made it all worthwhile. It meant that every time I slipped and stumbled, I was stronger, instead of weaker. It meant that I no longer saw failures, just information. I got closer and closer to my goal – and then finally I was free. I popped out of the darkness of being an unwilling drinker to the sunlit plains of ease and sobriety. I no longer wanted to drink. I felt like I could choose whether or not to drink, and I chose not to.
And the phrase that started it? The phrase that was the foundation of this ease and grace?
Whenever I slipped and stumbled, I told myself “I haven’t got there yet, but I’m working it out.” “I don’t know how to do this yet, but I’m working it out”. I didn’t pretend I had all the answers. But I also didn’t throw myself into a pit of despair and say the whole thing was impossible.
Adding “… but I’m working it out” meant that every single option that I tried was getting me closer and closer to liberation. It was a learning curve, a journey. Interestingly, saying “… but I’m working it out” was also a great way of being kind to myself. Which is something a lot of us Grey Area Drinkers are very bad at. And that also, ironically, keeps us stuck.
You can use this phrase for anything. Try saying it loud, meditating on it, using it as a journal prompt.
It will open new doors for you.
Let me know how you go.
PS More info on the January Reset HERE