Are you using alcohol to fake self-confidence?
In my work, I talk to people every day who are considering moderating their alcohol consumption rather than quitting drinking because they believe alcohol gives them the self-confidence and courage to do things that they couldn’t when not drinking.
One email I received recently was from someone who felt that alcohol allowed him to have intense and profound conversations that he doesn’t know how to have sober. Another was from someone who loved, really loved, to dance, but doesn’t think he’ll be able to do it without the courage he believes alcohol gave him.
Maybe you can relate.
You may have these fears, as well, or others. Maybe you believe alcohol gives you the courage to be funny. Maybe you believe alcohol gives you the self-confidence to be charming on a date. But does it, really? Chances are, if you look back from a sober perspective, you will find that you weren’t that interesting or funny at all; you were just drunk and stupid.
Not only does trying to use alcohol to get up the courage and self-confidence to do the things you love not really work, but it also does something even worse — it robs you of really being awake to the moment, to fully experiencing what you wanted, in the first place.
Most of us spend most of our lives living within our comfort zone. This is where we’ve been encouraged to operate by well-intentioned friends and family who want to see us safe, because the comfort zone is safe. It may even seem cozy and warm. But it is also barren and sterile. Nothing grows there. You don’t grow there.
Your comfort zone wants to kill you
Everything you want, all your heart’s desires, are outside of that comfort zone. And it is outside of that comfort zone that you continue to grow.
What stands between your comfort zone and that place where your greatest desires live are walls built out of fear. But, when confronted with fear, most of us just freeze. It is why so many people settle for living lives of mediocrity, in marriages or jobs that don’t make them feel alive! Because it’s easier to feel safe. It requires no pushing through the barriers of fear.
I have learned that when I am afraid to do something, the universe is telling me clearly and precisely what I have to do next. Fear is a powerful sign to me that an opportunity to learn, develop, and grow has arrived.
So maybe, just maybe, you see what’s on the other side, and you think you can use alcohol to burst through those walls. And it might even seem to work, for a while. But does it? Not really, because you haven’t truly reached your goal. You are not truly experiencing a great conversation or the incredible dancing. You are only experiencing the anesthetized version.
Imagine what it could be like if you were fully there, 100% present to the experience! Anything less is robbery!
Stop stealing your own magic
There’s no way around it, moving out of that comfort zone without alcohol is going to be uncomfortable. But it’s the only way that you will really find what you are looking for on the other side. And, once you are out there, you will discover new things to motivate you and excite you, and you will move toward new desires.
Out there, on the other side of the wall, is where real growth begins to happen. But you have to find a way on the other side of that wall, first.
This is where “fear technology” comes in.
Fear technology is about going big. It is about setting goals so big that you will fail, at first – spectacularly! If you want to jump over a wall that is one meter high, you don’t set one meter as your goal. You set your sights on a three-meter wall! And you try, and you try, and you try, and you fail, and you fail, and you fail, until all of a sudden, one day you don’t!
When you go back to your one-meter wall, it seems like nothing! There is no fear. It’s easy.
Fear is an illusion, nothing more
I know about the comfort zone and fear from personal experience. I was living in the comfort zone in a marriage that wasn’t working, a job that I hated, and failing health. And the only way out of it was through the wall of fear. On the other side of that wall was a healthy, connected relationship with the woman of my dreams.
But I had no idea how to go about getting there.
I had no experience with women, and there I was single again in my mid-30s, having gone to an all-boys school with no experience in dating.
Fear technology means that instead of trying to get up the courage to talk to one nice woman, I went big!
I made it a goal to get as many rejections as possible!
Failure is the greatest teacher of all
I approached and talked to every gorgeous, top model I ran into, even if she was on the arm of her husband. I collected rejection after rejection (and luckily no black eyes) until the day came when I met a woman who I was genuinely drawn to. And instead of being paralyzed, talking to her was easy.
She, by the way, is the woman I married. And we live a life on the other side of the comfort zone. 100% fully present. Not anesthetized by alcohol, missing the magic moments.
So, I encourage you, if you’re scared to dance – dance big! Sign up for the local talent show! When they say, “Who can dance?” raise your hand! If you’re scared to talk to others – go big! Sign up to speak in public! When the time comes to dance in your local club or talk to someone new over coffee, it will seem easy. And you will be 100% present to enjoy it. I promise you, it will be worth it.
Ready to take the brakes off your potential?
Above all else remember that alcohol gives you nothing! That includes confidence. The true magic of life comes from within and all the attractively packaged poison does is keep you running at less than half your true potential.
If you are ready to sample the good life and the pure exhilaration of living sober, click here to grab your place on my free quit drinking webinar. I will even give you a free copy of my bestselling book ‘Alcohol Lied To Me’ as a gift for turning up.