So on 7/7 I did a thing. To some it’s not huge but for me it was. I went 30 days dry. No alcohol. Zero. Zip. Zilch. What you may not know about me is I love my craft beer (hello, can you say IPA!) and gin. I’m already dreaming of my next gimlet! Real talk. Now wait a second because I can almost guess what you’re thinking... Did she have a problem? Was she trying to get sober? What would cause her to do that? I’ll tell you simply put: I sometimes live for a challenge. I feel that personal challenges are important for growth. Sometimes you have to shake up your routine. Let’s face it, we humans hate change. We have to literally rewire our brain. The things we think we ‘need’ when we put it up against the light and face the music we find that the truth is we really don’t need it at all. We’ve been conditioned. Some by society; some by our own doing. *Raises my hand in entitlement guilt.* Now I don’t think many people would say they NEED alcohol but a great comparison is technology and social media. I think we all can admit that we don’t need to give all the attention to our phones that we do but yet we do it anyways. If we aren’t pushed to change those behaviors, we will stay in certain stagnant places in life when there’s so much more out there for us. Of course naturally there is a certain comfort that comes with doing what we want all the time. True growth starts with the uncomfortable.
Let me share my top 5 take-aways from this experience:
We can rely on void fillers often in life and alcohol is just one of many. Taking an inventory of those fillers and comforts really helps us to see where we can start in making changes. When our priorities shift, it gives us the opportunity to be mindful of other areas of our lives we would like to work on. It also frees up extra time to dream and plan.
Growth requires accountability. Writing that goal in a journal or on post-it note is great but what happens when you start to tell people what your plans are? That means you are involving them and before you know it even a stranger is correcting you and calling you out! Yes, I’m totally serious.
When you have to avoid something that is VERY socially acceptable it does really require you to adapt an appreciation for different activities. It forced me to find other ways to enjoy life because whoa, it’s crazy how many people expect you to drink. Talk about a comfort bubble popper. One person even said, “Well, I don’t wanna go out if you’re not going to drink?!” Maybe they felt badly. I don’t know. I didn’t mind them drinking in front of me but that was interesting. So therefore, I found myself seeking out events that weren’t centered around drinking. Before I was always game for an event centered around a brewski here or a cocktail there.
Yes, weekends were HARD. Seeing people drink didn’t really bother me too much but sometimes that cold glass of something looked really tantalizing. But each time I said no (internally as well), I felt stronger. It really empowered me and showed me that if I can do this then what’s stopping me from setting other goals, personal but especially business related goals, and absolutely crush it!? Definitely gave me an opportunity to dream bigger and believe in myself more often.
And last, I knew it wasn’t just about alcohol. If it’s not alcohol, it’s something else. There’s always going to be opportunities for us to challenge ourselves but we have to be open to it. Say yes to something new. God wants us to step out more and live boldly. So I decided to push myself and it was rewarding in ways I didn’t expect.
In this fast-paced life where slowing down is old-fashioned and often discouraged, we have to make our own life rules. FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) is a real struggle but many times it does not whisper truth. Separating others’ expectations from what you want out of life is important in all of this. But also in life since we live to be as comfortable as we can, we also need to stop the fear paralysis ourselves and venture out of our box. If I know one thing about comfort it’s that society reinforces it. In fact, there is a huge market based around YOUR comfort in almost every brand and product. By taking that comfort away it really caused me to evaluate why I wanted that comfort to begin with. So now consider yourself virtually challenged by me. What is that one thingthat you would like to change? Find it. Search down deep if nothing comes to mind. Get quiet to find it because there’s always that one thing. Then write it down. But most importantly speak it out. And do it! :)