Quick Start Preparation Course (FREE)

Download our Quick Start Preparation course as our FREE gift to help you stop drinking alcohol and get the best start to your new life. CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD.

5 Surprising Things You Should Know About Quitting Alcohol Failures

by | No More Excuses | 26 comments

One of the most common themes among people who are quitting, especially in the first few days is the fear of failure. Here’s a few things you should know about failing.

1. Failing can make you doubt your abilities to quit

If you are going through the process of quitting alcohol and you take a drink, it can often seem that you’re right back to where you started from, that you’ve just wasted all that time and energy that you spent quitting in the first place. More damaging are negative thoughts about your abilities to get through the process. This type of failure can lead you to question other areas in your life, your willpower, your strength, even your intelligence.
As in most things in life, knowledge about these doubts can help you to see things from a more realistic viewpoint. One failure, or ten failures for that matter, does not say anything about your abilities to succeed in this new journey, it just means you haven’t got there yet.

2. Failing can increase your feelings of helplessness

Failure can be wounding. Your pride and your confidence can take a big hit. You might even feel helpless in the face of something which is just bigger that you, believing all the bullshit about being an alcoholic for life. It might seem easier to just give up giving up than to keep trying, failing, and feeling like you’ve been harmed by the whole experience. Don’t listen to these failings. This is not your alcoholism talking, it’s not the ‘alcohol voice’, it’s your natural defense system trying to prevent you from being harmed. Fortunately, you can easily overcome these feelings by just ignoring them, looking for the positives in every situation, and getting back up off your arse and right back into your journey.

3. Failure can subconsciously cause you to begin fearing future failure

If you follow the advice that I’m giving you throughout Alcohol Mastery’s videos, you will get yourself organized and let people know that you are quitting before you quit. Telling your nearest and dearest gives you much better leverage against yourself when things start to get a little uncomfortable. But when you fail, it can be hard to face these people again. This, among other things, can lead to a fear of failure itself which can prevent you from continuing on with your journey. It’s called self-sabotage. You can overcome this by understanding why you failed, being laser-focused on why you want alcohol out of your life, and by reminding yourself that your future regrets about not quitting in this moment can be far more painful than the any negative implications that your taking from your present failure.

4. You can pass on these failure feelings to others around you

Being in pain, even if its the psychological wounding that you feel through failing, can bring you down, make you distrust yourself and your capabilities. More importantly, it can reduce your self-respect. These feelings can affect your relationships with others. How you react to failure can especially impact on your children. If you pass off the notion that any failure is unacceptable, what kind of message is that giving to them. To avoid this, never look at failure as defeat. It’s just a bump in the road. Get over the bump and keep moving onwards.

5. Failing can socially defeating

We live in a culture that doesn’t reward failure or defeat. We prize winning above and beyond everything else. 2nd place is for losers. But success in life is all about failing sometimes. Think about how difficult it must have been learning how to walk. How many times did you try just to stand on your own two feet before you succeeded. How many times did you fall back on your arse? Did you think you were a failure? The fact is that in those early years you don’t even know what failing is until someone points it out. Like most other abstract word used in our language, the interpretation of failure is a mile-wide. Life does reward your failures. Once learn from your mistakes and you get up to try again, and again, and again, you will eventually be rewarded by success. Look at the famous example of Thomas Edison who failed over 1000 times before he found his prototype light bulb. Afterwards, Edison said “I didn’t fail 1,000 times, the light bulb was an invention with 1,000 steps.”

Everybody Fails

You have to understand that everybody fails at one time or another. In fact, some of the most successful people on the planet have failed more than anyone else. They are dogged in their attempts, they never give up. They rack up their failures one after the other because they don’t see them as defeats, they see them as steps leading to their eventual prize. They are successful in spite of their failures. In fact, they are successful because they failed, stood back up, learned from their mistakes, and repeated the process with minor changes, over and over again, until they succeeded.
So your failure is a part of your success.

Search for the Positive Meaning

Bill Gates says “It’s fine to celebrate success but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure.”
Albert Einstein, one of the most brilliant minds of our time, had many setbacks… he defined success as failure in progress.
Failure is life’s greatest teacher. It’s an unwanted teacher because it can make you feel like shit, no doubt about it, but the fact is that you need to learn from each failure if you want to succeed.
If you have gone a week, two weeks, a month, six months without drinking and you slip under pressure and take one drink, examine what happened and don’t repeat it. Think things through. Go back over the videos on Alcohol Mastery until you’ve got your mind back on track. There is no such thing as starting all over again. You start out just where you left off. Think about all that poison that YOU succeeded in not putting in YOUR body over all the time you weren’t drinking. That’s huge. One slip doesn’t take that away. Learn from the slip, get back onto the road, and continue to have great faith in yourself that you can do this, and that this is worth doing. Then you will succeed!

Thanks for visiting the site.
Until next time…
Onwards and Upwards!

Where Else To Find Alcohol Mastery


  1. Roslyn

    Thank you very much Kevin for your logical help…
    I really like point number five the best!
    I appreciate your efforts ingiving people an understanding of coming off the drink.

  2. Dean

    Kevin, Excellent advice & encouragement on the topic of SLIPS and our “Failures” and not just around drinking alcohol.
    I love that Albert Einstein definition of: “success as failure in progress”.
    That is a expectation I can live with.

  3. Debra Trader

    Hi Kevin!
    I have had many failed attempts but know that its part of the process. I know I have got it this time though. Because of you I changed my thinking. I also took your advice and read Alan Carrs’ book which also changed my strategy. I write quotes from you on my whiteboard in my kitchen with your name under it. I am grateful that I discovered your podcast and subsequently your site. Keep these great posts coming. Thanks again!

  4. Trish Oleary

    WOW Kevin, this is just exactly what I needed to hear today. Bless you <3

  5. Dave

    Thank you very much Kevin

    That was a really a very good advice and I will keep it mind

    Thanks again

    All the Best


  6. Dante

    Great video Kevin, very critical points covered here. What resonated with me is how to perceive setbacks which is crucial and how you view slips and not to discard the time you built up before the slips. The important part of that is to acknowledge the successes up to that point and not to throw out the baby with the bathwater so to speak lol. That last point really resonated with me. Thanks for your continued service and passion to help those who seek to live a sober life.

  7. Julie D.

    Your post helped me very much, as lately, I seem to have inherited “Murphy’s” law & everything seems amiss. I have had slip ups & am feeling a lot of guilt but know I have to keep on trying & beat this. There is usually something very helpful in each one of your posts. Thanks for everything. J

    • James

      It helped me understand that I’m not failing I’m succeeding

  8. Julie B

    Thanks so much Kevin for this post, just came at the right time! Love watching all of your posts. Thanks again so much. Julie x

  9. jmelt

    This site and podcast has helped so much.

  10. Guy

    Thank you for this Kevin, after eight months I took a drink. I felt horribly destructive of myself. This video help me enormously. I am now two weeks back on the road. Honestly, thank you, without this video I could have slipped into a terrible abyss.

  11. Sherry

    I just want to thank you! You have helped me so much an i realize i can do this. Been 9 monthes an i did have slip couple weeks ago. Back on track. Again thank you love podcast.

  12. Graciela

    Hi Kevin,

    I just found out about this blog today. I started reading around 10 a.m. about alcohol dependency, brain changes, how some people just can’t stop drinking or just can’t control themselves. Through this online research I’ve find lots of different opinions in a matter of hours. I’m 25 years old, just about to turn 26 the 29th of this month and the first time I drank alcohol I was 14. I got drunk with Bacardi Rum, a couple of glasses for me and my friends was more than enough. And so on, it has been as you’ve said, a totally “normal” behaviour and I even remember that I used to believe that it was ok because I was young and well, that’s what kids do. As long as I’m not some creepy old woman who can’t leave the booze, what I’m doing it’s just fine, right?? The thing is, Through this more that 10 years that I’ve consumed alcohol in quite a regular basis, I have lost count of how many times I’ve had blackouts. I have had unwanted sex with both men an women. I have engaged in fights and arguments that costed me friendships and even relationships. I remember the first time I got caught getting home drunk, my dad was waiting for me. I must’ve been around 16-17 at the time. He didn’t punished me or took anything away from me. He just said: “I believe that the worst punishment that you’ll ever have is the remorse of knowing how truly disappointed I am of you when you are doing this”. I cried for several nights because of that. I even stopped. But not for long. When he passed away, I was 20 years old, and of course, it became the perfect excuse to get even heavier in my drinking. I mean, other people would even offer to pay my hole night of drinking out of the pity. How lucky was I?! Because, of course.. it was “understandable”, they said. And so I believed. I have also lost count of how many times I have drink and drive. At least three of those times, I have crashed my car, and woke up hungover without knowing how I survived. Thank God, I never hurt someone else while driving drunk. One time, after a prom party around 10 am (yes, I was still drinking at that time), I crashed driving back home. Right in the city centre. A taxi driver was passing by and well, I assume that seeing a young girl absolutely steaming, he felt bad about me. He took me in his car, told me that I should get out of there before the police arrived and then drove me to my ex-partner’s house. She managed to get me inside, and went with the taxi driver to the placed I crashed to try to solve my mess. Of course, she told me all this, because I don’t remember any of it. This wasn’t even the first time I did that to her. But this time, her daughter saw me. A 4 year old girl who loved me, saw me drunk and stinking of alcohol. Draw me a picture saying “Hope you get better and don’t feel sick any more”. I can’t tell you how ashamed of my self I was. I am. I just wanted to close my eyes and that for some miracle, time was gonna pass by or go back to undo what I did. My family talked, cried to me asking me to stop. And I did. For a while again. See, for some reason, when I went back to drinking, and I was able to just drink one or two, my thinking is “there! I can actually just have a couple of pints, that means I’m not an alcoholic, I just need to learn how to drink a few, that’s all!”.

    I am living in Scotland know, studying at Glasgow Uni. When I left home, I was still drunk from the night before. The good bye party. I flew to London for 16 hours, being absolutely drunk. I said goodbye to my family, still being drunk. While living here I met this wonderful woman with whom I now live with and have a great relationship. A week ago I got drunk, alone in her living-room while she was working in my laptop. I was bored, so I drank a bottle of wine and a couple of beers… just to pass the time. That’s when she started getting worried. Two nights ago, I went as usual for some drinks with my pals from work. I came back to her flat, very drunk, knocked everything on my way in, vomited in the bed while sleeping, but most important, I was aggressive towards her. She told me all this the next morning, because again, I can’t remember any of it. I am afraid of losing this great relationship I have. I am now finishing a master’s and starting my PhD next October. I know that I have every reasonable motivation to stop drinking this way, but I just don’t know how. I read AA publications and even attempted to go to their meetings. But I just don’t feel like I believe what they say. I don’t see myself as a hopeless alcoholic who can’t control herself. I understand that having started so early as a teenager has physiologically changed my brain structure and that that damage has been done already, but I just don’t think that I am an alcoholic. I don’t like that word either.

    Before I started writing this, I purchased your book and I should have it with me soon. I really identified my self with the way you’ve described this problem. I hope I have finally reached the moment in which I am truly not willing to continue loosing good things in my life because of alcohol abuse. I expect that with these words, you’ll take with you the fact that your experience is actually helping. If you could answer me with some thoughts about my experience, I would very much appreciate it. Thank you for taking the time to read me. I suppose and I will try to make this day, day one of my freedom from alcohol.



    • Kevin O'Hara

      Hi Graciela
      First of all, thank you for sharing so much about yourself here on the website.
      I’ll send you an email.

  13. Leonard

    Hi Kevin,
    Today, 4th August, is my day one of what I hope will be freedom from alcohol forever. I’m a bit shaky but I really want to stop. The one thing that I’m most fearful of is failing (again!). I’ve been to 4 treatment centres since 2009 and dropped in and out of AA. I find the group thing of AA quite hard to deal with but I found a couple of meetings where I can go and just listen or say something if I want to but without any pressure. But I need a new path to recovery. I’m glad I found your site.

  14. stanley

    very helpfull,thank you.

  15. Scott

    Thank you for the wise counsel!

  16. mel

    Thanks so much. I’m getting ready to pick the quit date. It’s amazing how much difference good nutrition means. I’ve tried buying your books but my computer giving me heart ache. Hope it’s fixed soon.????

  17. john swisshelm

    Hi Kevin, feeling much dispair today, i seem to go 5 or 6 days with out a drink then i fail.
    I feel so good after about five days then i go and ruin it. some times i just dont know where to turn.You have really helped me through with all your great wisdom.You know God blessed me with a wonderful talent. I sing and play guitar done it for 40 years, make real good money at it.You want to know something ironic i don’t drink when i’m performing,its just when i’m with a certain group of friends,its really hard not to see them once at least once a week,i know i need to stay away.

    Thank You Kevin for trying to save us all from the poison,you make a difference

    • Kevin O'Hara

      The button is on Youtube, my bad. I’ll have to get one on the site, although I’d much prefer to hear what people have to say, like you’re doing… Thanks

  18. Bill Duprey

    Thank you, Kevin! Your videos have been of IMMENSE motivational value !! 🙂

  19. Paula

    Love this. So encouraging, like all of your stuff :). So much appreciated.

  20. skip

    Very helpful on fear of failure. Skip

  21. Pattiann

    This is very helpful thank you


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.