What do you do if you fail at quitting drinking alcohol or in something else that you are trying to achieve in your life? Here are six ways to use any failure to your advantage.
I wanted to do a video in response to an email I received from someone who was really upset because they had failed and gone back on the alcohol again. This video gives six tips on how to view these things when you’ve stopped drinking alcohol.
You need to have the right perspective and to change your perspective so you don’t look at a slip up as being the end of your journey, but just part of it.
We all slip up at some times in our lives. Some people slip up when they are stopping drinking and take a drink and some people don’t. It is still a part of your personal journey and just because you’ve had one drink it doesn’t mean it’s the end of the story or that you need to go back to the beginning.
If you fail at doing something or make a mistaken in any other part of your life, you don’t have to go back and start the whole thing again.
If you are doing a course which requires you to complete assignments and you get a bad mark on one of those assignments, the Teacher would not tell you to go back to the beginning and start the whole thing again, it would just be ludicrous.
If you make a mistake when learning anything in life, you don’t go back to the beginning you start exactly where you left off and this should be the same thing here.
This is your life. We’re not playing a game of Monopoly where you have to go back to the beginning and do not collect 200 euros, you start again back where you made the mistake.
What Lessons can be Learnt by your Mistakes?
Another thing is to look for the lessons that can be learnt in a situation, in this specific situation.
What where the specific triggers that sparked off the drinking in the first place? What happened? How can you prevent the triggers from firing off? How can you prevent yourself from reacting to those triggers?
You can fail and keep repeating the same mistake over and over again or you can fail and say “What happened there? What am I going to learn from this? What am I going to do differently?” and don’t repeat it the next time, which is obviously the best way to go
So, sit down and think about what lessons you can learn from this mistake, from this little detour, get back on the road where you started and carry on and make sure it doesn’t happen again.
Remember your Strengths and Acknowledge your Weaknesses
When you are at your weakest, you should look at your strengths and the things which are your advantages
Don’t be afraid to acknowledge your weaknesses. It’s only by looking at your weaknesses that you can learn from them. If you hide from your weaknesses you are never going to learn from them and you will always be a victim of them, because if you don’t learn something from your weaknesses, then you can’t change them and you will always be weak in those areas.
Failing is 99% of the time not something to do with you as an individual
The next one is to put some perspective onto this whole thing, don’t look at it as if this is a failing in you as an individual and as a person. Never look at it like it is something to do with you, that is something lacking in your brain or body.
99% of the time it’s always going to be down to a skill that you are missing, something that is outside of you, a trigger that is causing you to do this thing.
Everything is always going to evolve around your choice and your decision to do things. This is what it all boils down to at the end of the day. If you try and skirt around that issue and blame other things for what’s happening in your life, then you are always going to be a victim of something outside of yourself. You are always going to have that victim mentality and that is something that is hard to get rid of.
If you can see something as a weakness, as I said before, then you can isolate that thing and say it’s not me that’s wrong, it’s not me that’s weak, it is because I don’t know this certain thing, or because I wasn’t prepared enough or it was because I had the wrong expectation of what happens.
Whatever the reason was, once you isolate those things and see them for not being something that is wrong with you personally, but something that is wrong with what you know or something that is wrong with your thinking, then you will see it as something that you can alter.
Once you look at things from the perspective of having a skill deficiency then there is always something you can do about it.
If you look at it from a personal perspective and blame yourself for it. If you say it is a personal failing in you as an individual, then it is very difficult to see past that and get past that so always look at things from as much of a positive perspective as you can. Look at it as something that you can do something about, something that with a little bit of work, a little bit of work and persistence, perseverance, you can push yourself through.
Get Back on Track as soon as You Can
The next one is to get back on track, immediately and as soon as you possibly can. That means don’t wait until the week is over or until the weekend has gone and make excuses for carrying on the drinking.
If you have a slip up in the week or on a Friday night, perhaps you’ve gone out and got drunk, don’t say to yourself – “I will wait until the weekend is over and I will carry on from there and start again” – stop now. If you can, stop when you think of it.
You might go out on a Friday night with no intention of drinking but for whatever reason you end of up with a glass of alcohol in your hand. If you think of it while you are doing it, whilst you are drinking it, put it down and stop then. Put it down and go “that’s a mistake.” Even though you’ve had a drink. If you can do it before you take the drink even better, but if you can – do it mid drink or mid swallow, even spit the fucking stuff out.
You don’t have to carry through with these things. It’s that mentality of all or nothing – I’ve done it now so I might as well carry on – that is going to get you into trouble time and time again.
You have to be firm with yourself and say – “No that’s it, I made a mistaken even taking that sip or drink or going out for that weekend and that’s it, I’m stopping now, I’m not going to do that again. I’m going to learn by my mistakes and figure out what went wrong and why I thought like that and I’m not going to put myself into that position again. I’m not going to make a mistake again.”
Finally, once you are back on track, persist with the journey, carry on onwards and upwards.
Make your persistence work for you, keep going and figure out how you can persist even more. How you can build your persistence and doggedness so that you are never going to do this again.
This is about leaving the behaviour in the past, it is not anything to do with the alcohol because if the alcohol was taken out of the equation, what would you replace it with? Think about it.
If for instance you couldn’t drink alcohol again. What would you do if you carried on down the same route of the same behaviour and you were doing the same things, you’d replace the alcohol and once you replace the alcohol, without dealing with the behaviour itself, then you are no better off.
You will be waiting for that instant gratification and that can only be found in drugs, bad food, risky sex, gambling, things that are going to give you an immediate quick high. But the effects don’t last long and so you need to keep going back and back and back and it’s that mentality that you’ve got to get rid of.
I’ve heard people talking about it and saying “Yeah, I was just born with the addiction gene” I hate that because they are immediately putting up an obstacle in their way, they close themselves off to everything else, they can’t see the light any more and what are you going to do then?
Nobody else can do this for you or talk you into doing anything and you can’t deal with this yourself because of this obstacle that you have put in your own way. I’ve got an addictive nature; I’ve got an addict gene; I’m just not blessed that way.
Don’t think like that about yourself because at the end of the day this is just behaviour, it’s a behaviour pattern, a habitual pattern that you have been doing for a long time.
You can break it down into the individual parts and once you do that and once you deconstruct the individual parts, you break the habit down into the behaviour; you break the behaviour into the rituals; the rituals into the thinking; the thinking down into the individual thoughts and it’s those individual thoughts that you deal with.
When you deal with that individual thought as its occurring that’s when you can deal with it. You can’t deal with it any other time
If you put yourself into this big bucket of I’m an addict, I’ve got an addictive personality and an addictive this and an addictive that, then you are blocking yourself off from any real help and self help particularly.
I don’t believe in any type of help apart from self help, you can get as many people helping you as possible but at the end of the day, no matter what anyone says to you, no matter what magical sentences other people come out with or solutions, nothing is going to happen for you until you put those things into practise for yourself.
Nothing is going to happen to you or for you until you actually do the hard work and it’s in the hard work and the persistence, the determination and the doggedness that you will find everything.
If you don’t have persistence you are not going to achieve.
That one word is everything, persistence, doggedness persistence, persist, persist. I don’t give a fuck what happens – I am not drinking again. I don’t give a shit what – happens I am not drinking again. Somebody could say to me that the world is going to end in a weeks’ time and I’m still not going to drink again because I don’t do that anymore. I am going to find another way of dealing with my last week on earth.
How many people would actually do that? How many people would say that, If somebody said a meteorite is going to hit the earth, it’s going to hit us in a week and that’s it, we will all be dead. You won’t feel a thing but at the end of the day, the whole world will be gone, snuffed out and all life on the planet will be gone.
How many people would say, “I’m going to get pissed for the week, I’m just going to smoke, start smoking, take drugs, whatever, you know?” How sad is that? The last bit of time you’ve got left on your planet. I can think of so many more things that I would do and could do with my time and I know it is easier to say that when the world isn’t ending but as I said my final point is keep going, persist.
Once you persist and you say that nothing is going to get in your way, nothing is going to get in your way of persistence, nothing is going to stop you in doing what you set out to do, nothing, then you won’t fail again.
So, learn by your mistakes, figure out what went wrong, get back on track where you started from, and try not to make the same mistake.
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Take care, keep the alcohol out of your mouth and stay safe.
“If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change”
Until next time…
Onwards and Upwards!