What causes the insecurity that many of us feel once we have quit drinking alcohol?
For some, we don’t have the familiar comforter that alcohol supplies, leaving us open and seemingly vulnerable.
For others, the gremlin voice gets a bit louder now that it cannot be suppressed.
Wherever you find your insecurity originating, there are plenty of things you can do about it.
Enjoy the video!
How are you doing? I’m Kevin O’Hara for alcoholmastery.com.
Today, I wanted to talk about how to eliminate a lot of the insecurity that you might feel after you’ve quit drinking alcohol.
We face problems of insecurity in many different areas of our lives, in personal relationships, at work in general life socialisation and all that kind of stuff.
This can be really exacerbated a lot when we quit drinking, because we’ve got a tool which used to be used a lot in many different areas of our lives and now, we’re deprived of that tool.
For instance, going out and socialising, many people use alcohol as a way of diminishing their inhibitions and allowing themselves to relax and have fun without thinking about the way they look or what they say.
All of the insecurities play out in our heads; the inner voice telling you you can’t do this or that, and sometimes it’s the alcohol that shuts up the critical voice.
A lot of times it doesn’t shut it up, it just makes it worse.
I always say that alcohol heightens the mood you’re in; if you’re in a bad mood, you’re going to think bad thoughts and if you’re in a good mood, you’re going to think good thoughts.
I’ve seen people change on a toss of a coin, from being in a good mood to being in a bad mood, but maybe they were already in a bad mood in the first place and you just didn’t see it.
But it’s important to try and deal with the insecurities, and especially the Gremlin, the inner critical voice as much as possible.
Maybe not before you actually quit drinking, but during the process.
This video is just a few tips on how to do that.
The first tip is to get these things out of your head.
First of all, listen to what’s being said, understand that what’s being said inside your head is not necessarily following a healthy train of thought, let’s put it like that.
To listen to the voice, to put it down on paper if you like, but at least to verbalise it and get it into your conscious mind.
Because a lot of these things happen in your subconscious, below your awareness.
It happens outside of you knowing it’s happening, and bringing it into your conscious mind whether it’s writing it down or just saying it out loud to yourself or thinking it in your mind is enough sometimes just to sort of get it out there and upfront.
What that does is, it helps you to see what’s reality and what’s not.
It helps you to put these things into the second person, so instead of saying: I can’t do this, or I’m shit of doing this, or I’m not capable of doing this…you say: you’re not capable of doing this, you’re shit at doing that, you can’t do this.
What it does is, it makes you see things from a different perspective.
Most of the things we deal with, most of the issues with the inner voice have to do with fears and anxieties, and we’re twice as much more likely o listen to fears and negativity.
We’re twice as much more likely to try and avoid the pain and discomfort in our lives than we are to go out and seek pleasure and look at positive viewpoints.
And, much of the time, it’s just necessary to understand that many of these things, many of these insecurities are just based on anxiety and fear.
Fear of the unknown, of what other people are going to say, of putting yourself in new situations, of trying new things and ways of relaxation and sleeping.
So when you verbalise and write it down on paper, it’s the best way of doing this because it helps you to think about other things.
One thing leads on to another, and writing it down is a process that really does speed up the journey and just helps you to pick things apart a little bit better.
Understand that most of your insecurities are in your head.
They are based on fear or anxiety about things that are yet to happen, fear about fear itself and what might go right or wrong.
Once you can do that, you just see things from a different perspective, and it allows you to dismantle a lot of your fears or insecurities.
A second thing is to understand that everybody feels insecure about something or the other.
Your insecurity is invisible.
Nobody else can see it.
Only you can feel it.
It’s something that you might think stands out, and it’s there for everyone to see, but it’s not.
It’s well hidden away, and it’s the same as everyone else.
If you walk into a room with a lot of strangers, say a lot of them are strangers to each other, everyone is going to have that same type of insecurity that you’re going to have, maybe not to the same degree, some people are more insecure than others.
But everyone is going to have some form of insecurity, and it’s all hidden unless you wear it on your shoulder or show outward signs of insecurity, then nobody seems to notice it.
So don’t be worried about other people seeing your insecurity and going ‘there’s the most insecure person in the room now’, because they won’t.
That’s not how things work.
Number 3 is to get rid of the assholes.
There are a lot of people out there who just gain power form making other people feel insecure.
It’s normally through their own insecurities.
Surround yourself by people who are lifting you up.
That’s the type of people you need in your life.
You don’t need insecure people who are trying to drag you down to their level, or people who are just making you feel more insecure by the things they say or do to you.
You know the type of person I’m talking about.
These are assholes.
You don’t need them in your life.
They might say it’s well meaning, ‘I’m only saying that for your own good’, fuck that.
Life is full of shit as it is.
The last thing you need is somebody dumping their shit on top of you as well.
Don’t put up with it.
If you have people like that in your life, get rid of them.
You don’t need them.
What you need is people that will lift you up.
The next thing is to focus on your future.
Focus on the thing you want to do in your life.
This is my favourite thing about this whole journey, is that I’m focusing everything away from alcohol.
Once you can target something in your future, something you really want to achieve whether it’s for yourself…it has to be for yourself.
That thing might or might not include other people.
It’s something that gives you a passion, something to aim towards that you just want to do.
Once you have that form of passionate end goal in your life, then it has the job of lifting you up.
Most of my insecurities were based around the fact that I was drinking because I needed to drink in certain situations in order to be in those situations at all.
That was the fault of where I started out.
I started out as using the tool to bypass a lot of the lessons I should have been learning that I didn’t learn when I was young.
Growing up and getting yourself in situations where you’re embarrassed because you don’t know what to say to people, or because of the way you look, or because of how you talk, or the pimples on your face, or the clothes you’re wearing…that’s all part of a earning experience that bring you from inner child into being an adult.
Go in to places that aren’t putting up with the embarrassment, and learn from it.
Even though you might not like it at the time, it’s a learning experience.
It’s the same as this thing now when we quit drinking.
It’s a learning experience going from using alcohol as a tool to not using alcohol as a tool, to putting it behind you and facing life on life’s terms.
What happens when you short-circuit when you’re younger?
You never learn those things.
You might learn them bit by bit, but never fully learn how to do them.
Insecurity then comes with the times when you cannot drink.
There are times when you just can’t drink.
Like going for interviews.
You can’t drink, and then go and visit your family that you haven’t seen in a long while.
It just looks bad.
There are so many times in your life where you have to face life head-on without the crutch of alcohol.
I think that builds up a lot of insecurities.
A lot of them are also built up when we were younger by things that people have said or done.
I remember a lot of one-liners that people have said that just cut to the quick when I was young.
Those things really hurt at the time, but as you get older, you start to realise that these things don’t really matter.
If you can focus your mind on what you want to try and achieve in your life and make steady step-by-step progress towards, that once you get into that state of mind, it builds confidence, and that’s the real weapon against insecurity.
If you do feel insecure in certain ways, there’s no better way of getting out of it than to follow the track that you don’t really want to follow.
Put yourself in the face of fear and do it anyway.
For this tip, it’s head toward that goal you want in your life, and build it.
Move towards it, build confidence in your abilities, build skills, and you’ll gradually see that the more you go into this, the more your insecurities dwindle.
Once you get into this journey, you realise that the fears and anxieties about facing life without alcohol are unfounded; that insecurities and fear are all fed by the alcohol in the first place.
Once you get rid of the alcohol, you’re going to be in a much better position mentally to deal with things.
Number 6 is to never compare yourself to other people.
I love reading about famous people.
I love reading biographies and figuring out how people did this and that.
But what you’re getting is just a part of the whole picture.
A lot of people’s success is being in the right place at the right time.
In order for this to happen, you have to put yourself out there and be in a position to be in that right place or you’ll be in the wrong position.
If you’re sat in the couch watching reruns of EastEnders, then you’re never going to be in the right place at the right time, because of having that good fortune.
Luck is engineered to a certain degree by just getting out there and putting yourself out there and trying different things, and the more things you try, the more opportunities you have of being in that right place, and then you’re going to get bit of luck.
In general, when you look at other people, what you’re seeing is them putting their greatest hits on show for you. It’s always them on their best behaviour.
It’s only the closest people in your life you really get to know, because i’s when people relax and they can do this time and time again, that you really start to know people.
Most people in your life, you’re only going to see the surface.
So if you’re comparing yourself to them, all you’re ever going to see is…
It’s like on Facebook.
People only put the good stuff on Facebook.
They never put the shit.
Some people, all they put on is shit: I feel shit today.
If anyone sends messages to me on Facebook…I mean I put the videos on Facebook, but in general, I don’t know.
You read people saying ‘I was up all night. I’m sick. I’m doing this and that’. Or you’re seeing people posting up meals, or posting places they’ve gone.
That kind of thing can make you feel insecure, because it makes you think that someone else’s life is better than yours, but all you’re seeing is the highlights.
And that’s basically what you see with other people.
The mask is the highlight of their personality.
They’re showing you what they think are the best parts of themselves.
So the only person you should compare yourself to is yourself.
You are the only person you’re really in competition with, that you should be in competition with.
You should aim to do better today than you did yesterday.
I think the best part of life is to wake up the next day, and feel like you’ve done something the day before that improved either your life, or the lives of those around you, or improved you in some way, shape or form.
Once you can do that, I think it’s one of the best ways of chipping away at any insecurities, because you’re not noticing other people.
Everyone has their own insecurities.
I’m not saying you have to get rid of all of yours.
There are some parts of your life that you will always be insecure about, because you really don’t care that much about doing them. I heard someone say once about Tiger Woods that he is the best golfer in the world because he spends most of his energy on practising and practising golf.
But other parts of his life, he just fails abysmally as a human being, because he’s got no skills in those areas.
There’s only so many areas we can push ourselves into in life, only so many areas that we should be pushing ourselves into.
It’s important to have focus, and focus on one or two really important targets that you have in your life.
Focus on the areas that are the most important to you in your family and relationships.
I love business, thinking about it and talking and doing these videos.
The final one is to give yourself time to do things.
Treat your body right.
Treat your mind right.
Feed your mind with brain enhancing things.
Feed your body right with good nutrition.
Feed your mind and body through exercise.
Also treat your space right.
You need a certain space in your life, somewhere you can go that is not all fucked up and cluttered.
Space to relax, be yourself and do the things you want to do.
That space can be somewhere like the mountains.
I got an office at home which at the moment is a tip.
There’s stuff in boxes, and I really need to sort it out because it’s doing my head in.
But luckily, we’ve got a minimalist house.
So if I need that kind of space, I go into the mountains, or into the house.
But you need to treat yourself right.
If you don’t treat yourself right, you’re asking for problems because if you’re feeling pain, it can lead to anxiety and insecurities.
Good exercise, good nutrition, feeding your mind, all these things can lift you up.
That’s the point.
Try and do all you can to lift yourself up mood-wise, physically, mentally.
I’m going to leave it there because I feel like I’m really rambling on this one.
Until next time, stay safe and keep the alcohol out of your mouth.
Come on over to the website, and if you haven’t signed up for our Quit Drinking Alcohol starter pack, it has a couple of videos and books and other bits and pieces.
It helps find the difference between where you are and where you want to be.
Take care of yourself.
THE KEY TO SUCCESS IS TO FOCUS OUR CONSCIOUS MIND ON THE THINGS WE DESIRE AND NOT THE THINGS WE FEAR.
Until next time…
Onwards and Upwards!