Alcohol Relapse Prevention. One defeat doesn’t mean that you have been defeated.
“When defeat comes, accept it as a signal that your plans are not sound, rebuild those plans, and set sail once more toward your coveted goal.” Napoleon Hill.
What are the things you can do to turn a defeat into a part of the plan? Where do you look? This post looks at looking at yourself and your mindset, the dynamic process of change, and finally looking at the word ‘defeat’.
Some of the things that we will cover in this video are:
Looking at yourself and the whole process that you are taking to quit drinking alcohol.
The mindset that you are in and how you can change and alter it in case of defeat or in order to prevent future defeats.
Looking at the process of success and how the whole process is dynamic and will flow. It will change and it will include some parts of failure. Every success that has ever happened has included some failure.
Looking the word itself, the word defeat and what that means and then looking at some of the baggage that is attached to it.
One of the first things that I’d ask you to ask yourself if you have a defeat is a very simple question – “Do I want to quit?”
There is a difference between asking yourself “Do I want to quit?” or “Yes, I would like to quit” or “Yes, I am very interested in quitting.” You have to get to the stage where you want to quit more than anything else. You need to get to the stage where you have to quit no matter what happens in your life. If you want to move forwards you’ve got to take this step now and you’ve got to want to get alcohol out of your life.
The next step is to make some changes, but before you make changes in the outside world you’ve really got to start changing what is happening inside your head.
That is the place where it matters most, because if you don’t change your mindset, if you don’t change how you think about alcohol, how you think about yourself as a drinker, how you think about alcohol in your group of friends in your family, how you think about alcohol in the wider society in the community that you live in or your culture, if you don’t change the way you think about that normality and the place that alcohol has in your life than everything that you do outside is going to be tainted by what goes on in your mind.
So, first of all have to change that mindset and only when you have changed your mindset can you start to look outside of yourself and question:
What can you do differently?
What are you doing?
What is it that you’re doing that is leading you to fail?
What is happening in your life?
What is happening in the environments that you’re in?
Who are the people that are around you when you’re drinking when you get the trigger to drink or when you are actually
Who are the people who are causing you to want to drink?
What are the thoughts that are causing you to drink?
The next part is to have a look at success.
What do you define as success?
What is success for you?
Is it getting to a month?
Is it getting to six months?
Is it getting to a year or to ten years without having to drink?
Is it getting to a year and saying to yourself, “I’m at that stage now that I am can comfortable enough to say to myself that “I will never ever drink a drop of alcohol again.”
That’s a goal that I think is worthwhile. That’s a goal that you know that no matter how much time you put in, whether a year or ten years go by, no matter who offers you a drink or no matter what situation you put yourself in or place yourself – that you are never going to take another drink again.
That’s security but remember that success, the road to success, is a dynamic process, it’s a journey. Success is not just an end result, it’s not the target at the end of it. Whilst you can define success as that in reality success is going day, by day, by day, by day. It’s not doing what you’re not supposed to be doing, but also adding value and skills to your life. Moving one step forward and moving one step towards that goal that you want to get.
Every success is peppered with failures, like a shot gun blast going off. Have you ever seen a sign, like a road sign and someone’s taken a shot gun to it and there are all these little holes in it? That’s what success looks like.
It’s full of these individual holes which count as individual failing, but the true success of anyone is not measured by getting to the end goal, it’s getting to the end goal despite all the shit that’s happened on the way there, all the obstacles that have been put up in your way and the obstacles that you have managed to overcome. All the failures that have happened that you’ve managed to get around and step around and then carry on to do something different. That’s what success is defined as.
Remember that success is a dynamic process and I’m not talking about failure with quitting drinking alcohol and going back and having a drink, although that can be part of it and for some people it’s not a part of it. I think for a lot of people once they get into their journey of quitting, they realise that they are never going to drink again. That’s just not going to happen, but they still have failures in the things that they are trying to do to move themselves away from alcohol and to get to that goal.
That’s where they have the failings in their life because they don’t understand. A lot of what they’re doing is coming from a lack of experience, a lack of skills and it’s learning those new skills and trying to put them together bit, by bit, by bit as you go along, that you are going to find a lot of the failings.
Finally, I want to talk about the word defeat. I’m big on words because words are the means by which we communicate with each other. They’re the way that we communicate with ourselves, the way that we try to make sense of the world. We picture things in our mind, that’s the way that we see things, we see things as moving pictures going around in our heads but in order to make them into something logical we have to put words to them.
Words like defeat, failure, same as alcoholic, sober, recovery, relapse – these are all words that have a lot of baggage and what I mean by baggage is that they come pre-packaged with a lot of other people’s meanings.
Defeat is a word which to some people means to be defeated. It’s a verb which means to be defeated. I am defeated. Defeat is ‘I have been defeated.’ It is a defeat. Success is a dynamic process. Defeat is also a dynamic process it just doesn’t happen that you are defeated and that’s it. There’s always something that you can do about it, there’s always something that comes before it and there’s something that comes after it.
Defeat to some people means to defeat. You’ve often heard the saying that “A person may have lost a battle but they haven’t lost the war” or “This person has won the battle but they haven’t won the war.” This is the same thing, it’s a mindset. It’s just a way of looking at things and it doesn’t mean to say that the situation is any different. One person may have had a slip up and taken a drink but they look at this as just a blip in the path, a blip in the road and they get back up and they go again. They are not defeated. They had a defeat but they are not defeated.
Remember that defeat is only a word and it’s not a word that you have to use. You can say “I’ve just been side-tracked” you can say “I’ve just had a little blip” you can say whatever you want, it doesn’t matter what word you use because at the end of the day these words are not being used to communicate with other people. These are words that are being used to communicate with yourself. They are being used to figure things out and to rationalise things in your own brain.
So, don’t think that you have to use a particular word, because some words will bring you down much deeper and slippier slopes than other words. Defeat is a much bigger word than slip. Slip is a bigger word than a little whoopsie. I’ve made a little whoopsie there and I’m getting back on the path now.
I’m not saying that you have to trivialise the fact that you have taken a drink. I’m not saying that at all, but words are powerful tools that you can use for your advantage or disadvantage. They can really help you or they can harm you. So, remember that defeat is only a word.
So just to sum this up the first thing you have to do when you have any form of a slip, when you’ve got a road block in your way or when you’ve had a failure or a defeat the first thing that you’ve got to do is look at yourself and what you are doing. Look at your mindset and try to change your mindset as much as possible into a positive forward-thinking, forward-focused mindset that is taking your upwards, onwards and upwards.
The next thing to think about is that all success is a dynamic process, that success is always going to be peppered with failure so don’t look at any failure or any single defeat as being the end of it all, it’s just part of the journey of success.
Finally, look at defeat as it is only a word, it is only a word but certain words have much more power than other words so choose your words very carefully and look at the words. You can take a word and you can change the meaning to suit yourself.
To defeat something, to defeat, I’m looking at this from the perspective of I’m going to defeat this. I may be defeated. I am having a defeat at the moment but I’m not defeated and I am going to defeat it ultimately or you can use an entirely different word to use I was just side tracked, I had a little slip and I was side tracked but now I’m going to get back on the path and I’m going to move myself forward.
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“If you learn from defeat, you haven’t really lost.”
Until next time…
Onwards and Upwards!