Do You Want to Get and Stay Sober?
Changing Limiting Beliefs Can Help You Stay Sober
Who knew that something as simple as changing limiting beliefs can help you stay sober. I certainly didn’t, but when I stopped drinking, I immediately stopped saying, “I need alcohol to get through this.” Instead, I adopted this phrase:
“Alcohol is not an option.”
If work stressed me out, I said to myself, “alcohol is not an option.” When my daughter aggravated me, ” I said, “alcohol is not an option.” When people told me, “be careful. You are going to fall off that pink cloud,” meaning they assumed I would drink as soon as life got in my way, I replied, “It’s okay. I’m growing wings. Alcohol is not an option.”
This shift in my limiting beliefs might have been the most important part of my sobriety, but I had to do more than just say it. I had to believe it. In fact, there were a lot of things I had to believe, most of which I would have never considered before.
Brainwashed to Washed Brain
Often I hear people say that they believe recovery groups use too much brainwashing. Some people argue with this statement, but I find it to be true. No, the group doesn’t necessarily have to break you down to build you up because, for many, alcohol has already done that. I know I felt completely defeated the day I entered my first meeting. However, what comes after is a system of replacing old thoughts that failed you with new thoughts that help lift you up.
Here’s an example.
It was advised that I attend 90 meetings in 90 days, that I read certain pages from the Big Book every day for 30 days, and of course, during every meeting, I said and listened to the same prayers. If this isn’t brainwashing, I don’t know what is.
However, if changing limiting beliefs can help you stay sober, is having a washed brain such a bad thing?
For many of us, the thoughts that need changing are negative and self-defeating. They raise us so high that we have no concern for other people’s well-being or they bring us down so low that we have no concern for our own. Changing limiting beliefs can help you stay sober because in changing your beliefs, you begin to restructure your life from the inside out. And no, simply saying them doesn’t mean you automatically believe them. Rather saying them encourages you to live them, and after having lived them for a while, they simply become you.
There are areas you can focus on when trying to change your limiting beliefs for sobriety: the things you believe about yourself, the things you believe about others, the things you believe about the world, and the things you believe about spirituality.
Change the Things You Believe About Yourself
Henry Ford said, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you are right.”
The things you believe about yourself dictate all your actions. If you believe you aren’t smart enough to go to college, you will never attempt to enroll because the effort and money invested in achieving that goal will be in vain. Before even putting in the effort to discover the truth, you have already created the outcome…
No college education.
Changing these self limiting beliefs can help you stay sober
I'm a Bad Person
I am unlovable
I Need to be better to be enough
When we believe we can’t give up alcohol, we make no real effort to try. Instead, we implement a give-up attitude. Why bother? I may stay sober tonight, but tomorrow night I’ll just be drinking again because I have no willpower.
What we don’t realize is that it isn’t really about willpower. Rather it’s about certainty, and certainty is a byproduct of belief.
Change the Things You Believe About Others
If you believe that people are out to get you, you will always be on guard. You are in a constant state of fight, flight, or freeze. This mentality is bound to keep you stressed out and constantly looking for relief in alcohol or some other numbing substance.
The truth is, no one is out to get you. What they really want, and I mean deep down without truly understanding what they are doing, is to fulfill their own motives.
For example, when I was going through my divorce, my husband and I said horrible things to each other. You could say that we wanted to hurt each other, but in reality, that wasn’t our true goal. Our true goal was to make each other “act right”. Our deeper goal was to save our marriage. Even deeper was our goal to maintain our own personal happiness. I know. It sounds selfish, but the truth is, happiness is everyone’s main goal.
When I remember the harsh words that were said to me and about me in this light, I realize that the things he said about me weren’t really about me at all. Rather they were about him. In order to forgive him and maintain my sobriety, I had to change the limiting beliefs I had towards him.
CHANGING THESE others LIMITING BELIEFS CAN HELP YOU STAY SOBER
You have to compare yourself to them
Other people have it all together
Their Judgement matters
Change the Things You Believe About the World
My parents are certain the world is going to hell in a handbasket. It’s a more dangerous place than when they were growing up. But is it really?
My mother was born in 1948, three years after the liberation of the concentration camps in Germany, seven years after the attack on Pearl Harbor, and 83 years after the abolishment of slavery in America, which came 246 years after the first shipment of slaves to America from Africa.
The world is just as horrible today as it has always been, but it is also just as wonderful.
If all you see in the world are horrific acts of human beings, the devastation of natural disasters, and inequality of socioeconomic status, you are missing out on the kindness bestowed upon a stranger who had fallen in the street, the hummingbird feeding at your back porch, and the opportunity to help another person find a safe place to sleep.
Changing world-based limiting beliefs can help you stay sober because when you focus on the worst, you are missing out on gratitude for what you have, right here, right now. That gratitude increases your happy hormones that get depleted after years of drinking and that we seek to get when we drink.
CHANGING THESE world LIMITING BELIEFS CAN HELP YOU STAY SOBER
The world is a cruel Place
People are bad by nature
Nothing Ever gets better
Change the Things You Believe About Spirituality
This was a hard one for me because what I believed about spirituality was that it was a “God thing” and that God was unforgiving and cruel. I had to change that limiting belief and develop my own positive perception of God. To be spiritual, you have to believe in a power greater than yourself regardless of what that power is. For some, it is God, Buddha, Allah, Sam. Any name will do. The concept is the same with variations on how they came to be and the rules you are supposed to follow when you believe in them.
But believing in something greater than you doesn’t have to include an entity. It can simply be the understanding that all things are connected. Each person, animal, and plant lives on a vibrational plane (has energy) that connects with other vibrational planes and energies, and those energies either bond or they clash. In this way, we are all spiritual. Your job is to decide what kind of energy you want to carry around with you and how you want your energy to interact with other energies. You have to connect with your soul which is not the same as the brain.
CHANGING THESE spirituality LIMITING BELIEFS CAN HELP YOU STAY SOBER
Meditation doesn't do anything for me
God has given up on me
Spirituality can only be found in church
Changing Limiting Beliefs Can Help You Stay Sober
But What’s the Catch
Changing these four limiting beliefs can help you stay sober, but it also comes with a few warnings. First, it won’t happen overnight. You can say, “I live a happy sober life” until the cows come home, and the next day you will find yourself slipping back into old thought patterns wondering why you’re struggling with wanting to drink. Just keep in mind that it does get easier if you keep at it.
Second, your world will get so much better. When you start focusing on the positive things in life, you find that there is so much to be grateful for. In fact, according to Harvard Health, “In positive psychology research, gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. That’s the upside.
The downside. Negative people will walk the other way because they don’t like your “Pollyanna” attitude.
Wait. That’s another upside.
Regardless, it can get lonely if people you once spent time with start avoiding you. If this happens, join a community like Now Sober Tribe to connect with others who are working to stay sober.
Want to Know More about How Changing Limiting Beliefs Can Help You Stay Sober?
If you are interested in knowing more about how changing limiting beliefs can help you stay sober, let me know in the comments. Honestly, I really dig learning and talking about how understanding the brain helps with addiction, so I will gladly respond.
This may be the best change you can make. Do you feel self-love? If not, it’s time to change the way you feel about yourself. I want to help by offering you this free Self-Care Kit Builder so you can practice giving yourself the love you deserve.
Check it out, and if you want more, don’t forget to take a look at Simply Sober Self-Care: An 8-Week Course to Help You Beat “I Need a Drink” Thinking.
Together we can take self-care to a deeper level.
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