I just wrapped up an incredible event, MindBar, San Diego’s first pop-up sober bar and alcohol-free experience. It was held in this amazing loft downtown and the most incredible soul-seeking women came, and we drank all the mocktails and nonalcoholic drinks, and had real talk about bravery and not drinking and writing books, and closed the night with a meditation to step into our best selves.
The night was exhilarating and I felt so empowered and alive afterwards.
And I can’t help but compare this with an evening I might have had three years ago. I wanted so badly to take a break from drinking then, but any mention of a social gathering and I put on a disempowering refrain, “oh yea, I have to drink.” I didn’t think I was allowed not to!
Drinking culture is the ubiquitous norm right now. And daring to step out of that can feel so incredibly daunting. But when you take a leap of faith and listen to that inner voice that’s telling you you’re made for more than hangovers, the rewards are incredible.
Here are six mindset shifts to help you step into that bravery:
IT HURTS SO MUCH MORE TO STAY STUCK THAN TO GROW
I’m so excited to guide people through the transformation of walking away drinking and building a vision that’s way bigger than beverage. The personal growth that occurs is magical. But while growth can lead to the greatest sense of happiness, it’s not easy, especially in the moment. At first, changing can seem downright impossible. Radical, too extreme. But you know what’s so much harder and ten times more painful? Staying stuck somewhere you’re not meant to be. Living in the merry-go-round of hangovers, regret, and feeling low after drinking. Committing to change won’t be easy, but it will always be worth it.
EVERYTHING YOU WANT IS OUTSIDE YOUR COMFORT ZONE
Instead of asking yourself if things are “bad enough,” you have to ask yourself if this is the life that you were meant live or if you know deep down it can be bigger, bolder, and more beautiful. Drinking makes us stay stuck, not evolve, and play small. It’s a comfort zone, literally the easiest thing to do. But drinking doesn’t serve you and can be the very thing standing in the way of what you really want in life. I know how easy it is to let the fear of the unknown stop us in our tracks because at least we understand the pain of what we’re currently dealing with. But the greatest things you’ve ever wanted are all waiting for you once you push yourself outside your comfort zone.
GET PROUD ABOUT BEING AN INDEPENDENT THINKER
Choosing not to drink in a world that demands we do is such a brave act. It’s one of the healthiest and most mindful ways to live. It allows you to show up every day, fully and authentically. You sleep better, you feel better, you have more energy, mojo and confidence. So why should we have to feel embarrassed about being fully alive?
We all value independence, except for some strange reason, when it comes to drinking. This is the one behavior that has us going with the herd mentality, afraid to rock the boat. Why? Tap into your inner rebel and get really proud about having different choices than other people. There’s a saying, you’re living the life many people won’t so that you can have the life that many people can’t.
FITTING IN IS SO HIGH SCHOOL
Remember how hard middle or high school was? That’s because our sense of worth was defined by the opinion of other people. Anytime we do something that goes against our intrinsic self to fit in, we become small and lose our voice. And continuing with a habit that you know doesn’t make you happy just to keep up with appearances? That can be downright soul-crushing.
News flash. This isn’t high school anymore. Drinking does not make you (or anyone else) hip, cool, or glamorous. Could you imagine feeling embarrassed that you didn’t smoke cigarettes and that something was wrong with you for not smoking? That’s laughable, isn’t it. Think of drinking the same way and be proud to take a stand.
FIND A NEW SPHERE
There’s a saying that you are the sum of the five people you hang out with most. Meaning we pick up each other’s beliefs, patterns, and behaviors — unhealthy habits included. It’s probably no wonder that most people around you are drinkers, thus why it can be so hard to imagine a social life without drinking. But the soul-seeking people who are on the same journey as you? They are everywhere and it’s just a matter of finding more people in your life that inspire you and motivate you. Try meetup.com to find a sober or nondrinkers group near you. I love surrounding myself with people who aspire to more than happy hour.
(Related post: How to Find Sober Friends)
THIS IS SO MUCH BIGGER THAN YOU
Maybe you’re nervous about what to say at an upcoming party when asked the inevitable question. Explaining that you’re not drinking can take some practice and finesse and can often leave us feeling a bit insecure. But I like to remember that this is so much bigger than me. This is a wellness movement that other people are waiting for.
(Related post: How to Say I’m Not Drinking)
The next time you are feeling embarrassed by saying you don’t drink, step outside of your shoes for a minute and consider how many people out there also have a complicated relationship with booze and are silently suffering. Fifty-two percent of Americans want to drink less — maybe you’re talking to one of them at a party and you are the very person they were meant to talk to. Consider that you being proud about not drinking and talking about it might just be the very thing they needed to see and hear to make a change themselves. You were meant to be an inspiration to others.
Ready to transform your relationship with alcohol over a 5-day break? Grab my free course here!