When it comes to being ready to make a change in your relationship with alcohol, it’s not linear, and it’s not about being able to flip a switch to have a completely “ready” mindset. Making a lifestyle change is a big commitment, and it is vital that you understand what being ready means to you – this can make or break your forward momentum towards the change you want to make.
Knowing you are ready in a way that feels good to you and fully understanding it will support you in moving forward with the change you want to make. Feeling ready to make a change in your relationship with alcohol can definitely feel scary for so many reasons. Having solid faith that you are where you should be right now and having positive emotion around it – focusing on the positive benefits that may emerge from your decision, will help you move ahead with grace.
I used to believe that I had to force myself into being ready to make changes in my lifestyle, really push myself out of my comfort zone, and it didn’t feel so good. I never took the time to fully understand why I was making the change. I thought I was “supposed” to do things because I felt like I had run out of options or that I had to live a certain way, so I didn’t make a bad impression on others.
My relationship with alcohol was one lifestyle change where I felt stuck for years. The first time I decided to quit alcohol in 2016, I realized after the fact, that I wasn’t completely ready to make the transition, and I unfortunately ended up crashing and burning. Once I learned what is necessary to fully be ready for change, I was able to adapt to the process and felt much more confident and comfortable with moving ahead with my decision to quit alcohol again in 2018, it made all the difference.
There are 5 key beliefs for readiness for change that can act as a lens for change and ground to stand on as you set out towards the changes you are committed to. You can take these 5 key beliefs and journal about each one, and reflect on where you currently are at with each belief. Be mindful with any new awareness that arises for you in working with this framework.
1. The belief that the change is necessary and that it must happen, because YOU say so. What must change?
Embodying that you are the one calling the shots here, and that you have come to a point in your life where you feel making a change is necessary helps with overall acceptance of your decision. Being clear on what exactly must change and in what capacity frees up your uncertainty to move forward with the change.
2. The belief that you CAN change. Do you believe that you can change?
Every human being was born whole and with everything you need inside to make any change in your life, even when you feel the idea of it is unfathomable. It’s about believing in yourself and knowing that you have what it takes. Sometimes we just need to dig a little deeper to find the support we need to help carry us through.
3. The belief that the change needs to happen now. Do you have a sense of urgency for the change you want to make?
Have you been putting off the idea of making a change? What’s holding you back from taking a step forward with the decision? How much is staying where are affecting your life? When you get to a point where you feel “enough is enough” or “I am sick of feeling sick and tired all the time”, you are more likely to be ready to take action on your change now, instead of prolonging your change and continuing of living life on a hamster wheel.
4. The belief that the change is up to YOU. Do you fully believe that the change you want to make is up to you?
This is probably one of the most important beliefs you must have when making a change in your relationship with alcohol. You are the one driving the bus in your life, and the decision to make any change in your life is completely up to YOU! When the decision is intrinsic and comes from purely within you, then the decision is true to you and feels in alignment with your belief that you can make this change.
5. The belief that the change you’re making is for YOU. Are you making this change for yourself first and foremost?
How many times have you ever tried to make a change in your life for someone else, other than yourself. Whether it was to impress another person or you felt forced into making a change so as to not disappoint a loved one, you are not creating peace within yourself to even begin to make the change. Making a change based on someone else’s beliefs, feelings or emotions is not meeting yourself where you are at in your journey, and this will cause you to have resistance around the change you have sought out to make.
When you ask yourself these questions, you’ll begin to get a clearer picture of your readiness for change and what to focus on in your beliefs to empower yourself towards the change you want to make. Focusing on these five key beliefs will start to narrow the gap between you and the change – whatever the change may be! This framework to understand your readiness for change can not only support you in your decision to being ready with going alcohol-free, but can also support you with any lifestyle change you decide to make. It is a valuable framework to keep handy.
Being ready to kick alcohol to the curb takes bravery, no doubt there. It is a shift that will absolutely push you outside of your comfort zone, which is exciting because this is where we grow as humans! Being open to change and feeling completely ready for it in a way that feels good to you, will boost your confidence and your receptiveness to the change and in the process. Making this change is all about YOU, not anyone else or any other beliefs that may be circling around you.
When you are clear on your beliefs to be ready to commit to a shift to an alcohol-free lifestyle, and they are aligned with how you want your life to move forward, you will be much more at peace with the decision and much more likely be successful at meeting your goals.