Growing self confidence: learning to say NO.

This year, I committed to overcoming my lifelong delusional perspective that alcohol was awesome. It’s not been easy but on the whole, so far so good. Not a glass of wine has entered my body, or any other alcoholic drinks for that matter.

To enable me to do this, I’m taking a multi-dimensional approach:

  • Physical: better diet, more exercise, more sleep. 
  • Emotional: solid, core network of friends and family who are supporting me (you included!)
  • Spiritual: studying Buddhist meditation, improving my yoga and practicing mindfulness.
  • Psychological: retraining the brain and understanding neuroplasticity via books, podcasts and online self acceptance summits.

It’s been almost nine months since I quit drinking, and I can’t quite believe it. But only in the last couple of months have I started comming into my own. That is, I think my confidence is genuinely starting to shine. How do I know this?

  1. I care less about what other people think of me these days. For example, I recently found out that a friend (or should I say ‘friend’) has been complaining about my lack of drinking. Basically without going into detail, they were trying to make me feel bad because I’m not their boozing buddy anymore. Rather than getting upset at this person, I now feel compassion. I feel sorry for them as they are in a dark place of addiction themselves. They cannot see reality and people are now worried about this person’s addictions. I am pleasant to this person but they are at arms length in my life now as peer pressure to drink is just not helpful.
  2. I don’t say yes to everything. As a drinker, I used to be a needy people pleaser. I used to be desperate for acceptance because my self esteem was low. These days, rather than searching for external forms of validation, the Buddhist meditation teachings have been instrumental. I now understand that happiness comes from within, not money/Facebook likes/holidays/assets/job promotions. I was superficial and shallow. Now I am working on being less so.
  3. Small things make me smile, drama doesn’t phase me like it used to. They say ‘neurons that fire together wire together’ – a fundamental concept within the science of neuroplasticity. In practice, this means that focusing on daily gratitude journalling and meditation helps me focus on the positive and remain calmer at work (for example). It’s taken many months but at last!! It’s really happening!!!

That’s me in a nutshell these days. I’m loving this alcoholfree journey. I don’t have life perfectly sorted but it’s a huuuge improvement relative to my life as a drinker. Your support, ideas and encouragement continues to grow my confidence and inspire. 

Have a great week xoxo

24 thoughts on “Growing self confidence: learning to say NO.

    • Hiya, thanks for your message. My non-scientific take on neuroplasticity is that we have the ability to retrain / rewire our brains… it’s a relatively new science.
      For example, I am trying to learn how to be a better person, to rewire my brain to respond and react to stressful life situations with a greater sense of calm. To not get so flustered and worked up by external situations I cannot control. Meditation and work by the likes of Ekhart Tolle, Davidji and Depak Chopra are enabling me ‘rewire’ my outlook, to be more balanced, pragmatic and accepting of the world around me. My drinking meant I was highly strung, worried about what other people did/said. Now, I feel more at peace and (hopefully!) better able to be a good friend/work colleague/contributor.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I’m so happy for you, I’m reading lots of positivity and light in your lovely post. We seem to have a similar approach to it all and you’ve reminded me that I need to keep an eye on all the different angles to stay strong. I also find the neuroscience/neuroplasticity stuff fascinating and am doing a fair bit of reading around it all too. Sober hugs and blessings to you πŸ™‚ x

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Good for you! you know that really touched a cord with me, I am not alcohol free, I enjoy an occasional tipple in great moderation, but I also have heavy drinking friends that complain that I don’t drink much and they hope I’m not going to be boring!! If I have a glass of wine I load it with ice and quietly keep putting in ice so that I am essentially only drinking water after one glass, mostly I get away with this, but sometimes they notice! At my age I don’t care what they say either, I don’t want a lost or foggy Sunday or a nasty hangover, let them say what they want, my life – my way, I say! keep going, your are doing amazingly! xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh I’m delighted! It’s so lovely to read your story. Isn’t it fascinating how people monitor your rate of alcohol consumption, like it somehow affects their level of enjoyment.
      Thanks again for your support and getting in touch. Big hugs xoxo

      Like

  3. Congrats on 9 months!!! This is such a great post! If we can say NO to alcohol, then we can say NO to anything!! Learning to say NO can be an act of self care. I’ve learned too that I don’t have to spend time with types of people who drain my energy…. the “energy vampires.” Your insights are fantastic! xo

    Liked by 1 person

    • As always I love your feedback, such wise and kind words 😘 I agree, saying NO is a part of self care. And I love your term energy vampires! Thanks so much for popping by and sharing your message. πŸ˜˜πŸ”†πŸŒ·πŸŒΌ

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Elizabeth, thank you so much. It’s been a whirlwind ride! My little attempt to pay it forward is the least I can do, given all the kind folks who have helped me along the way. My hope is that someone, somewhere, may draw a little nugget from my struggles so that their journey is that little bit easier. Take care and thanks again xoxo

      Liked by 1 person

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