Yes, you can read books, do courses and learn from people. Obviously, they are all good things to do. But none of it matters unless you are willing to do something about it and try things. And that’s the bit where people get stuck.
The thing is we don’t know until we try, the only way is through.
In fact, I would say that’s how most of us learn, through doing.
For instance when you first learn to drive you have no idea what you are doing. All of it seems weird, awkward, scary and confusing. You have to think really hard, pay attention and concentrate. You make mistakes, stall the car and kangaroo jump around the car park. Maybe you even feel scared and anxious. Or have doubts about whether you will even be able to learn. Thoughts of “will I ever pass my test” or “will I kill someone” running through your head.
It takes time and you practice every week, maybe even more for quite some time before you start to feel like yes I can do this and you are ready to take a test. It can sometimes take even more time to feel confident and competent at driving.
It’s the same for anything new you learn for instance learning to swim, learning to walk or when we first had to use computers at work (for those of us that are old enough to remember this).
So why is it when we want to give up something, like booze, partying, drugs, junk food. We expect it to be easy?
I call this the magic button.
When people come and see me a lot of the time they want a quick fix. Yes, you can stop drinking, eating rubbish, using drugs, just like that. You can. But then you need to work at making changes in your life so you stay stopped.
Have you ever heard the term dry drunk? This is when people stop drinking, but nothing changes. They don’t change, their life doesn’t change, because all they have done is stop drinking.
Usually it goes like this (not always). Someone gets into trouble with their drinking and they want to stop because its causing a problem. They get help and stop or maybe they stop on their own after doing some reading.
Then what next?
Why were they drinking in the first place? There doesn’t have to be an underlying cause but mostly there is some sort of problem:
· The job they hate.
· The relationship that isn’t working.
· A sick relative.
· A difficult child.
· Things from your past.
· Just not doing anything.
· Disappointed in life.
· Social anxiety.
· Can’t sleep.
The list goes on. But the next step is how you deal with how you feel when you stop.
How do you build a life you are happy with, that you love even? Feeling happy and healthy.
And this is the bit that takes time. This is the bit where you must work at it and try things out.
Exercise, healthy eating, getting better sleep, parenting, looking for a job you like and sorting relationships out.
How do you socialize, what do you do with your time?
There are no easy answers, because we are all different and you need to go on a journey to find what works and what pushes your buttons. What are you passionate about?
You have to try things, take action. Until you figure out how to live a life that works for you.
So, if you have just given up or taken a break. Whether through a lifestyle choice or because you had to, it doesn’t matter, there are some things you can do to help yourself.
· Don’t sit at home and do nothing.
· Get out and about, try new things, meet new people, make a list of things you have always wanted to do and just go do it, one by one.
· Meeting people in situations that don’t revolve around drinking or partying is really good.
· Exercise, sleep and eat healthy foods. You will feel so much better for it mentally and physically.
· Figure out what isn’t working in your life and set about changing it if you can.
· If you struggle and find yourself stuck in a rut, or keep relapsing then please get some help.
· It is possible for your life to be different with some guidance and support.
If you need some extra help check out the 21 day coaching programme ichange21 full programme It will take you through a process to help you improve your life.
There is also the book There is no magic button with loads of practical tips and motivation.
Stephanie Chivers is a recognised habit and addiction specialist, passionate about teaching people how to live happy healthy lives.
Feel free to ask me any questions on my Facebook and twitter pages.