Take a Break
The Drink Archetypes: The Key to Drinking Less
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Even when you have lots of good reasons to cut back or stop drinking, most people eventually go back to their old ways. Why? Because people drink for reasons that aren’t always easy to see.
That’s why I created The Drink Archetypes. These eight unconscious patterns influence why you drink and reach for another.
Knowing the archetypes that apply to you will give you a blueprint to follow to create lasting change.
What You’ll Discover
Learn about each of the eight Drink Archetypes.
The two steps necessary to figure out your drinking.
How to get your unique blueprint for free!
Featured on the show
You are listening to the Take a Break podcast with Rachel Hart, Episode 358.
Whether you want to drink less or stop drinking, this podcast will help you change the habit from the inside out. We’re challenging conventional wisdom about why people drink and why it can be hard to resist temptation. No labels, no judgment, just practical tools to take control of your desire and stop worrying about your drinking. Now, here’s your host, Rachel Hart.
All right, listen up, people. I have been chomping at the bit to record this episode for you. For months I have been working behind the scenes on a new tool that is going to radically transform your drinking. This tool helps explain the ‘how’ and the ‘why’ behind your desire to drink. It helps go beyond the story of ‘I just like to taste. I’ve always been a big drinker, I’m just really into wine, or I’m really into beer.’
Listen, all of that may be true, but it’s not the whole story. When you understand the habit of drinking from the inside out, not just the surface level, not just, ‘Ugh, I said I was going to be good and only have a couple drinks. But then I polished off the bottle.’
When you really understand what’s happening beneath the surface of your conscious awareness, what’s driving the decisions you make around alcohol, that, my friend, is when you step into a place of true power. Empowerment is what I want for each and every one of you.
To feel in control of your own destiny. To feel like you can decide what’s right for you. To decide for yourself, “Hey, this is the relationship I want to have with alcohol.” Rather than being told what it’s supposed to look like.
I am a firm believer that you get to decide how you do or don’t want to incorporate alcohol in your life. Maybe you want to drink less, maybe you want to experiment with stopping, maybe you don’t want to feel guilty when you do decide to drink, maybe you want to stop feeling awkward when you say no. Whatever your goal is, you will slow yourself down if you’re working with only a fraction of the puzzle pieces.
That’s what happens when drinking becomes a habit, it’s hard to see all of the puzzle pieces. Part of the habit becomes lodged in your unconscious mind, because that’s how habits operate. They operate outside of total awareness. What happens then? You focus only on the part that you can see.
It’s really easy to see your actions around drinking. It’s really easy to see yourself putting the bottle of wine in your grocery cart, or pouring that third glass of wine, or agreeing to drinks with your best friend when you promised yourself you wouldn’t drink tonight, or flagging down the bartender for another round.
But your actions, they’re only one piece of what’s going on. They’re only one small piece of the greater puzzle. If you listen to the podcast, you have heard me say over and over again, your actions around everything, but especially alcohol, they don’t just spontaneously happen. They are connected to a very powerful, very unseen, and yet very simple process that’s unfolding at lightning speed in your brain.
My goal, and the goal of this podcast, the goal when I’m working with people, is okay, so let’s help you slow down that process so you can see what’s really unfolding on the inside. You can do that. You can learn how to watch the habit unfold. You can learn how to find all the puzzle pieces at play. And when you can do this, you are in a much stronger place to create lasting change.
I always say, you cannot change the things that you can’t see. But for most people, myself included, that’s exactly what we try to do when we try to either cut back or stop drinking. Right? I did this for years. I was trying to change a process that I didn’t fully understand.
And by the way, when you hear me talk about learning how to change, I know some of you are like, “I don’t know, can really anyone do this?” Yes. Anyone can learn how. I’m really speaking to all of you out there who are thinking to yourself, “I don’t know, I’m too old. I’ve been drinking for too long. The habit is too ingrained.” None of that is true.
You can figure this out. Anyone can figure out their drinking with the right tools. So, step number one is figuring out hey, what is actually happening beneath the surface? But step number two is just as important. You have to normalize the struggle to change.
Now, I get, when you’re in a place where you’re questioning your drinking or you’re worried about your drinking, it does not feel like a normal problem to have. It can feel like something is really wrong with you. Like there’s something different about you or your brain, or you’re wired differently from everyone else. That can make the quest to change a very lonely process. But it doesn’t have to be. In fact, it shouldn’t be.
But I will tell you, I know all about this loneliness. I mean, the title of my book is Why Can’t I Drink like Everyone Else? Which, I know it seems a little over the top. Like, okay, really, Rachel, you thought you were the only person on the planet that struggled with your drinking? But that’s really how I felt on the inside. I felt utterly alone.
To me, everyone around me had their drinking figured out. Everyone around me seemed like they could learn from their lesson. They knew how not to get too sloppy. But not me. My brain was broken. I was just missing an ‘off’ switch that other people had. That’s what I truly deeply believed about myself.
I will tell you, that one of the most profoundly healing shifts I had in my own journey, was a realization that my struggle with drinking was universal. Okay, now, does everybody struggle with their drinking? Of course not. But everyone struggles with desire. The struggle of wanting something too much. Wanting something that may have negative consequences. That, my friend, is most definitely universal.
Yeah, sure, the wanting can be about alcohol and drugs, but it can also be about food or money or love, or sex or attention, or accolades or acceptance or success. It can be about anything, really. Struggling with your desire is a universal part of what it means to be a human. I do not care how fit, how regimented, or how successful someone is. On the outside, they might project, ‘Listen, I have everything figured out.’
But you know what? Underneath, for everyone, we all experience a tug of war with some sort of desire in our life. That tug of war can sometimes feel illogical, and sometimes mystifying, and play out in not great ways. No matter how smart or together someone is.
Understanding my drinking through the lens of ‘hey, this is normal. This is a universal part of what it means to be human,’ that really changed everything for me. And I hope that it will change everything for you. I will tell you also, as a coach, I have had the privilege of working with thousands of people and I have seen this play out firsthand.
It does not matter, men, women, young, old, single, married, divorced, widowed, people with PhDs, people who never finished high school, people from all parts of the world and all walks of life. It does not matter who you are. I hear the same stories over and over again.
Why is it so hard for me? I should know better. I feel like something is wrong with me. My drinking doesn’t make any sense. I have all the reasons in the world to cut back, and still, I keep giving in. I just want to feel normal. I just wish my drinking wasn’t an issue, then I could feel okay about myself.
Through my work with thousands of people, my goal has always been to pull out the commonalities in all of these disparate experiences. Because when you understand that you’re not alone… You might feel alone. But truly, you are not alone in this. When you understand that, the journey to transformation is not only so much easier, it will happen so much faster.
This is what the tool I’m introducing today is all about. It’s about helping you see not only what’s happening beneath the surface, at the level of your unconscious mind, but it’s also about normalizing and taking the shame out of your struggle.
So, I call it the Drink Archetypes. I am so, so excited to have all of you take part, because this tool is going to be totally free for everyone. I want to spread this work as far and as wide as possible, and help as many people as I can.
The Drink Archetypes are eight unconscious patterns that influence your drinking. The archetypes show up in your decision to say yes, they show up in your decision to keep going, they make up the unconscious and often unseen part of the habit that is so mystifying when you’re trying to change.
But here’s the other thing, and I think it’s incredibly liberating. Everyone who drinks will find themselves in one or more of the drink archetypes. These archetypes they are not for problem drinkers. They are representative of the human experience of drinking alcohol. It does not matter how much you drink; the drink archetypes always apply. That, I think, is so freeing.
So, the archetypes aren’t categories of problematic drinking. They’re a reflection of how humans have learned to use alcohol over the last several thousand years, and the unconscious beliefs that have been handed down generation by generation. While these archetypes are not a sign of problematic drinking, some of the behaviors embedded within can, especially with repetition, make saying no tricky.
If you listen to the podcast, you know it’s really important, to me, to destigmatize and de-shame people’s struggles with drinking. So often, I think the labels that we apply actually do more harm than good. But these eight archetypes, they aren’t about describing the person. They’re not about who you are. They symbolize what the drink represents to your brain.
I named this tool the Drink Archetypes because I wanted to capture these universal patterns. Patterns that occur across the human experience, regardless of whether you think of yourself as a normal drinker or a problematic drinker. This is why I’m so excited to have a tool that applies to everyone.
So many things can influence the archetypes that you personally identify with: Your upbringing, how the adults around you drank while you were growing up, what you absorbed from advertisements and marketing, what you heard in songs or movies, your early experiences with alcohol, and whatever is happening in your life right now. It’s all baked into each archetype.
I think so often, we try to explain away someone’s drinking by making it all about them, right? Their brain is different. Some people just have an addictive personality. It runs in families. Some people are too old to change. But the archetypes turn all of those explanations upside down.
Here’s the thing, when you turn everything you know about why people struggle upside down, you’re able to really easily change your approach. Because then you start to see, hey, success isn’t a matter of ‘I’ve got to avoid temptation,’ or get all new friends or take up hobbies or find the right excuse, or focus on how alcohol is really bad for me and harming my health.
No, all you have to do to create success is start working with your archetype. So, I’m going to do a quick rundown of the eight archetypes, but I’m also going to be recording in-depth episodes on each one. But here’s the thing, I know some of you, after today, are going to be like, “No, I don’t want to wait. I want to find out right now.”
So, if you want to dive in, at the end of this episode, I’m going to share where you can go to take the Drink Archetypes quiz. Okay, so remember, the archetypes aren’t, by their nature, problematic or unhealthy. But they can, over time, sometimes lead to an unhealthy relationship with alcohol.
The first archetype is Upgrade, which is all about seeking out the best in your experiences and appreciating alcohol as one of the finer things in life. The second archetype is Connector, which is all about using alcohol to bond with friends and family. The third archetype is the Reward; using a drink to acknowledge and motivate your hard work. The fourth archetype is the Escape, which is about seeking a way out of feeling overwhelmed.
The fifth archetype is a Mask; drinking to help ease anxiety or loosen up in social settings. The sixth archetype is Hourglass; drinking because there’s nothing better to do, or to make what you’re doing more tolerable. The seventh archetype is the Release; drinking to find freedom and unleash parts of yourself that maybe you hold back. And last, but not least, the eighth archetype is the Remedy; drinking as a means to cope with insomnia or manage physical discomfort.
Okay, it’s common to relate to multiple archetypes, or for your dominant archetype to change in different settings or during different stages of your life. But there are usually at least two main archetypes working behind the scenes, for everyone.
Knowing your unique pattern with all eight will help you explain why you return to your old ways. Even if you have lots of good reasons to say no. Why even the most motivated person can find it hard to stick to their plan when it comes to alcohol.
So, whether your goal next year is you want to drink less or not at all, knowing your Drink Archetypes is going to be crucial for your success. Because each archetype also has a corresponding superpower.
So, here’s how you can get started. Head to FindYourDrinkType.com, and take the online quiz. You will discover your primary and secondary archetypes. In other words, the patterns that show up most often for you. And, you’re also going to get a personalized breakdown of how all eight archetypes apply to your situation. It’s totally free. It really is going to have so much insight that you have been missing.
The quiz takes about 15 minutes. And here’s the thing, I promise you, it will be the most worthwhile time you invest in yourself all year long. Consider the time spent a little holiday gift to yourself. So, go to FindYourDrinkType.com, take the quiz.
Tune in over the next couple of weeks as I unpack each archetype on the podcast. I’m also going to be talking about what you need to understand about each archetype if you want to drink less or stop drinking. And, I’ll tell you all about the superpowers.
Listen, I’m so excited. I cannot wait for you to take the quiz. Really, thank you to each and every one of the thousands of people who I have worked with over the years, and who have shared their stories with me. Their stories really helped form the basis of the archetypes.
Alright, that’s it for today. Take the quiz, and I’ll see you next week.