Take a Break
The Mindset Shift Necessary for Success
subscribe & never miss
The new year is a great time to reevaluate your relationship with drinking.
Maybe you want to feel like you can trust yourself around wine. Maybe you want to feel more in control of your decision to drink.
Whatever the goal for your drinking habit is, it will require a shift in mindset that comes with some discomfort. This week, learn what that shift entails and how to get started.
What You’ll Discover
Why people give up too soon on changing their relationship with drinking.
How avoiding discomfort keeps you stuck in your drinking habit.
The shift in mindset required to create lasting change in your drinking.
Featured on the show
You are listening to the Take A Break podcast with Rachel Hart, Episode 311.
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.
Hello, my friends. January is here, it is a new year. I know you want it to be a new you, because January is when we all dive headfirst into change. And, it is really time for you to reevaluate your relationship with alcohol. That’s why you’re listening to this podcast, you know that you want things to be different.
But here’s what I’m going to tell you, we embark on the process of change with all of our desires, right? Before we started, it’s like, “Yes, I want to change, there’s so many good reasons. And, I want to drink less. I want to stop drinking. I want to stop, you know, ending my day and relying on a drink to destress or unwind. I want to start feeling more in control. When I do choose to drink, I want to make more mindful choices, more considered choices. I want to feel like I can trust myself.”
Whatever your goal is, we’ve got that desire, we’ve got the goal, we’ve got all the reasons why we want it. But what I’ve found in my own life, and by working with 1,000s of people inside Take a Break, is that 99.9% of us, myself included, we dive into the process of change with the same crappy mindset about what change is supposed to feel like.
Now, I have had to do a lot of work in my own life to continually point out to myself, “Oh, hey, there’s that problematic mindset about the process of change, again. There it is. We got to reframe it; we got to change it.” And, that’s what I want to help you do. Because when you have this crappy mindset about change and what change is supposed to be like, what’s going to happen, is you’re going to give up too soon.
This is what I see all the time. People are so tempted to give up. They believe that something has gone wrong, and they don’t realize actually how close they are to the change that they want. And the solution here, when you have all this desire to change, the solution to keep going, it’s actually very simple.
All you need to do is reframe what the discomfort of change means. Reframe it ahead of time, change that mindset ahead of time. Because I have said this before, you have heard me say this on the podcast, discomfort is coming either way in life; there is no two ways about it. Discomfort is the reason why so many of us reach for a drink.
Now, stay with me, because I know a lot of you out there are like, “No, that’s not me. That’s not what’s going on.” We reach for a drink, because, “I don’t want to feel stressed. I don’t want to feel deprived. I don’t want to feel anxious. I don’t want to feel judged. I don’t want to feel like I’m missing out.”
All of you who are kind of skeptical when I’m saying that, when I’m talking about how discomfort is part of the reason why we reach for a drink, maybe you’re thinking, “That’s not me. I drink because I like to. Because it tastes good. Because it’s fun. I just want to drink a little bit less. I just want to feel more in control. Discomfort isn’t part of my issue.”
My friends, if you are thinking this, I want you to ask yourself; what it feels like to say no to the thing that you desire? The thing that you enjoy the taste of? The thing that you believe is fun? What does it feel like when you say no? Because I will tell you this, if it felt amazing, if it felt amazing saying no, then there wouldn’t be any problem. It wouldn’t be challenging to change; you’d already be there.
But likely, it doesn’t feel amazing to say no. You feel a little deprived, or a little annoyed, or a little restricted. It feels a little uncomfortable. Discomfort is always part of the habit. And, it’s always part of changing the habit. Because the habit is about a reward. And if you are used to getting that reward, and then you say no, guess what’s going to happen? You’re going to feel a little uncomfortable.
Now, this doesn’t mean that you’re drinking because you’re depressed or sad. It just means that your brain is used to getting a reward. And when you interrupt that reward cycle, your lower brain, the part of your brain that’s like, “Hey, rewards are really important for survival,” that part of your brain, it’s like, “Wait a minute, this is not the plan. This is not what we’re doing here. The plan is, you know, I want something and then I have it, and I want it and I have it.” We keep rewarding ourselves.
The lower brain will do this at your expense because it doesn’t care about tomorrow. It doesn’t care about the future; it cares about right now. And right now, it wants a reward. Right now, it wants more pleasure, not less. That is the lower brain.
And when you try to interrupt the habit cycle, when you interrupt the desire or the longing for the reward, your lower brain is going to have a little bit of a tantrum. And, that tantrum can feel a little uncomfortable. Thankfully, we’re not all lower brain, we have the higher brain, too. We have our prefrontal cortex.
We have the part of our brain that really makes us human; we can think about the future, we can plan, we can think about our goals, we can, you know, problem solve and work towards them. It’s good that we’re not all lower brain. But so often, we let the tantrum of the lower brain kind of run the show. Discomfort is part of changing the habit; and discomfort is coming either way, in life.
So, I want you to think about it. We can stay stuck in the discomfort of not being able to change; the repercussions of overdoing it, of overindulging, the consequences of too much, feeling frustrated that we’re not showing up the way that we want to, feeling frustrated that change is difficult.
We can stay stuck in the discomfort of stagnating, feeling like we’re moving backwards, even. Or, you can choose the discomfort of growing, evolving, changing, becoming someone new, teaching your brain a new skill, because there is discomfort in growth. And you know this. You know that you can’t get strong without the discomfort of challenging your muscles. You can’t get fit without discomfort of challenging your heart and your lungs.
Except, we have a totally different mindset about that discomfort, like, “Oh, yes, that’s normal. That’s wanted discomfort. I want to know, after I worked out, that it was a hard workout. I don’t want to, you know, end my time at the gym, without having a drop of sweat on my forehead. Then, I won’t believe that that workout did me any good.”
You can apply that same mindset to what you will experience, when you try to change your relationship with alcohol. Because you cannot learn a new skill… And that’s what this is all about, it’s learning new skills. You can’t learn a new skill without the discomfort of trying and failing. So, just think about it. Discomfort is always part of life. It’s just, which one do we want more of? The discomfort of staying stuck, or the discomfort of growing? It’s coming, either way.
It’s so obvious when we frame it in that way, right? We’re like, “Oh, of course, I want the discomfort of growing.” But we often don’t frame how we feel when we’re trying to change in that way. We’re just like, “Oh, why am I feeling uncomfortable? I shouldn’t feel this way. This should be easy.” And, that’s where this crappy mindset comes in.
So, you have all these reasons to change. You have all this desire to create a different relationship with alcohol. And then, what happens as soon as you embark on change? That mindset is right there. You encounter your first obstacle, your first challenge, the first moment where you have the desire or the urge, and you’re saying no.
And then, that mindset kind of swoops in. It’s like, “Oh, this is hard. This sucks. This is unfair. I don’t want to have to say no. I don’t want to do this. I deserve a little reward. I just want to enjoy myself.” Essentially, what happens, is you, in that moment, encounter the discomfort of change. And what happens, is you try to wish it away.” I wish it wasn’t there. I wish this was easier.”
So, if you have plans this January, just know, if you have plans to change, discomfort is coming. The question is what are you going to make it mean? That really is the power of the think-feel-act cycle.
When we start to understand, “Okay, when I get frustrated and give up, that doesn’t just happen.” The emotion of frustration and the act of giving up, it doesn’t just happen. It’s because of a thought. And 9 times out of 10, that thought is all about what you have made the discomfort of growing, the discomfort of change, mean.
And when you realize, feeling frustrated and giving up is because of a thought, you realize, “Oh, all I have to do is frame this discomfort in a new way,” it’s thinking a new thought about it. Are you going to make it mean that you’re doing something wrong, and it’s unfair, and it should be easy? Or, are you going to make that discomfort mean, “Hey, I’m on the right track. I just got a great workout.”
Otherwise, you really end up creating this impossible situation, by telling yourself that you really, really want to change, it’s really, really important to you, but it should be easy. It shouldn’t feel hard. You shouldn’t make any mistakes.
This is where I was, for the longest time. I had all this desire to change. I really, really wanted to. I didn’t like the consequences, physically and emotionally. I didn’t like spending all this time worrying about my drinking. But at the same time, every time I tried to change, and it was difficult, I immediately told myself that it shouldn’t be “It should be easy. This should be easy for me to do.” Because I didn’t understand it.
I didn’t understand the process of change, or the process of learning how to say no. I didn’t understand it as a skill. I thought that it should just be innate. And so, every time I ran into an uncomfortable situation, I would try to avoid it. Or, I would make it mean that I was doing something wrong. You’re not going to be able to change while feeling totally comfortable.
Because if you want to change the habit, you have to start the process of making a new neural pathway in your brain. Guess what? Making new synapses feels uncomfortable. Just like making new muscle fibers, it feels a little uncomfortable. You cannot make these new neural pathways, you can’t grow, you can’t change your brain, from a completely peaceful comfortable state.
You’re going to feel a little activated. There’s going to be that friction in your brain because that’s how your brain changes. Remember, our brain evolved to do what was easy to do, it was automatic. And that, so often, is what the habit of drinking becomes; it’s just the easy thing to do. It just becomes the automatic thing to do.
And so, when you’re trying to change, you’re going to upend what feels easy. You’re going to upend what is or has been automatic. But here’s the thing, the friction that you feel, doesn’t mean that you’re doing something wrong. In fact, it’s just the opposite. It means that you’re doing something right. Just like the strain you feel, when you’re lifting a heavy weight, doesn’t mean that you’re doing something wrong.
So, I want you to think about it, as you embark on the process of change. And by the way, this is true for everything in life, not just changing your relationship with drinking. As you embark on the process of change, if it feels uncomfortable, which it will at some point, imagine if you’re like, “Great, I’m right on track. I’m challenging my brain. This is me interrupting the habit. This is me creating new synapses.”
“This is me creating a new neural pathway in the brain. This is me doing something new. And when I do something new, whenever I do something new, it always means I’m changing.” But it always comes with a little discomfort. So, I want you to think about that.
I want you to think, not just about all the desire and the reasons that you have to change, I want you to think about the mindset that you have around discomfort. And whether or not, you’re willing to reframe it from something that has gone wrong. “This should be easy. This is too hard. This is unfair, why me? I don’t want to feel this way, right now.”
To, “Hey, look at me, look what I’m doing. This is my workout. This is me going to the gym for my brain. This is how I change. This is how I start to interrupt these neural pathways that really aren’t serving me anymore.”
So, think about this. Think about it, this January. Think about it all year long, as you embark on the process of changing your drinking. You know, you’ve got these great reasons, but don’t forget that you also have to reframe discomfort. Discomfort is coming either way, in life. It’s a discomfort of stagnating, of staying stuck. Or, it’s the discomfort of growing and evolving; you just get to choose which one you want more of.
And, when you see that it’s coming either way, when you see that it’s not discomfort that’s the problem, it’s what you’re making it mean, you can choose to make it mean, “Hey, this is how I change.” Because guess what? That is the truth. Reframing your mindset in this area will change everything because you will feel less frustrated.
And when you feel less frustrated, you will be less likely to quit and give up. And that really is all you need. You just need to keep showing up and keep trying. And if something doesn’t work, trying something new.
Imagine how much more quickly you would change all these things in your life if you just stopped giving up on yourself. And the only reason you’re doing it, it’s not because you broke your commitment. It’s not because you drank more than you planned. It’s because in that moment, you made discomfort; you made it into a problem.
All right, everyone, it’s a new year. Let’s have a new you when it comes to drinking. And most importantly, let’s shift that mindset about what it means when you encounter discomfort during the process of change.
That’s it for today. I will see you next week.
Okay, listen up. Changing your drinking is so much easier than you think. Whether you want to drink less or not at all, you don’t need more rules or willpower. You need a logical framework that helps you understand and, more importantly, change the habit from the inside out.
It starts with my 30-Day Challenge. Besides the obvious health benefits, taking a break from drinking is the fastest way to figure out what’s really behind your desire. This radically different approach helps you succeed by dropping the perfectionism and judgment that blocks change.
Decide what works best for you when it comes to drinking. Discover how to trust yourself and feel truly empowered to take it or leave it. Head on over to www.RachelHart.com/join and start your transformation today.