Take a Break
Why Do I Keep Giving In?
subscribe & never miss
After you learn that the urge to drink is no big deal, you might think that it will be easy to say no.
You’ve done the work to not avoid or resist the urge anymore. But, you still find yourself drinking when you don’t want to.
In this episode, you’ll find out the real reason you keep giving in despite all you’ve learned about the habit and the work you’ve done on your urges. Discover the next level of changing your relationship with drinking.
What You’ll Discover
The power of discovering the root cause of why you drink.
Why being able to sit with your urge to drink is so important.
Where the real work to create lasting habit change is.
Featured on the show
You are listening to the Take A Break podcast with Rachel Hart, Episode 296.
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, welcome back. I decided that I wanted to do an episode today talking about urges. But not where I have talked a lot about urges on the podcast. Which is, about what urges are, and how to reframe how you think about them, and how to make them more manageable. That, I think, is kind of the first level work of urge work.
It’s really understanding your urges in a new way, reframing how you think about them, learning the ways that you can start to make them what they are, which is harmless. And so, what I want to talk about in today’s episode, is kind of that next level work. This is a work that people do inside the membership.
This next level work with urges, is so important. It is so crucial for really creating lasting change with the habit. And here’s what I mean. When people join Take a Break, and they start with the 30-Day Challenge, and they start learning the 4 Pillars, one of the things that they practice, we talk about it like going to the gym. They’re going to the urge gym, and the urge gym is all about separating what’s happening in your mind, about the urge, from what’s happening in your body.
And the reason why this is so important, is because what we’re trying to teach the brain is that the story of the urge and the actual experience of the urge, are completely different. That kind of blows people’s minds alone when they have that discovery.
And so often, what happens is that very quickly, people say, “Well, I’m realizing the urge itself, it’s really not that big of a deal. It really doesn’t feel that bad. It’s a little bit of restlessness. I mean, I notice the sensation in my body. But it’s just not anywhere near the dramatic story that I had.”
And the dramatic story is I hate my urges. They never go away. They’re impossible to resist. They’re terrible. Of course, I don’t want to experience an urge or craving. Like, we have this very dramatic story. And when you start to separate out what’s happening in your mind, from what’s happening in your body, you start to see; oh, these two things don’t line up. The story and the experience are not the same.
And this is such an incredibly powerful first step for people. That is like level one. And I can’t really, I can’t explain enough, how powerful that is. Because so often, what we’re telling ourselves, when we’re stuck drinking more than we want to, when we feel like we don’t have good control over whether or not we reach for another glass, or whether or not we open the bottle.
So often, what we’re telling ourselves is; oh, it’s just so tempting, I just can’t resist it. Once I start, I can’t stop. More is better, you know, I want more. And then, I just go for it. So, we have this kind of story of what is happening, this story about temptation and our favorite drink, and maybe how we have a compulsive personality, or someone who always thinks that more is better. We have that whole story.
And then, we have the story of; and saying no to my urges, it’s terrible. I hate it. It’s awful. I just sit there, and it feels miserable. And then, once you start doing the work, you have this third piece, you have what’s happening in your body, and it just doesn’t line up.
And so, that is the first place where your brain starts to be like; wait, what’s going on here? This isn’t making sense. What I thought was terrible and miserable… What I thought felt awful, is actually really not a big deal in my body? That’s weird. Okay.
So, that’s that first level work. But then, as people continue to go to the urge gym, we’re always going to the urge gym, right? We’re always kind of building our muscle, the muscle of our brain. I know it’s not really a muscle, guys, but you know what I mean?
As we’re doing that work, when we have that realization, it brings us to the second layer, that kind of second level piece. And that piece is okay, so if the urge really isn’t a big deal, then why am I still giving in? Why do I have a hard time saying no? And this is a place where you’re really going to create so much lasting change, when you are working on this piece of the puzzle.
Because I can’t even tell you… I just had a coaching call this morning. And I was coaching people on this, and they were saying; you know, the urge really isn’t a big deal. It’s just, it’s not that bad. You know, the sensations in my body, they’re not that big of a deal. So, what is going on? Why am I still giving in? Why am I still struggling when I feel temptation?
And that’s the piece where it is so powerful, so important, to really understand the think-feel-act cycle. Because invariably, what we will find, and it will look different for everyone, but invariably, what we will find now, is your kind of second level story about your desire.
And it might sound something like; I do all the work around here, and nobody appreciates me. And, all this work is so overwhelming. And, I feel totally stuck. But at least I get to have this reward. So, all of a sudden, you see that the habit, it’s not about alcohol, it’s not even about the urge.
All of a sudden, you start to see; wait, so the habit is connected to how I am feeling about everything on my to-do list. How I am feeling as a member of my family. Maybe I’m feeling like I’m not being appreciated. That’s maybe one person’s situation.
Another person might say, well, you know, the urge isn’t that bad. It’s not a big deal. But when my significant other asks me if I want to share a bottle of wine or go out for drinks, I just feel like, how am I going to connect? It’s going to be so much harder to connect with this person. And, I want to be able to connect with them. And so, you start to see then, the habit there is all about this piece around connection.
For someone else it might be you know, the urge is not that bad. But I just don’t want to feel deprived. I feel deprived in so many areas of my life. I feel like I never get a break. I never get what I want. I’m always trying to make other people happy. I’m always going along with other people’s desires. And, I don’t want to feel deprived anymore.
And so, all of a sudden, you see that the habit is not even about the deprivation when you say no to a drink, it’s about the greater deprivation that you feel in your life. And I can just go on and on, with more and more examples. It looks different for everyone.
It might be well, you know, the urge wasn’t that big of a deal. I noticed that. But if I said no, then I was going to stop having a good time. I was going to have to go home. The party was going to end. And all of a sudden, you see that the habit is connected to your ability to generate pleasure, and enjoyment, and fun.
And when you feel like saying no is putting a cap on that, well, then you’re going to reach for a drink. You’re going to reach for another unless you really start to unpack this kind of second level work. This is what I help so many people with. You’ve got to come in, do the work, the steps that we teach to really separate; okay, this is what’s happening in my mind. And, this is what’s happening in my body.
And you create that level of awareness, the awareness that; really, the urge is not that big of a deal. And then when you see that, when you’ve dismantled that story, now you get to get to the piece that really, to me, is like the foundation of the habit.
And that’s where most people never get, when your approach is willpower, or your approach is rules or restrictions. You’re just focused on saying no, right? Just no, no, no. More discipline, more willpower. That may work for a while. Certainly, I’ve tried that before. I’ve used that before. It works for a while; you might even get it to work for a fair amount of time.
I had a whole year, in my early 20’s, where I didn’t drink, purely through willpower, purely through discipline and restriction. And then, guess what happened? The habit was totally unchanged the entire time. Because I wasn’t actually working on that second level piece.
I was just working on saying no, using discipline, making restrictions, practicing isolation, practicing avoidance. I wasn’t actually getting to the piece that was the foundation of the habit. That’s what you have to dismantle. That’s how you create lasting change.
And this is the thing, that I think so often, is really why people start to understand their relationship with alcohol in a totally different way. Because it shifts from this thing of; oh, I just like to drink, it’s fun to drink. And this is my favorite thing. And I’m just a wine person, or I love craft cocktails.
Or, the story they have about themselves; I don’t know, I’m not very good at following through on my commitments. Or, I have an addictive personality. Or, you know, struggling with drugs and alcohol runs in my family. You start to shift away from all of that story. That story that, frankly, is really never going to do anything other than keep you stuck, and move to a place where you just get to change what’s really the root cause.
The root cause of why you are seeking a reward. Why you are seeking to feel differently. That, really, is the most powerful place to create change. Because if you can change from the root, well, then guess what? You can create lasting change for yourself.
But this urge piece, it really is so important. And I want you to think about that for yourself. I want you to think about first, you may be at the place where you have not yet been able to separate what’s happening in your mind, the story in your mind, from what’s happening in your body. That may be your first step.
You may have been listening to me for a while, and you realize it’s not that big of a deal. But you didn’t realize; oh, there’s this second piece of the puzzle. The part where I don’t want to say no, not because it’s so tempting. Not because I have an addictive personality. Not because it feels awful to say no. I don’t want to say no, because of this other thought and this other feeling.
Again, it can look totally different for different people. This is why I say all the time, we cannot change habits with a cookie cutter approach. Right? We cannot say this is a reason that everyone’s drinking, and this is a solution for everyone. No, we have to really look at everybody’s individual unique situation.
That’s what the think-feel-act cycle helps you do. When you start to break down the habit into its component parts, when you start to understand; listen, I never reach for a drink. I never put the wine bottle in my shopping cart. I never head to the liquor store.
I never take those actions without a thought and feeling, first. You start to understand the different components of the habit. And, there are layers to it. There’s that initial story of what you have about your, you know, relationship with alcohol and what you think about urges. And then there’s this other piece, this kind of second level piece, that’s so often hidden from most people.
And that’s really what I want to share with all of you, today. To understand, this is how you create lasting change. You create lasting change by working at; well, why do I feel like I need a reward? Why do I hate feeling deprived? Why do I believe the fun will end? Or, whatever it is for you.
That’s where your real work is. That’s what all of this work is leading up to. That’s why it’s so important to be able to sit with your urges and notice them, in a non-judgmental way, and notice how they feel in your body. But I just want to promise you, when you can do this, when you get to the place, and really it does not take long.
This is what also kind of blows people’s minds, that they will say; you know, I’ve been here for two weeks, inside the membership, and already my urges are not a big deal. Like, what? What is going on? It really doesn’t take a long time.
But when you get to this piece, you see exactly; oh, this is what I need to work on. This is how I’m going to create lasting change for me. This is what I need more of, or less of, in my life. This is how I need to start thinking differently. This is how I need to start responding to how I feel differently.
When you do that, you will transform your relationship with alcohol, always. Because you will have started from the foundation. You will have started from that place that creates lasting change. So, urge work it really is some of the most important work that you will ever do.
And if you are like; okay, how do I get started with this? I have a lot of podcasts that talk about urges and understanding them in a new way. But if you want to go to the gym, if you want to start doing the workout, which is what we all need to do, then please come inside the membership, and join me and I will help you with that.
All right everyone 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.