EP #128

Another Hangover? Why Can't I EVER Learn?

alcoholic minimalist podcast

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In this episode of the “Alcohol Minimalist” podcast Molly shares various free resources available to support individuals on their journey, including the More Dry July Challenge and a new mini program called Just Start. She emphasizes the importance of self-compassion and offers insights into how self-compassion can be developed and practiced. Molly discusses the impact of societal conditioning, unrealistic standards, and lack of positive role models on the ability to cultivate self-compassion. She introduces the Behavior Map Results Cycle and highlights the significance of awareness, acceptance, and action in changing thought patterns and behaviors. The episode emphasizes the power of self-compassionate inner dialogue, the importance of seeking support from communities or coaches, and the value of healthier self-care practices. Molly encourages listeners to notice their negative self-talk, challenge it, and choose self-compassion instead.

Hey, it’s Molly from alcohol minimalist. What do you do in this October? I would love to have you join me in my more sober October challenge. What do I mean by more sober October, it simply means that we’re going to add in more alcohol free days than you currently been doing, whether that’s one or two or 31. It’s up to you, you get to set your own goal and that’s why it’s more sober October. You can check it out and learn more at get got sunnyside.co/molly It’s totally free. I’ve got prizes, I’m going to be going live every week to announce the prize winners. And it’s just going to be an awesome event. So I would love to have you join me. You can learn more at get.sunnyside.co/molly and you can get registered today. Welcome to the alcohol minimalist podcast. I’m your host Molly watts. If you want to change your drinking habits and create a peaceful relationship with alcohol, you’re in the right place. This podcast explores the strategies I use to overcome a lifetime of family alcohol abuse, more than 30 years of anxiety and worry about my own drinking, and what felt like an unbreakable daily drinking habit. Becoming an alcohol minimalist means removing excess alcohol from your life. So it doesn’t remove you from life. It means being able to take alcohol or leave it without feeling deprived. It means to live peacefully, being able to enjoy a glass of wine without feeling guilty and without needing to finish the bottle. With Science on our side will shatter your past patterns and eliminate your excuses. Changing your relationship with alcohol is possible. I’m here to help you do it. Let’s start now. Well, hello and welcome or welcome back to the alcohol minimalist podcast with me your host Molly Watts coming to you from well, my friends, it is still a glorious Oregon right now. It is absolutely stunning. I was just commenting to someone yesterday that sent I returned from Hawaii. And for those of you that are new around here, I went to Hawaii back at the end of April for just a short visit for like five days to Maui. And that really came because honestly we were my my husband and I were so done with the rain here in the Pacific Northwest. It was a really wet late winter, early spring and it was just on never stopped. It was really unpleasant really, really hard for for many Oregonians not just me. And then since then, though, since we’ve returned, honestly, last six weeks have been really pretty amazing. So if it could just be like this around Oregon all the time, I would be one happy camper. Of course, probably not gonna happen, at least not come fall. All right, a little bit of housekeeping. Are you aware of all the free resources that I have for you if you are seeking them in terms of a little extra support for creating this peaceful relationship of alcohol that you are looking for? First of all, you can always go to my website and pick up my free ebook. It’s called alcohol truths, how much is safe, and it’s always available go to www dot Molly watts.com Look for it either on the resources page or if it’s your first time visiting, you’ll get a nice pop up that you can sign up for it. So alcohol truth how much is safe, a great resource especially for digging into a little bit of the science behind alcohol and understanding how that impacts us. Another free resource and this one I’m super excited about is my more dry July challenge that I am doing in partnership with sunny side. This is really cool. If you have not already been using Sunnyside you can sign up today and get 60 days free with no credit card. That’s right. 60 days no credit card through my challenge. You go to get.sunnyside.co/molly. Again, that’s get.sunnyside.co/molly to sign up for the more dry July challenge. It doesn’t matter if you want to do it like I’m doing it. By the way. I think last week I said that I was doing 21 days. 21 days is a standard 31 day month for me this year because I’m doing 70% alcohol free in July. I’ll actually be doing 25 days so it’s more dry July and It doesn’t matter. You don’t have to do it exactly like I’m doing it but I really would love to have you do it with me and get this 60 days free from Sunnyside. I will link it in the show notes. But again, it is get.sunnyside.co/molly. So those are two free resources, some almost free resources. My ebook or my paperback ebook is inexpensive than paper books inexpensive. And within those books, there is actually a 30 day companion guide that helps you use if you implement if you’re a good self starter. If you’re a good self, you know self changer, then you would be well served by implementing things that you learn in the book with the 30 day companion guide, a nother almost free in my opinion, resource is my new mini program called just start. You may have heard me talk about over the last few weeks, my seven day quickstart guide, or if you heard it ahead of the podcast anyway, I recently converted that to a 30 day mini program, I’ll tell you why I was I got really great feedback actually on the quickstart guide. People were loving it. They were loving it so much they were disappointed when it ended at seven days. And I think that I was inadvertently fueling this instant gratification kind of quick fix mentality that so many people have. And I don’t want to do that. And so even though I mentioned throughout the marketing for it, that it wasn’t a silver bullet, it wasn’t a quick fix that it was just the beginning it was a start right. I decided to extend it into a 30 day Support Program mini program. It’s not one on one support, but there’s a lot of tools in it. And just Dart includes the audio version of my book, which is the only place that you can get the audio version by the way, you get 30 days of email support lessons, worksheets. And you also get special video training on my four s new belief system, which is new and not something you can find anywhere else. So it’s now called just start. And that stands for smart thinking and real tools to change your drinking habits. Thank you to my Facebook group for helping me get a working program name and helping me with the logo. Everybody in the Facebook group was was voting and it was awesome. This is a fantastic value 30 days of support for $36. It is an introductory price right now, but I highly encourage you to check it out. You can find it at Molly watts.com/start. Lastly, and this isn’t in the free or almost free category, but making peace with alcohol. My new full size program and community is launching this month. It’s absolutely happening. If you’ve been wanting to get involved in coaching with me, this is where you will have that opportunity. Only my members of making peace with alcohol, which includes all my former step one students have access to my one on one coaching calendar, and ongoing group coaching. There’s more details coming but I promise this will still be the very best value in coaching for changing your relationship with alcohol. All righty, on to this week’s show. Did the title of this episode in your feed catch your attention? I’ve called it another hangover. Why can’t I ever learn? Because I hear and read so many people’s words surrounding their missteps with alcohol. And the overriding theme is something like this. Why can’t I ever learn? And Lord knows if you’ve ever had a really bad hangover or Swarn you’ll never drink again, only to end up over drinking again. You’ve likely had this thought or some variation of it. When will I ever learn my lesson? Last week, we talked about how important changing the conversation with ourselves around small steps around tools like the doable drink plan is we talked about how thoughts like it’s not enough. Stop us right in our tracks when we’re actually on the right path towards sustainable change. And just as important as changing that conversation is changing this conversation around our missteps and our mistakes. It’s so important that in addition to the doable drink plan, I also teach in my community the Off Plan plan For me, this remains critically important because yes, even as the leader of the alcohol minimalists, I still have days where I drink more than I wanted to or drink when I wasn’t going to. And as I say, all the time, this work that I share a place applies to all areas of my life. So my mistakes, and my missteps often show up and happen in other places, too. Like, say, my diet. And this allows me the Off Plan plan allows me to practice the skills of compassion and curiosity, and helps me reflect and reset. And yes, I definitely still practice, I keep practicing. And I have to work hard on my thinking around my missteps, especially now because as a coach, my brain wants to throw on an added layer of crappy thinking, making it seem like, you know, the best coaches don’t make these kinds of mistakes anymore. Like somehow, if I admit that I’m not perfect all the time, then I’m not worthy of being a coach or a leader, which, of course, is total and complete nonsense. It’s not true. But my brain wants to throw that out sometimes. And just like all of you, I have to see those thoughts and challenge them. It’s an opportunity to practice self compassion, which still to this day is the hardest work I do. And I know I’m not alone there. Many of my coaching clients tell me the same thing. I was reminding my group coaching that the way we talk to ourselves mattered. And last, how it felt when they made a mistake, when they didn’t do what they believed they should do. And the response was, it feels terrible. Because I beat myself up over everything, I beat myself up with it. Interesting how that works, right? You feel terrible. Because of what you are making your mistakes. I mean, not the mistakes themselves. It’s the words that you use. It’s how you beat yourself up. It’s the sentences in your brain, which are your thoughts that cause you to feel terrible. Instead, as you’ve undoubtedly heard me mentioned before, we want to be choosing compassion and curiosity. And I use those terms compassion and curiosity a lot. But what do I exactly mean by compassion? I want to talk about that a little bit. Here’s the definition. Self Compassion involves treating ourselves with kindness, empathy, and understanding, especially when we face difficulties or setbacks. Instead of berating ourselves for our perceived shortcomings. Self Compassion offers a gentle and supportive approach. By embracing self compassion, we shift from self criticism to self care, creating an environment of acceptance and love within ourselves. All right, I liked that definition. And here’s the rub. I think the reason that many of us struggle with this idea of self compassion, it’s because it feels like we’re somehow allowing mistakes to keep happening. Like we are giving ourselves permission to screw up somehow. When I talk about the Off Plan plan, I literally say it’s because I know there will be missteps and mistakes and people don’t like that. They don’t like having to plan ahead for screwing up. And they do wonder if subconsciously, it’s been going to make it okay to make mistakes, since we’re going to be compassionate and curious, right? It’s like implied consent. Now, I’ll just ask you this, right? In all the times you’ve tried to change your drinking in the past has beating yourself up ever worked? Has it ever kept you from over drinking again? Well, here’s the thought. Why can’t I ever learn my lesson ever created anything except feelings of disappointment, self loathing and regret, which are feelings that many people want to numb away? And if you’ve built a habit around alcohol, it’s a self fulfilling cycle that just keeps going. You all know I’m a science girl and that is why I am so proud of my partnership with Sunnyside. Sunnyside has great data based on their user experience and they also have great science techniques behind what drives the program in the first place. Users of Sunnyside in their first 30 days experience on average a 29% reduction in drinks, they avoid 1500 calories and they’ve saved over $50 each month. This is because there is science behind the program Sunnyside helps you reach your goals and stick with them long term by focusing on three scientifically proven superpowers. One is pre commitment, you intentionally make a plan ahead of time and we talk about making a plan all the time here on the podcast. Number two is conscious interference. And you’ll learn that the habit of tracking each drink helps you decide about it. Number three is positivity. We know this is not easy sometimes right? And we all need a little boost. I tried to be a boost and Sunnyside is a great boost via text message or email to keep you motivated. So if you haven’t already checked it out, I invite you www.sunnyside.co/molly To get started on a free 15 day trial today. Here’s why self compassion actually works. Here’s why you want to choose it, and why having the Off Plan plan helps to build that practice. These are three things that self compassion does. Number one, self compassion reduces shame and resistance. And it allows us to experience these moments of disappointment without the extra judgment without the drama. We acknowledge the experience without the shame that often leads to resistance and giving up. Number two, self compassion teaches us to embrace imperfection, I need to work on that right embracing imperfection. sustainable change is filled with ups and downs. And that is the truth of it. Being able to recognize our humanity, accept those imperfections and see our missteps as opportunities for growth is truly the gift of self compassion. Number three self compassion actually nurtures if you can understand this, this is what I love. It actually nurtures our intrinsic motivation. By talking to ourselves with supportive, compassionate inner dialogue, we actually increase our desire for positive change. And that desire comes from a place of self care, not self criticism. If we use the right sentences in our brain, it fuels a feeling of motivation. Thoughts, lead to our feelings, which dictate our actions which create the results that we have in our lives. What sounds good, right? Sounds like it shouldn’t be all that hard. So why do we struggle with it? Here are three reasons that I believe happen. So first of all, society, there’s cultural and societal conditioning that happens from an early age, we are exposed to these messages that emphasize achievement, perfectionism and self criticism, honestly, right? It’s kind of in vogue to be critical of yourself. These external influences often instill in us the belief that self compassion is self indulgent, that it’s a sign of weakness, and the pressure to meet unrealistic standards, and the fear of being judged by others can really put up walls around us for ourselves to practice self compassion. Number two reason why it’s hard for us. We we have a fear of vulnerability, right? Practicing self compassion requires vulnerability. And it’s a willingness to acknowledge and embrace our own flaws and our imperfections and our own pain. And for many people, this vulnerability is extremely uncomfortable. And it can evoke feelings of inadequacy and like you’re not measuring up, right? Comparison is the thief of joy. So don’t do it. But feeling inadequate and feeling vulnerable, is one of the reasons that people are reluctant to be compassionate towards themselves. Number three, and this is probably really important for my fellow adult children of alcoholics, you’ve had a lack of role models or guidance in this area, right. Growing up, we may not have witnessed or received a real role model in terms of how to cultivate self compassion. I know I didn’t. And if we haven’t had a positive role model or mentors who showed us how to be self compassionate, it can be challenging to know where to begin to build this very critical skill. That is why learning what I’ve learned with the behavior map results cycle has been so powerful for me, and why ongoing coaching has been really important for me to help me continue To build the skill of self compassion, and helping people develop this skill of self compassion is something that I work on all the time within my own coaching programs, and within the alcohol, minimalist private Facebook group. And yes, if you haven’t already joined, I highly encourage you. Because as I mentioned last week, it’s more than just a gathering spot of people who are sharing their experiences. While that is absolutely true, and people jump in and support each other. I actually spend time coaching in there as well. And here’s three things that I think that are basic when it comes to developing a practice of self compassion. And I think I guess I’m big on number three this week, right? I’ve said three, three, got lots of threes going on. First, number one, we just have to become aware of our patterns of self criticism. As one of the coaches I listen to all the time says, You got to stop talking to yourself like an ass, I got to now make this a not a safe podcast, or whatever it is, I can’t remember the terminology anyways, don’t talk to yourself like an ass. Okay. And I mentioned my forest new belief system. So evidently, it’s not just a three week, it’s a four week too. But regardless, it’s part of just start edits, where I teach you some tactics of this awareness, and including the first S which is C, get it see, Sae, we have to see our thinking. And this is why I talk about our beautiful, brilliant human brains because we are capable of seeing our own thoughts. It’s a uniquely human trait called metacognition. And metacognition is a part of the prefrontal cortex. It’s a part of the higher order of cognitive processes that we have that allow us to think about our own thinking. And it allows us to step back and observe our thoughts. It allows us to look at it with a perspective of a scientific observer with curiosity, and becoming aware of our thinking, our patterns, our biases, our motivations, we can gain insight into our own behavior, and we can change it, right. So the first S is C, and that’s a part of my forest, new belief system. Number two, back to the three things that are the basics of self compassion, number two is practicing self kindness, you need to, I have a sweatshirt that I got recently, and I love it, the main message at the top says humankind, and underneath it, it says be both humankind be both, we need to treat ourselves with the same kindness and understanding that we would extend to a friend, we need to engage in soothing activities, we need to practice positive self talk. And it doesn’t have to be, you know, all sorts of positive affirmations. And some of those things never, I don’t like a lot of you know, lollipops and unicorns talking for myself. But what I do like is to remind myself not to be negative, and to actually look for something positive in what I’m doing. And even if it’s the smallest thing, and we also just have to prioritize self care. That means and I know that’s, you know, again, kind of cliched these days. But it’s important in the realm of not of changing your relationship with alcohol, especially because if we’re not able to find other ways to self soothe ourselves, because there’s going to be times when doing thought work is just beyond you, you’re just, you know, too overwhelmed, you’re going to have to just meet your immediate needs and things like taking a bath, taking a walk, or using reading a book or watching a movie, these are things that we can do to help our brains kind of chill out for a little bit. Right. And they’re, they’re healthier ways of self care, yoga, meditation, lots of different tools. Number three of the three so there’s still three, remember, there’s three basics of self compassion. And the last one is seek support. Surround yourself with a supportive community or seek guidance from a coach or even a therapist if that if that is what you’re in need of who can provide tools and insights to help cultivate self compassion. I think that helping people break free from the habit of negative self talk and beating themselves up is probably one of the best things I get to do as a coach. I was talking to one of my longest ongoing coaching clients last week. And let me just say that she’s gone through a lot this year. And through it all. We keep working on choosing thoughts that serve her well. Recognizing the old self limiting beliefs and how those thoughts create different feelings. And even though she knows the tools intellectually, sometimes, we just need someone on the outside we need a boost, who can remind us of other perspectives and of other possibilities. And pm NPS that doesn’t have to be a paid coaching program. It can be or it could be just joining a community like my private Facebook group. Again, this isn’t the plug for for my coaching, it’s just a plug for getting support and getting some coaching, whether that is through a therapist or through a group. All right, my friends, what are you going to take away from this week’s episode? Can you commit to seeing your thoughts, especially the negative self critical ones? Can you notice when you think those thoughts like, why can’t I ever learn my lesson? Can you notice them and ask yourself? How does that make you feel? Can you ask yourself what could I think instead? If I wanted to practice some self compassion? How would the version of me who doesn’t want to keep showing up the same way I always have talked to myself right now? No more talking to myself like an A S S. Let’s do that, shall we? Until next time, my friends choose peace. Thank you for listening to the alcohol minimalist podcast. This podcast is dedicated to helping you change your drinking habits and to create a peaceful relationship with alcohol. Use something you learned in today’s episode and apply it to your life this week. Transformation is possible. You have the power to change your relationship with alcohol. Now, for more information, please visit me at www dot Molly watts.com