This series is exploring the new and healthier thoughts, feelings, coping mechanisms, and choices that sober living requires. This series includes three articles listing the habits and patterns to let go of in order to create healthier relationships with yourself and with others.
In the last article, Habits to Shed in Exchange for Sober Living (Part One), left off with letting go of negative self-talk. In this second article, we will begin with releasing self-limiting beliefs.
- Self-Limiting Beliefs – In order to let go of beliefs that limit your progress, prosperity, or growth, you need to become aware of them first. This is a little bit light finding a black thread in a dark room. How do you do this? Well, fortunately, your attention is sort of like a light. Just by placing your attention inward, you can begin to search. You can begin to investigate why you haven’t been able to publish that book or reach your desired income level or achieve the goals you’ve set for yourself. By asking yourself questions, by becoming exploring yourself, you can unearth those beliefs and transform them. Often, underneath addiction there is a belief in unworthiness and that keeps an addict within a cycle of self-harm. Part of getting sober is getting out of that cycle, which requires transforming unhealthy limiting beliefs like unworthiness.
- Complaining – Complaining about life goes right along with negative thinking and negative self-talk. When you’re thinking about your life in negative ways, it can be easy to think about the world in negative ways and complain about all that is going wrong. Releasing the need to complain is like finally letting go of a massive weight on your shoulders. Suddenly, rather than seeing what’s wrong you’re seeing opportunity and all that is possible for healing and transformation.
- Being Afraid of Life – There’s a saying among artists and writers that risk leads to liberty. It’s as though fear is the opposite of freedom. When fear, and it always exists in the mind first, is dropped, or at least ignored, you can move forward without letting fear get in your way. Sure, you might feel the fear, but you move ahead anyway. Sure, the fear will be in your mind and you might feel in your body, but you take those steps towards sobriety nonetheless.
- Obsessing About the Past – There are probably some valid reasons that one might obsess about the past. There might be experiences that were fearful, difficult to bear, or overwhelming. You might worry that a similar experience could happen again. An extreme form of this is known as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), a psychological disorder that can easily lead to drinking or drug use. Another reason to obsess about the past is if it was an easier, better, more enjoyable experience than the present. Perhaps you yearn for the way it was. In both of these cases, it might be difficult to let go. It might a challenge to stop yourself from thinking about what was. Although it might be difficult, accepting the circumstances of the present and recognizing the opportunities ahead can facilitate a life in sober living.
- Pleasing Others – This is a difficult one if you have trouble staying true to yourself. In fact, both of these might be at odds within. You might know what you want to do for yourself or what’s right but underneath there’s a feeling of not wanting to disappoint another. Along with not wanting create disappointment, you might secretly yearn for the acceptance and approval of others. Your behaviors and choices might then be driven by how others see you rather than being true to yourself. Letting go of what others think of you can be incredibly healing and freeing.
The last article in this series will complete this list with discussing the release of being critical, letting go of a resistance to change, and more.
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