You are listening to the Drink Less Lifestyle Podcast with Dr. Sherry Price, episode number 39.
Welcome to Drink Less Lifestyle, a podcast for successful women who want to change their relationship with alcohol. If you want to drink less, feel healthier and start loving life again you’re in the right place. Please remember that the information in this podcast does not constitute medical advice. Now, here’s your host, Dr. Sherry Price.
Well, hello there my friends. How’s everyone doing? I hope you are having a great week.
So today we are going to talk about the topic of worry. This is something that I think can benefit anyone because we have a tendency in our society to worry a lot so much so that we know that worry and worrying more, and worrying more, and worrying more just turns into what we call anxiety. And we notice that anxiety has been terribly on the rise in the last year particularly. So we get good at everything we practice. The more we practice something the better we get at it.
And I think some of us really want to stop practicing getting good at worrying. Would you agree? So today I just really want to focus on why it is that we worry, why our brain thinks it’s so important to do so. And really some strategies around doing it less because here’s what I’m always about, how to make our lives better because making our lives better is a worthwhile goal. It’s a worthwhile pursuit.
So if we find things that are getting in the way of making our lives better wouldn’t we want to know that and empower ourselves so we don’t do that, so we actually get the life that we want? I’m all for that. I’m all for learning how to improve our experience of our life, go after what we want. And stop doing things that take away from it. And that’s how I feel about worry. So when we define worry it’s about giving way to anxiety or unease. And it’s defined as allowing one’s mind to dwell on difficulty or troubles.
And I love this definition because it says allowing one’s mind, meaning you have control over your mind. That’s what we’re always talking about in the Drink Less Lifestyle is you have power over your mind. And what you allow it do, where you allow it to dwell will then turn into the actions you take in your life. It’s that whole think, feel, act cycle. So worry becomes this state of uncertainty over actual problems and potential problems.
So that’s really interesting, that the mind likes to get in this habit of worrying, where it starts to worry about potential problems. And that’s really interesting because they’re not quite problems yet but we create them in our mind and then we dwell on these potential problems.
If I was to worry about my daughter’s future, who she’s going to marry, if she’s going to go to college, all of that, I’m creating a story in my mind that might not actually turn out to be that way. I mean who knows, maybe college isn’t the thing once she even gets there, maybe there’s another route to get educated or to enter the workforce. Or maybe she doesn’t want that path.
So, me worrying about that is taking away from the present moment. And I’m creating problems in my mind. Why would I do that? That doesn’t serve me now and it doesn’t prepare me for what actually is to come because who knows what’s to come? It’s our projection of the future. And I’ll tell you, your mind is not very good at projecting the future. But why the mind likes to do it is because it doesn’t really enjoy uncertainty. And I think there is beauty in uncertainty. I think when your mind can see that uncertainty is a wonderful thing, that is fun.
Now, we don’t want to be uncertain about everything. And I do like to create certainty around things. So when you create certainty around things that means you know what you can control and then that’s what becomes certain. And that to me is very rewarding. So I bring up worry because in my Drink Less Lifestyle coaching program this comes up a lot. Women worry about their drinking.
And I’ll just share with you some of the worries that we’re talking about in the program right now. Worries that if I stop drinking maybe I’ll put on weight because I notice when I drink I lose my appetite. It’s a way to control my weight. Or I worry that if I just have one or two, I won’t be able to stop. I’ll always want three and four and more. And here’s another one that comes up, once I stop working with you I worry I’ll go back to my old ways.
Some others that are coming up, I worry I can’t get to my goal. I worry that I won’t enjoy my life with less alcohol. I had a lot of these worries too. And here’s the thing, you probably have worries about your drinking and that’s probably why you’re listening to this podcast. Some people keep emailing me and I’m worried, I want to do your program but I’m worried I won’t do the work. I’m worried I won’t show up for myself. I’m worried I won’t get the result. I’m worried I won’t be successful.
So I just want to show you that when you have these thoughts, when these come into your mind, what happens? You don’t move forward. You don’t take the action to actually get the result that you want. And this is why I think worry sabotages our dreams. Worry is a dream crusher. We worry, we worry, we worry, so what happens is we dwell, we feel uneasy, we feel anxiety. And from that space what do we do? What actions do we take? We don’t take the actions necessary to get to the goal. We keep making excuses for why we can’t get to our goal.
Do you see how the worry creates more worry and creates more thoughts about worrying and keeps preventing you from getting to your goal? Now let’s just look at getting to your goal. Maybe that is drinking less. Maybe that is not drinking at all. Maybe that’s I could be in control of my drinking. Any of those, I want to tell you are absolutely true.
I believe 100% that any woman can create the relationship with alcohol that she wants. If she wants to stop she can absolutely do that. If she wants to drink less she can absolutely do that. If she wants to just have one or two occasionally, she can definitely do that. Why do I believe that? Because I’ve seen it over, and over, and over in the women that I work with, why don’t you believe that? It’s because you’re conditioning your brain to keep worrying about your drinking and I did that too. I worried about my drinking for 10+ years.
The only reason you’re not getting it done is because worry is blocking you from actually doing the steps you should be doing or taking the steps you should be taking. And here’s the thing, I didn’t know what steps I should be taking. I thought it was an alcohol problem so I put rules around alcohol. I said, “It’s all about the alcohol. It’s a drinking thing.” And I was wrong. And because I couldn’t figure it out, guess what? I hired a coach to help me.
A coach is nothing more than somebody who helps you achieve something you can’t do on your own. So if I wanted to get better at playing tennis, guess what? I would get a tennis coach. If my daughter needed to get better at math, what would we do? We would hire a tutor, somebody who has the math skills who can coach her and teach her how to get better at math.
And that’s exactly what I realized is oh my gosh, I do not have the skill to control my drinking, let me get a coach who can help me do that because that’s where I want to be. That’s my goal. And that’s why I hired my coach because when I got radically honest with myself I noticed that I proved to myself over, and over, and over again that I couldn’t get to where I wanted to go. I kept trying but nothing seemed to be working. I kept wasting more and more of my time and being in a life and being a woman that I didn’t want to be.
I wanted to show up differently, I wanted different skills and tools. I wanted a different relationship with alcohol. So I hired my coach. And guess what? The first time I worked with her I got dramatic results. I decreased my drinking by 75%. I went from drinking roughly 42 to 47 drinks a week and I got back down to about 10 to 12 drinks a week. That felt amazing. A 75% reduction was amazing. And I was able to sustain it because I learned skills and tools to be in control of my drinking. That’s the woman I wanted to be.
Now, here’s the thing, I actually did her program twice. So I invested again in the program that I knew would help me. You know how I knew it would help me? Because it helped me in the past and now I had a different goal. And I wanted more results. And guess what? I got them. I found the strategy that worked, signed up again to get further results, boom, got exactly what I wanted.
Now, what some people say is, “I only got 75% of the way there. I didn’t get all the way there.” But here’s the thing. It’s working. You’re getting the results that you want. And then your brain wants to criticize those results because your brain wants to now set a higher bar. And I’m all for setting a higher bar. But why do we discount the progress we’ve made? What that tells me is that maybe we just need a longer time period. Maybe we have just advanced in the moving the goal. Maybe we just want to increase now what we want from our life.
And here’s the thing, when something works, wouldn’t you want to do it again? Doesn’t that just make sense? So for me I knew the path worked. And I’m like, “Yes, I’m ready to up-level my life again. I’m willing to invest in myself and this is the program that’s going to help me get there. And it was even more fun the second time because I had less mental drama, if it was going to work or not. I had less worry. I knew I was going to learn more skills. I knew that the skills I had I could take deeper. It’s like I can hone the current skills I was doing even better.
Just think of any sports athlete, they don’t fire their coaches. They keep working with them, and keep working with them because they keep wanting to improve their performance. And as you improve your performance you know what happens? You become more clear about who you are and where you want to go. At first I was just happy to get a 75% reduction in my drinking. I thought that was amazing. But then I wanted to up my skill level. And because she was able to help me in the past I knew she was the exact coach for me to help me to go forward to get more.
And that’s why the women I work with, they come back and work with me again in my alumni group. They see that they’ve got so much success the first time around, they come back and they say, “I want to keep getting more success. I’m at a different place in my life and now I want to get to even better results.” They see that it works and now they just want some more of that. And they need some more time to get there because nothing kills a dream by thinking you have to get there overnight.
If there is this finite time period that you need to get there in, no, that’s not how life works. We get there when we get there by putting in the work that we need to do. And here’s the truth. I was only willing to do so much the first time around. I was only willing to put in a certain amount of work. And I was only willing to get a certain result. But then when my mind started to see what was possible, when my mind started to see oh my gosh, this isn’t as hard as I thought. I wanted more because my life felt so good.
And that’s often a barrier of what I find with women is that they’ll get some success and because it wasn’t total success they start giving up on that some success. And that is definitely the wrong way to look at it. If you’re getting some success that means the path is working. But we have this all or nothing mentality. I either lose 20 pounds or I don’t even want to lose two pounds. That’s exactly what the brain will say.
I have a client in my program now, she’s lost 10 pounds and she wants to lose 10 more. And when we talk about it I notice her brain is in the right space. And she’s like, “I can’t wait to get down 10 more pounds.” She’s excited by her success whereas some of us beat ourselves up with our success. And we start to discount our progress. Why do we do that? Because of worry, worry comes in and says, “I don’t know if you can achieve the next 10 pounds.”
Worry comes in and says, “I don’t think you can achieve a lesser drink count. I don’t think you can really control your drinking more.” It’s like your brain giving up on itself, it’s like you can’t make future progress. Why do we allow our brains to think that way when it’s absolutely not true? We can always get progress. We see it all the time. But yet when it comes to ourselves, our brain likes to discount it. Our brain likes to sit in the worry. And here’s what I like to just question, please tell me what the upside of worry is. Why do we think we need to worry?
And here’s why I think the brain likes to worry. It’s because it thinks that if it thinks about things ahead of time that somehow it’s protecting us. That somehow the brain can predict the future. That thinking about it longer we will take more action or that thinking about it more makes us smarter. And I don’t think any of that is truthful. I think we think about it and mull over things because of fear of taking the action, we worry. We worry we’re not going to get the result. We worry that it’s not going to work.
We worry that we won’t get closer to our dreams, so guess what? We don’t take action to get closer to our dreams. This is exactly that think, feel, act cycle in play, how we think about things. We’re worried we won’t get the success. That creates self-doubt. That creates worry. That creates fear. And then from this place of feeling, this feel, what action do we take? Nothing productive to get us closer to the actual goal we want.
And when I coach my clients they see it. They say, “I see how I’m self-sabotaging.” And we laugh because it’s actually funny when you can identify what exactly is blocking you from getting your success. And it’s a big sigh of relief because when we spin in worry then the brain just goes to I don’t know what will work. I don’t know how to help this problem. I guess I’ll just have to stay in this problem.
And when a good coach can point this out for you, you can see it differently and you get your aha moment. And that’s what starts transforming you to take the action you want to be taking. It allows you to see how you’re hurting and what the obstacle is and how to overcome it. And isn’t that what we all want, is to overcome the obstacles and get what we want?
So what I want to offer to you is that this is just a skill you can learn how to do, identify the obstacles, learn how to get over it so that you can get to the life you want, the goal you want. And when you learn this skill the beauty is you can apply it to any area of your life. This is why I love coaching so much. And this is why my clients love working with me and continue on in my programs, because they see the effect this has on their lives. And their lives get better, who doesn’t want that?
We’re not just working on drinking, actually that’s such a small fraction of what we do inside Drink Less Lifestyle. We are working on getting the life you want, making it better; having you love it, because when you love your life you know what happens? You don’t want to drink so much. Now, many people will say, “I love my life.” Really? And then when we boil down into the details, this is annoying, this is frustrating, wish this was different.
It’s easy to gloss over a good life and I see so many women do that. I have it so good. And so they tolerate this decent life when they know they want a better life. But somehow we tell ourselves we should just be happy with this decent life. And it’s not being unhappy with it. I’m not saying to be unhappy with it. I’m just saying not to use that as a reason not to go for a better life. Because when you love your life you don’t even think about drinking so much, it becomes irrelevant to your happiness. It’s unimportant to you. And that’s the beauty of doing this inner work, my friends.
It brings you so much more joy that you’re not even capable of experiencing right now, because I will tell you, overdrinking robs you of joy. You may not see it. You may not believe it but you know it because the next day what is your body telling you? That was too much. But your in the moment brain says, “This feels so good.”
And as I talked about before, it’s fake joy, it’s not real joy. It’s covering up the pain and things that are hurting or not feeling good to you inside. And we ignore that because we think we should just love our decent life. Everything looks good on paper, it must be fine. And if it’s not, it’s not, let’s just explore why not. A lot of times we’re afraid to look at why not because we’re worried we will accentuate the negative. But I will tell you if you worry, it just delays getting to your goal. Worry changes your thoughts about yourself and your ability to achieve what you want.
I should just be happy with this life, I shouldn’t want another life. I shouldn’t want a better life. All that shoulding tells you, you’re trapped in fear and worry. And guess what? That creates a pattern in your brain, a feedback loop if you will, that won’t support you getting to your goal of what you want. It tells you, you should be happy right here. This is as good as it gets. How does that feel? And then it starts making you think other unhelpful thoughts like I won’t be able to get what I want, I guess I don’t deserve more. And I guess that is as good as it gets. I guess this is the pinnacle.
So from this space I just want you to see, it is helpful to think this way? Does it feel good in your body? If it does, great, keep it, if it doesn’t, let’s start shedding it. Why keep it around if it’s not serving you in the highest way possible? So that’s why I want you to consider and encourage you to do a worry free diet. Put stuff on the worry free list. Or maybe you’ll call it a worry fast. Maybe you go on a worry fast, or you take a break from worrying about things. I’ll tell you, this is a skill I help the ladies in my program develop and it’s fabulous.
Just imagine freeing yourself from this emotional drain, this mental drain of worrying, because if you can train yourself to spend less time in worry guess what will happen? You will actually start taking action towards your goals, getting the life you want and you will achieve it faster. It accelerates your progress. And when you see success, guess what happens? You get motivated. You see that taking this action is what causes you to get more motivated. It’s not the other way around.
A lot of us sit around waiting for motivation to just come upon us. But it’s taking that first step. It’s taking action towards what you want that creates the motivation. Action always precedes motivation. But here’s the thing, we think we should want to take the first step. We think that taking the first step should be the easy part, that we should want it, that we should go after it. And that shoulding comes from a place of lack. That comes from a place of worry and fret that you won’t get it.
And what I’ll tell you is oftentimes the first step is the hardest. I see this a lot with the women I talk to. They call me, we chat about their drinking problem and then they’re like, “I just don’t know if I can invest in this because I just don’t know if I can achieve the result.” Taking that first step is so difficult. I get it, I had been there. And here’s what happens when we don’t take the first step. We sit in our worry, it becomes fret, we feel dread, we stew, and we keep burning all this emotional and mental energy that it drains us, it wears us out, we feel depleted.
And what fills us up is the only joy I get is from the glass or the bottle. And the brain will start to learn that’s your reward. This is as good as it’s going to get. This is your reward. So just notice the actions. If you’re stewing, and ruminating, and have all this negative self-talk in your head, or you keep thinking about the same thing over and over, how does that feel? My guess is that it doesn’t feel good because worry begets more worry. You get good at being a worrier. We all know people in our lives, that’s all they do is they just worry all the time.
And if it was helpful I’d say go out there and be a worrywart, rub the magic stone, carry your magic key chains, do all the things to prevent worry. But worry doesn’t serve us. It robs us of the present moment. But here’s the thing, the brain will think worry’s important. It’ll prevent me from taking and making an inaccurate choice. Will it? I think it just creates an action. And then you worry and worry some more and then that turns into self-doubt. You don’t know what action to take.
You think you can’t achieve it. You think your goal is unattainable. And that turns into low level thinking my friends. I do not want to dabble in low level thinking anymore. It doesn’t serve me. It doesn’t give me the relationships I want. It doesn’t create the lifestyle I want. And if it comes into my life you know what happens? I show it the door. I’m about a big bold life that I want. I want to live my life with purpose on purpose because here is the thing, it’s my life.
You’re not going to agree with every decision in my life, neither will my husband, neither will my parents neither will my daughter and that is okay because guess what? It’s my life. I have big dreams. I have big goals. I love that. It fuels me. My soul is on fire for women so they can change their relationship with alcohol. They can see themselves differently. They can see themselves as this powerful woman who can do what she wants. She can create the relationships around alcohol or anything else in her life that’s meaningful and powerful in the way she shows up in this world.
There is nothing more that lights me on fire than this. And there is not one woman I will meet that I’ll tell her she can’t have her dreams. I will not let her settle for less. I will not let her discount her progress. I will not let her give up on her because the best coaches don’t give up on their clients. I will show your brain how to see it differently. I will show your brain how to believe in you when you don’t. I will show your brain how to take the action you want to take because I’ve learned not to worry.
I’ve learned to go on a worry free diet in many areas of my life and I still work on it. I still work on it today. In fact I was just sharing with some of the women in one of my programs that I bought my first designer handbag. My mind had so much drama and so much worry over buying this handbag. And it told me all these stories. I had all these thoughts going through my mind. What would people say about me carrying a designer handbag? What will people think of me now that I have this designer handbag?
Or my brain would also tell me, this is a terrible way to spend money. There’s people starving. There’s charities you could give to. You should invest this money in your retirement account. I also worried that if I bought it I’d fall out of love with it and regret my purchase. I had that buyer’s remorse. I worried that it wasn’t a smart financial decision to make this purchase. I worried because my husband was laid off from his job months ago and we don’t have this second income.
I worried that now is not the right time to be spending money on this handbag. But guess what? I did the worry work. I did the work I teach my clients to do in my program. It’s the work you do when you spin, and spin, and spin and worry because from that place you can’t make a decision. And what only happens is you stay in indecision. But I did the work and I cut right through my worry. I was able to make a powerful decision. I was able to put my handbag purchase on my worry free list.
I removed the worry from the decision. And once I did that I was able to make a decision from a place of non-worry. I was able to see it differently. And when you make a decision from a place of non-worry you get certainty. I was able to break free from the mental bondage I was putting on myself. So guess what? I bought this gorgeous handbag. I absolutely love it. It is so beautiful. It’s like a work of art to me. I just love looking at it. And guess what? I am a handbag girl, I always have been. I love that about me. I love handbags, not just designer ones but I love designer ones too.
I love even getting my picture taken with handbags. I love handbags. And as I look back in time I notice I have always had a passion for handbags. So I go back to the days of thinking about when this handbag passion first started. And I think about the times I was in middle school, I remember buying this pink handbag that went with my pink shirt, and then went with my Jordache jeans, and then my pink Velcro Jordache sneakers.
I buy a yellow handbag to go with my yellow tops and my neon outfits because neon was popular back then. And I had a light blue bag that went with my light blue shirt and my blue acid wash jeans and my blue and green Swatch watch and my Benetton backpack. I have always been a girl that loves fashion. And I loved dressing up. I was a fashionista even in my earlier days. It was so fun to me, it brought me joy. And here’s the thing, that’s what worry robs us from.
Too much worrying robs us from the joy and experiencing the life we have now, enjoying who you are now, enjoying what lights you up. I don’t want to keep myself in a place of mental bondage with excess worry. To me there’s no upside to it. My brain cannot predict the future. Worry pretends to be necessary. Worry pretends that it protects us from making the wrong decision. But we have no way of knowing the future. We have no way of knowing if the decision we make is the right one. It’s all a guesstimate.
I have no way of knowing if I went to the right college. I have no way of knowing if I chose the right career. I made a decision and then I chose to be happy with the decision. I made the decision that felt right to me in the moment.
And here’s the thing, the more you worry the more you try worrying thinking that’s going to solve the problem, but it just takes us further away from solving the problem. It takes us further away from our goals and our dreams. And it robs us of the joy of the present moment because the present moment is the only moment we can control and experience. So worry to me deprives me of what I truly want. It deprives me of going after what I truly want.
What comes up for you if you were to drop the worry? What would you go after? What would you change? What would you do? Can you put some things on the worry free diet? Can you put some things on the worry free list? Are you ready to put your drinking on the worry free list? For me after a decade of worrying about it, I wanted to take action. I wasn’t taking the right action. I didn’t know the right action to take. I didn’t know I needed skills. I didn’t know I needed tools. I was told, “Just avoid it.”
I had learned that abstinence was the only way but that didn’t feel good to me. That’s not the life I wanted. So I wanted to go after what I wanted. And I wanted to control alcohol and my drinking in a way that serves me. To me, counting days didn’t serve me. It didn’t feel good. It didn’t feel good even if I was counting them and they were going up because that’s not the relationship I wanted to build with alcohol. I didn’t want to think about it more. I wanted to think about it less.
I didn’t want to think I should never ever have it and never ever be able to enjoy it again. That felt miserable to me. That didn’t feel like freedom. I wanted to develop the skills of not worrying about it and having a drink here and there if I wanted it and to enjoy it and have peace around it. And because I wanted that I found a way to get it and I learned how to do it. I didn’t let my worry stop me. I was done worrying about it. I wanted it on the worry free list.
And if you want this for you I can help you get it inside the Drink Less Lifestyle program. It’s amazing when you don’t worry about your drinking anymore. You free yourself up from all the mental drain, the emotional drain and the exhaustion that even alcohol even produces. And you give yourself the gift of peace, freedom and control. And then your mind can think about getting the other things in life you really want. That’s what we focus on, getting the life you want.
And here’s the thing, you won’t regret it. There’s no buyer’s remorse on this my friends because the worry dissolves when you love your life.
Alright my friends have an amazing week and I’ll see you next time.
Thanks for listening to Drink Less Lifestyle. If you’re ready to change your relationship with drinking now check out the free guide, How to Effectively Break the Overdrinking Habit at sherryprice.com/startnow. See you next week.