Ep #144: Changing Any Habit: We’re Better Together

By: Dr. Sherry Price

Drink Less Lifestyle with Dr. Sherry Price | Changing Any Habit: We’re Better Together

Have you tried over and over again to do something, but ultimately, you haven’t achieved what you want?

How does it make you feel when you can’t make the change you so deeply desire?

This experience brings up emotions that are way beyond disappointment or defeat. It brings up feelings of shame.

Shame is poison for your mental health, your emotional health, and your physical health.

However, there is a solution.

You don’t need to figure it out all on your own.

The truth is, we are better together, in community.

This is the final piece in the process of becoming someone who can take it or leave it around alcohol, food, spending, or anything in your life that you don’t have full control over and you’re ready to change.

Tune in this week to discover why we’re better together, the magic of connection, and my proven process for helping you create any change you want to see in your life.

Are you a woman wanting to step into your power, drink less, and live a happier, healthier life? If so, join me inside EpicYOU! You’ll learn exactly how to become a woman who can take it or leave it with her drinking (and emotional eating). Click here to join.

 

What You’ll Learn in this Episode:

  • How you might be thinking of yourself as a failure when it’s really the process that’s the problem.
  • Why having a “bad” habit doesn’t have to be a terrible thing, and certainly shouldn’t cause shame.
  • How working on changing your habits in community is the secret to creating real change in your life.

 

Featured on the Show:

 

Full Episode Transcript:

You are listening to the Drink Less Lifestyle podcast with Dr. Sherry Price, episode number 144.

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 my beautiful friend, welcome back to the podcast. I’m so excited you are here. So today I want to talk about the last part of the PDF that I have on my website. It’s called The Five Steps to Become Someone Who Can Take It or Leave It. And if you’ve been listening along and been following along you know that we just finished up step four. And so now we’re heading into the final step and I love this step. This step is that we are better together.

And so as I start out this podcast I just want to ask you to go back to a time in your life and maybe you’re there now, maybe you’re not. But have you tried to do something over and over and over and over and over and over again and every time you try you get some success but ultimately you never get to what you want to achieve? So you get up and you try and you try and you try again and you keep trying possibly the same things to get what you want, to get that end result.

Now, what happens when you don’t achieve it and you’ve tried what feels like so many times or for so many years, what happens? You may think that what happens is I’m just so disappointed. And I would say that you’re just surface level thinking about that question. I mean I really want you to go into the feeling of when you try so many times. It’s so hard to get something and you keep trying and you keep thinking about it and you keep ruminating about it and you keep thinking about it.

And you’re like, “I’m not getting it, I’m not getting it, what’s going on?” It’s way worse than disappointment. It’s way worse than defeat. It’s way worse than those and I consider it poison. And that is, it’s shame. Now, if you look up the definition of shame it’s defined as a painful feeling of humiliation or embarrassment or distress caused by the consciousness of wrong or foolish behavior. Now, there are different experts out there that have further talked about the definition of shame.

But what I want to point out from just this Webster definition is that painful feeling and how it also says it’s a form of distress. So shame is a form of stress on your body. And this is why I call shame, poisoned. It is poison for your mental health. It is poison for your emotional health, that painful feeling, humiliation, embarrassment. And quite honestly, shame is poison for your soul because if you’ve experienced shame we know that it robs you of a life of joy. You cannot feel shame and joyful at the same time.

Shame takes the wind out of your sails and the zest out of your life. It is poisonous. And here’s what the research shows when you have shame. When somebody is experiencing shame, most often they don’t reach out, they don’t seek help and they isolate. They suffer in silence. And what a lot of people do is they continue to think of themselves as a failure. Not the process that they’ve tried has failed them, but that they themselves are a failure and will never figure something out.

So they internalize this as being a bad person or they can’t figure this out and what is wrong with them. They can’t figure out this drinking thing. They don’t know how to drink less or maybe they can’t give up the bottle totally and they want to be somebody who just cuts out alcohol out of their lives. Or maybe they want to be somebody who loses some weight and maybe as they go into midlife and beyond,  they notice that they can’t lose that belly fat because of the hormonal changes women experience.

And then they often don’t know the right process to get the weight off. So they continue to try the same process, not blaming the process but blaming themselves. And this shame leads to an immense suffering, immense suffering. It affects your mental health, your emotional health and your physical wellbeing. Shame is a form of suffering. Now, we know in this life that we are guaranteed to experience pain but suffering is optional. And suffering is what we do to ourselves when we constantly ruminate on what we don’t have and we don’t know how to get there.

And we’re constantly hearing that negative inner critic in our head, we might as well call them a dictator, telling us what we should do and that we should just wise up and that we should just figure this out. And maybe we’re just not trying hard enough. And he’s yelling or she’s yelling at us in our head, this inner dictator. And my friend, if you look at the research at why people still have addictions, there are four reasons.

And one of the biggest reasons people still suffer with an addiction is not that they can’t overcome it, they can, it’s just that they have shame. And they have shame so they won’t get help. They’re too prideful. They think I should be able to just figure this out all on my own. And I am passionate about this topic because I have seen shame wreck people’s lives, not only their own life, but their relationships with others including their children and their spouse and their work relationships all because they are stuck in shame.

Shaming themselves that they can’t figure it out. Well, I have good news for you my friend, maybe you’re not supposed to figure it out. Maybe there are people out there that haven’t figured out who can help you and teach you and show you the way because we are better together. So here’s something to consider. We all have bad habits, over-drinking can be a bad habit, overeating can be a bad habit. And we call them bad because they have negative consequences that we don’t want in our life.

If it is not producing a negative consequence for you, maybe we question if it’s a bad habit. The reason we say it’s a bad habit is because we know it’s bringing ill effects into our life. So having a bad habit is not a problem because we all get bad habits in life. We have them from time to time, we slip up. We go back to an old way of eating or maybe we have more of something than we want.

And I don’t think that’s a bad thing because I am not about living a purist perfect life. I’ve tried that and man, there is a whole lot of suffering that comes from that. If you just have one extra bite of dessert or one or two missed workouts and you’re just killing yourself and beating yourself up. I do not want to follow or subscribe to that type of lifestyle. So when I allow Coke Zero to come back into my life for a few days and I’m like, “Whoops, here’s the bad habit that I got rid of. I need to chop this because I know my body makes poor decisions when it gets too much fructose.”

I know that I make poor decisions when I allow Coke Zero back into my life. My drinking will go up. I’ve seen it, I’ve measured it and I’ve documented it. So it’s not bad when it does happen, it’s like, oops, I just went off track, time to get back on track again. And I’ve created a system that helps me get back on track when these slip-ups happen. And I talked about that last week, how to keep commitments to yourself and how to know and discover what works for you because we are all individuals. What works for one person may not be the same thing that works for someone else.

And when I can’t get myself back on track, do you know what I do? I reach out. I reach out for help because I don’t want to sit and suffer in my own pain and cause more pain by not reaching out for help. I don’t want my shame to grow. I talk about this a lot inside of my programs. Whenever somebody is feeling like they’re going off track in EpicYOU, I say, “We have to straighten that out.” Reach out, that is the time you reach out. That is not the time you go AWOL and disappear.

Because when we are left to our own darkness, that habit of overdrinking will grow. How do I know? Because I’ve been there. I understand. I understand what makes it grow and I also understand what lessens it. And so my friend, we need one another. Humans are social creatures. We are meant for one another. We can’t have babies on our own, we need help doing that. We can’t raise humans on our own, we need help doing that. And the humans constantly need help.

Look at our end of life, we rely on so much healthcare and other people’s help as we age. It is not a bad thing. It is a thing, it is a human thing. And I just want you to accept the reality of this because by blocking out that reality you are actually causing more of your own suffering. And I want to alleviate that for you. We are meant for social connection, connection matters.

Back in podcast 142 I talked about how loneliness is now a new epidemic around the world. Even the UK appointed a minister of loneliness a few years ago because all the research coming out showing that it’s a predictor of disease, of mental decline. And it’s just as serious as dementia and Alzheimer’s. Our feelings are important. I talked about emotional regulation and the importance of knowing and connecting and learning from our emotions because they tell us when things are right and they tell us when things are off.

I mean just a few weeks ago the UK had Loneliness Awareness Week from June 12th to June 16th because they want to do something about it, because connection matters. I also talked about on that podcast the new Surgeon General’s advisory raises alarm about the devastating impacts and the epidemic of loneliness and isolation here in the United States. And as one of those caveats, they said we need to create a culture of connection. And I love that. I love how that just felt like my word this year.

And within that guidance it says that we cannot be successful in the other pillars without a culture of connection. It says right there that we cannot be successful, but yet, how many of us just rely on our own selves and our own strength? And I hear all this, own willpower, which if you’ve been listening to my podcast you know I am not an advocate of using your own willpower as your only sense of accomplishment and getting success because it just doesn’t work.

So think about when you have connection in your life, the times that you feel so connected to someone, a best friend, your spouse, your kids, the times that you really resonate with the conversation in the room, when you feel heard and understood, when somebody helps you out in life, how do you feel? How do you feel when you’re connected? I will say that I think it is one of the best feelings. Feeling connected to others when you feel heard and understood and supported.

And we get frustrated and we’ll often say, “Gosh, they just don’t understand or I just don’t feel heard or I said it three times and nobody’s listening to me.” That’s disconnection. That’s a sense of loneliness. When you don’t feel heard, when you don’t feel understood and mentally and emotionally you don’t feel good about life.

Now, I was coaching so many clients one-on-one and then I’m like, “You know what, we need connection. “We need to come together because so many of us are experiencing the exact same thing with just a different topping on top. But the root that’s driving our drinking is so dang similar. And that’s why I birthed EpicYOU. I wanted the supportive non-judgmental place where you can learn tools and how to support yourself, where you become more epic in your own life. And you get to define what epic looks like.

Not only that, you learn how to be compassionate with yourself and get rid of that inner dictator, because the dictator’s not working, we can all agree on that. When you learn compassion and how there’s a more loving way that’s actually easier to heal and it works because the dictator we know is not. And do you know what I find when we all come together? We have more brain power. More brains are clearly better than one. If you look at any CEO or any company, they have an advisory board, they have a panel of experts because they want the best ideas and the best solutions and the best way forward.

So I could give you so many examples that we are not meant to go through life alone. We need one another and we are better when we are together and there is magic in connection, you feel it. I talk about the magical times of connection in my life. I know that I wanted more connection, especially this year, especially after going through COVID. And so I am being intentional about my connection. And connection does feel so magical.

I even call my marriage magical sometimes. My husband gets me, I get him. And it’s the most beautiful thing when you feel heard and understood and supported and not having somebody constantly wanting to change you. And I learned to honor my daughter this way. I used to criticize her and try to change her and now I’m like, “Wait, this doesn’t seem to be working. Our relationship seems to be getting worse. What am I doing wrong?”

But now I see her, I hear her and I’m not constantly judging her. I want to reassure her. I want her to know that I love her beyond measure because I know I don’t thrive in criticism. I know she doesn’t thrive in criticism. And from what I’ve seen in the coaching world where people criticize people, I see they shut down. I will never be a criticizing coach, absolutely not. It doesn’t work. It only harms. But I will be a coach that loves you with the intent to help you and that is the space that I created inside EpicYOU.

All the ladies, we help one another. We support one another. Even the newest members who have just recently joined, say, “Wow, there is a magical connection in this community. I instantly feel loved and supported just by being here, just by joining.” And that my friends is the antidote to shame. Shame starts to melt away when you feel heard, understood and supported, because shame will keep us feeling stuck and doing the same things and needing more of the same badness in our life because we don’t know how to handle it and we don’t see another way out.

And then that breeds more loneliness, we become more closed off, more isolated. We begin to hide, hide from our significant other, hide from our kids, hide our drinking. We might even turn into closet drinkers where we actually go in the closet to drink. And you can do that, by all means, it’s your life. I’m not going to judge it. I’m just going to let you know that that’s a life full of a lot more struggle than you need to do. There’s an easier way where you don’t have to struggle.

You don’t have to struggle alone, instead you can come and understand your struggle. And when you do that, your struggle dissolves, you move past it, you eliminate it, you overcome it, it’s gone, it vanishes, it disappears. And I want you to think about something, as I’m saying these words, what does greatness mean to you. Greatness and your epic-ness, I don’t think comes from an absence of struggle. I don’t think it comes from not having any struggles in your life.

I think greatness and your epic-ness is measured by how many struggles you overcome. I overcame many struggles in my life. I know you have too. And you know what? I know there are more struggles to come in my life as in yours. But I don’t want to be a woman who makes friends with her suffering and suffers in silence by myself. I’ve tried that, it didn’t work and it kept me in my struggles for far too long.

I want to be somebody who can embrace them, somebody who can look at them and say, “Can I do this by myself or do I need help? Do I need to reach out? Who can I reach out to? Who can best be equipped to help me with this particular struggle?” And you know what that means? That means I will always need help from others, I will always need support and advice from others and I will seek it because I want it, because it makes me better and it makes me stronger.

This is not a weakness, my friends, reaching out for help, absolutely not a weakness. It is a strength. And what I have learned is not to be so prideful, to think I can do it all by myself, all on my own with all my own power because you know I’m self-sufficient. No, I have learned through the hardships that I couldn’t overcome on my own, that I do need others. And that I am better with others and that it leads to a healthier lifestyle when I have others, others who get me, others who are on the same journey as me.

And my journey is to be epic. And I define that as being healthy, confident in the areas I need to be confident in and empowered. That means I have tools and I have resources to use so I can live my healthiest life, my best life. And I’ve learned these truths because I was prideful. And because I wasn’t getting the results I wanted when I was prideful, trying to do it all by myself. So I have absolutely learned that connection is key. Maybe we’re connecting on this podcast and if so, I love that because I don’t want you to sit and stew alone in your struggle with over-drinking or overeating or overing in any part of your life.

I want you to connect. And if it’s just here on the podcast and this is as much as we’ll connect, that is fabulous. I hope this podcast is helping. But if you want more, I invite you to connect to the loving, supporting, non-judging women of EpicYOU where you can get further progress and more healing in this journey and on this journey. I used to do a ton of one-on-one sessions and I still do it for the clients that need it.

But I tell you, that group format really melts shame away and I find it could be the thickest and the hardest thing for some people to work through. But I’ll tell you, when you start working through it, you see the transformation. You can see the transformation in the person on the calls and that’s where the magic is, and it’s palpable by the whole group.

You could just see the shame start dissolve and the solution start to surface. But I know that I am quite biased because I created EpicYOU and created this format. But I really do think it’s the best program out there. What I love about it are all the things that I wanted. You can go at your own pace and you can learn the tools in private. And when I first started my journey, I didn’t want to be public at all about it. I wanted to do it in private. So there is the option to do it all in private.

The calls that we have, totally optional, you don’t have to attend, but I tell you, when you do attend, it takes the transformation to the next level when you participate, when you’re able to work through what is really deeply troubling you. In any case whether you do it privately or come to the calls, I get emails on a weekly basis saying how much their identity is shifting, how much they feel like a new person, how much baggage they’re leaving behind, how their shame is just cracking and cracking and they’re just shedding it away and they’re drinking less and getting their goals.

And they are healing what has been driving those overindulgences for years. My friend, it is a beautiful, magical process. It is one that I highly recommend. Don’t suffer alone. Connection, connection my friend, connection. Find your tribe, find your people. Find those people who lift you up, who supports you, who gets you, who understands you and don’t leave you where you’re at but they pull you forward in the direction you want to go.

And as I wrap up, I want to remind you that struggle is optional and connection is powerful. Alright, my friend, have a beautiful epic week and I will see you next time.

If you want to change your relationship with alcohol and with yourself then come check out EpicYOU. It’s where you get individualized health mastering the tools so you And become a woman who And take it or leave it and be in control around alcohol in any situation. EpicYOU is the place for women who want to be healthy, confident and empowered to accomplish their goals and live their best life. Come join us over at epicyou.com/epicyou. That’s epicyou.com/ E-P-I-C-Y-O-U. I can’t wait to see you there.

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