The best way to shift your identity is to act as if you’re already that person. Act as if you’re a nondrinker and believe that you are one. Being a non-drinker is a state of mind. It is about self-discipline and making the next right decision. It’s a practice, just like going to the gym every day. Here are some tips to work on your new identity as a non-drinker.
The person you want to be:
To become a person that doesn’t drink, first, you need to adopt the mindset of being sober. You need to act as if you are already that person. Imagine what your new life will look like. Find inspiration from other people online. Imagine your life and what it will look like without drinking. Think about how much more time you will have to work on things you care about. Make a vision board of your new alcohol-free life. Include things you are excited about like eating healthier foods, having better skin, more money, and better relationships. Put your board somewhere where you will see it daily.
Replace old thoughts:
If this new identity still feels unlikely and out of reach that’s ok. This takes practice. When old thoughts come up about the old you, try this. Replace any thoughts that come up with your potential new identity. A sliver of hope is all that you need. Start noticing evidence of you becoming that person. Even if it’s just one day, remind yourself that you did not drink for one day, there’s evidence that you can do it! When I first quit drinking, I would tell myself and others, “I am a person that no longer drinks.” This statement felt much more empowering to me than saying something like, “I can’t drink anymore.”
Look for solutions instead of excuses:
It’s easier to find evidence of why you can’t do something. Change is hard especially when it comes to changing your relationship with alcohol. Triggers are everywhere and can completely take over your whole being especially when you first decide to quit drinking. Instead of ruminating over all the reasons why you keep failing start to find solutions on how to avoid triggers in the future. For example, I found myself driving past the same store where I would buy wine and get super irritated when the urge to drink would come up. Simply driving another route home helped me to avoid that trigger. Find a solution instead of making things hard for yourself.
It’s impossible to think your way out of being a person that drinks in a day or two. It takes time, but it is worth it in the end. I am so proud of you! You got this!