Ep 101: 3 Steps to Move Out of ‘The Miserable Maybe’

Do you ever feel stuck in this journey called ‘life’? For me, the most challenging sticking point I have faced (so far) was changing my relationship with alcohol.

I stayed stuck for a long time, partly because of the addictive nature of alcohol, partly because of the habit I had created around drinking, but mostly because of my thoughts about drinking.
I used to spend a lot of time thinking about drinking and I used to play the ‘maybe game’. Have you ever played the ‘maybe game’? 

You see, I thought I was happier drinking. I thought I would be miserable not drinking and so my thoughts were filled with maybe’s:
Maybe I can learn to drink less…
Maybe I can just drink wine and skip the hard stuff…
Maybe I don’t really have a problem…
Maybe I don’t even need to quit…
Maybe I can convince my husband to stop with me…
Maybe I will be miserable if I stop drinking…
Maybe I will lose all my friends…
Maybe I can take a month off and then I can prove I can take it or leave it…
Maybe…

Maybe is defined as ‘the mere possibility’. It’s not definite, it’s not concrete and therefore our brain can create infinite possibilities out of ‘maybe’. I think of this as The Miserable Maybe. The miserable maybe is when we rationalize not moving forward because of something that ‘might’ happen. Our brain is wired to seek comfort and avoid pain. We can easily slip into using ‘maybe’ as a way to avoid the discomfort of trying something new, the very thing that might get us unstuck!

The miserable part comes from the unmade decision. Maybe introduces the ‘mere possibility’ which means we are then faced with a decision. If we put off the decision, or pretend there is no decision that needs to be made, we live with the cost of this unmade decision. This ‘cost’ can range from a few sleepless nights to chronic stress. In my own life, I lived in gray area of deciding not to decide for years. This place of “maybe I should stop drinking” was indeed miserable.

So, what can you do if you are stuck in your own ‘miserable maybe’?

Here are 3 things I teach to my clients to help them move forward:

  1. What are you telling yourself? Pay attention to the statements you are saying, both out loud and in your head.
  2. What does success look like for you (in this situation/circumstance)? Explore the black and white and move out of the gray area, the ‘maybe’. Try this: Imagine if the best outcome were guaranteed, what would be your next move?
  3. Take action. Once we move, we are no longer stuck. We move, in any direction and we have new information. From that new information we can continue to explore our next step and our next step after that.

 

If you feel stuck, grab my brand new Free Guide: Drinking through The Decades and discover the targeted approach to stop drinking no matter your age!

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