How to Find Courage and Confidence Without Alcohol
Courage and confidence are emboldened by alcohol because it lowers inhibitions, thereby reducing the sense of fear--but you can find courage and confidence without alcohol. A common misconception is that courage is the absence of fear. However, courage is actually defined by taking action in spite of your fears. When regaining control of your life in early sobriety, developing courage and confidence is difficult if you have always relied on alcohol. For anyone adjusting to sobriety, here are a few suggestions to find courage and confidence without alcohol.
Alcohol is often referred to as "liquid courage" because of how it influences the drinker. When drinking, people have the confidence to do things they are otherwise too scared to do, such as flirting, fighting, or singing karaoke. No one actually needs alcohol to do any of these things. We often limit our achievements because of how we think about ourselves, doubt of our own abilities, and project our fears onto others.
Stop Relying on Others for Confidence or Courage, With Or Without Alcohol
The truth about confidence in sobriety is that it's an entirely inside job. Meaning, no matter how much validation you get from outside sources, you still have to believe in yourself (Stop Relying On Others For Self-Esteem). It may sound corny but it is totally true. For many years I believed that I was unlovable. I hated the person I was. In order to be happy and receive love from friends and family, I had to love and accept myself. Try to understand the challenges of loving an alcoholic to see how difficult it is for your loved ones to support you without being your crutch.
Currently I am struggling with singing in auditions for musicals. I consistently receive the comment that I have a beautiful voice, great pitch and tone, but that I lack confidence. Well, I lack confidence because I do not like my voice, pitch, or tone. In order to overcome this stage fright, I first need to accept my sound. Then, I need to acknowledge when I am doing the best I can and know that is all I can be in that moment. I can certainly take lessons and strive to improve, but there is no reason to be ashamed when I have done the best I know how.
Develop Courage and Confidence without Alcohol by Challenging Self Doubt
You don't actually have to be good at flirting to carry yourself like Don Juan (Faking Confidence Can Build Self-Esteem). But if you think to yourself, "I cannot talk to girls without a few drinks in me," you will never develop confidence in your ability to flirt while sober. When you catch yourself thinking limiting or critical thoughts like this, stop yourself and focus on the opposite. Visualize it. Think, I am good at . . .. Reinforce the thought that you are good at something by practicing it and congratulating yourself when you're done. The more positive your thoughts are, the more courage you will have (Positive Thinking Is Easier Than You Think).
This is how you re-train your mind to be more positive. You can control the thoughts that go through your mind, but it takes time, practice, and forgiveness.
Be Confident -- Don't Project Your Fears
The single most helpful tool in developing my self-confidence was the mantra, "What other people think of me is none of my business." When I worry about what other people think of me, I end up simply projecting my biggest fears into an imaginary conversation. All too often, I imagine these conversations by assuming that I know what other people think or believe. I never go by what they actually say, and these individuals may not even be in the room with me when this happens. In the midst of one-sided conversations, repeat this mantra to yourself. This was one of the most difficult habits for me to break, but it reaped great rewards.
What all three of these suggestions boil down to is that you have complete control over what you believe to be true about yourself. These suggestions will help to truly change the way you perceive yourself. Addressing different sides of the same issue, these suggestions are all equally important to develop courage and confidence without alcohol.
Image courtesy of Flickr user MCRD Parris Island, SC.
Doyle, B. (2015, November 5). How to Find Courage and Confidence Without Alcohol, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2019, June 23 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/debunkingaddiction/2015/11/how-to-find-courage-and-confidence-without-alcohol
Author: Becky Doyle
I’ve got step 1 mostly covered, I’ve always been of myself in certain areas - as long as I’m well trained in what I’m doing. Put me on the spot though, and it all falls apart. My words get tangled, I can’t think straight….although if I’ve had some alcohol, none of that is a problem.
My main issue is this… I am absolutely horrendous at the fake-it-till-you-make-it thing. It always seems like people can see right through the BS – and it’s even worse when you’ve been told via them (or a second party) that they really could! This in turn, reduces confidence even more. I’m taking a massage therapy class and keep being told that I need to act more confident- but I’m still learning! I find it nearly impossible to be 100% confident until I’ve mastered the task, otherwise it all seems so fake.
Plus, it doesn’t help that I work in a super quiet office, where my boss dislikes confident employees. Any type of forward thinking or confidence is usually punishable, and you will notice an uptick in work load and problems if you show confidence.
Nothing is worse than worrying about what others are thinking of you (and being told that it’s “all in your head”) only to find out that it was true. My intuition is normally spot-on and I will find out one way or another that what I feared was correct. So… how can you just ignore that? I have a difficult time with that, and it makes me second-guess and analyze everything I do.