“When was the last time you woke up and wished you had just one more drink the night before? I’ve never regretted not drinking. Say this to yourself, and you’ll get through anything“
– Meredith Bell, author of Seven Days Sober
FOMO – the fear of missing out – It’s what keeps us going to happy hour when we’d rather not. FOMO is why we find ourselves sipping wine at a business dinner when we know it’s going to trigger a migraine. Dryuary is a great time to avoid FOMO – since there’s others taking a break too – and see what life without alcohol can look like for you. The idea of Dryuary is to take a temporary break from alcohol and evaluate your relationship with it. You might re-frame that relationship or find that maybe alcohol doesn’t have space in your life anymore. You can always find a reason to drink and now you have a reason not to drink too.
My fear of missing out came primarily from my job. I worked in marketing where business and drinking were intimately linked. My FOMO was that my career would come to a grinding halt if I stopped drinking. It’s surprisingly common across many different professions. Doctors, lawyers, realtors, sales professionals, etc. From networking events, trade shows and business meetings to just hanging out and unwinding with coworkers, alcohol and business tend to go together so it’s normal to fear that change. You might think you can’t afford to stop drinking.
I did stop drinking while still in my corporate role. FOMO or not – it needed to happen. Dryuary is a great time to give it a shot because you’re taking a break for a challenge everyone can support. There’s no pressure or judgment involved. When asked you can simply say “No thanks, I’m taking a break for Dryuary” and move on. Keep attending happy hours or corporate events that are important for networking. Here’s a few tips to make those events easier:
* Arrive early and order a non-alcoholic drink (like a soda & lime). Many bartenders also love creating interesting and fun mocktails. Only you will know what you’re drinking.
* Having a drink in hand stops others from asking questions or offering drinks.
* You’re actually in a great position because you have a clear head and you’re in control. Imagine the networking and deals you can spearhead around those who are buzzed and fuzzy brained!
* Offer to plan events that don’t revolve around drinking. They will save your company money and also promote your career by showing initiative to take charge. That is a win/win!
* Have an escape plan. If you start feeling pressured to drink, have a reason to leave. Schedule a meeting or another non-negotiable obligation for the next morning. Your responsible nature will get you noticed.
Dryuary shouldn’t feel as if you’re depriving yourself of anything. Fun, career advancement – there shouldn’t be a fear of missing out on anything. You need to approach this change with the right mindset. Your perception creates your reality.
If FOMO is holding you back, create a list of what you can gain by taking this 31 day challenge and how it can benefit you. Weight loss, improved sleep, more presence, zero hangovers, more money, better productivity at work, improved health, etc. Now you have firm motivation and a reason to not only embrace change but also want to be successful at it.
If you find yourself really struggling to not drink during the challenge, that can also be an important eye-opener regarding your relationship with alcohol. Your career might be advancing but if your drinking is taking off as well (like mine was) is it really worth it? Just like we have assessments regarding work performance that force us to look at where we might need to make changes or improvements – we need those in our personal lives as well.
Why are you struggling with your break from alcohol? Is it the stress from your job? Are you feeling unfulfilled in your career? Would you be happier elsewhere or in a different field? I never imagined I’d one day leave my corporate job that I was excelling and accelerating in to become an author. In fact, FOMO would have definitely held me back but after getting over the fear of missing out and stopping drinking for good – here I am. Happier than I ever was in my field that made drinking seem like a line item on my job description.
So what if you get past the FOMO, get through Dryuary and realize that change wasn’t so scary at all. What happens when you think that maybe you really don’t need alcohol at all? How do you continue to advance professionally when alcohol is such a big part of business?
First off – don’t make a big deal out of it. People aren’t nearly as concerned with us as we think they are. Most aren’t worried about what you’re drinking or doing because they are thinking or worrying about themselves. You really don’t owe anyone an explanation anyhow. If pressured you can answer however you feel comfortable. “I’m driving tonight.” “I’m on a diet.” “I enjoyed Dryuary so much I’ve decided to keep going.”
Second – Take charge. If you have a boozy client or co-worker who will pressure you to drink, flip the script on them. Rather than a dinner meeting, make it a breakfast. Instead of golf and drinks after, suggest something new like cycling or horseback riding.
Finally – remember this is your life. You get to choose how to live it and what makes you happy. There’s plenty of people that drink and plenty that do not. Careers shouldn’t be made around what is in your glass. That also shouldn’t hold you back from any changes you want to make. Yes, change is scary but staying the same can be even scarier so kick FOMO to the curb and see where Dryuary can take you!
Post Submitted By: Annie Grace
Annie Grace is the author of This Naked Mind: Control Alcohol, Find Freedom, Discover Happiness & Change Your Life. Annie grew up in a one-room log cabin without running water or electricity outside of Aspen, Colorado. She discovered a passion for marketing and after graduating with a Masters of Science (Marketing) she dove into corporate life. At the age of 26, Annie was the youngest vice president in a multinational company, and her drinking career began in earnest. At 35, in a global C-level marketing role, she was responsible for marketing in 28 countries and drinking almost two bottles of wine a night. Knowing she needed a change but unwilling to submit to a life of deprivation and stigma, Annie set out to find a painless way to regain control. Annie no longer drinks and has never been happier. She left her executive role to write this book and share This Naked Mind with the world. In her free time, Annie loves to ski, travel (26 countries and counting), and enjoy her beautiful family. Annie lives with her husband and three children in the Colorado mountains.
This Naked Mind book link – https://thisnakedmind.com/
The Alcohol Experiment book link – https://thisnakedmind.com/
This Naked Mind webpage – https://thisnakedmind.com/
The Alcohol Experiment – https://learn.thisnakedmind.