vulnerabilityI know I have in the past… fear of rejection, fear of loving and losing or having my heart broken…of being judged or criticized…and so to keep from truly experiencing the joy of the moment and dealing with the risk of losing it, I would drink or eat or whatever to avoid the feelings. But when we numb vulnerability we also numb joy and happiness, which becomes a dangerous cycle.

According to Brene Brown, PhD, author of “Daring Greatly – How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent and Lead,” we do this because we don’t feel truly confident in ourselves, or feel worthy of having the love or the success.

So where do you start in order to feel worthy and to ultimately take risks?

I believe it takes going through something painful or difficult in order to know that you have the ability to survive and to gain the confidence to know that you can overcome or that you are lovable.

Start to get a mindset of pushing through the fear and the discomfort.  According to Brene Brown, you have to be willing to “lean into the discomfort.” You have to begin to cultivate the skills and the emotions to deal with the discomfort instead of trying to numb. Basically you have to be willing to feel the feelings and learn how to press in and work through the discomfort of the potentially painful emotions.

So next time you’re feeling the urge to drink because of negative emotions, remember that the more you put off dealing with the feelings, the longer it will take to feel better.  Take these steps:

»      Ask yourself what are you feeling?

»      What are your emotional thoughts telling you? – Probably distorted thoughts driven by your emotional mind.

»      Like a reporter, simply state the facts.

»      Based on the facts, what is more likely to be going on or to happen?

»      Problem solve – Remember, the shortest way around something is through it!

»      Accept the fact that you have to deal with it…and dealing with it may actually be less painful than the worry associated with taking action.

»      Analyze the problem and brainstorm on some possible solutions.

»      Create a plan to accomplish the solution.

»      Take the necessary steps and make the necessary changes you identified. This is the MOST IMPORTANT STEP! Do THIS instead of drinking to cope with the existing problem!

»      Don’t give in to resistance or give up because it’s easier to keep things the way they were.

»      Change sometimes requires a little pain…but it’s worth it!