Control, Influence, Acceptance, and Successful Behavior Change

Last week we looked at changing what we can and this week it’s time to look at influencing what we can.

Much as all of us would like to be able to make someone else change, we can’t. The best we can manage is to change ourselves, which does force others to adjust in response, and hope they adjust in ways we appreciate.

This works best when we ourselves make changes in how we’re living that improve our lives whether others follow along or not. We can, for example, stop drinking without waiting for anyone else’s cooperation.

Wait, we protest, I’m only drinking because he/she, will/won’t, do this or that.

But as long as you keep on drinking, they aren’t going to do anything different either. Stopping doesn’t mean they will change, of course, but it does put you in a better position to influence them, and also to decide what else to change.

When you’re the “flag waver,” the one who’s volunteered to be “the problem” – and the drinker always volunteers simply by being the alcohol abuser – you’re also stuck with being the one to change first, fair or not.

Stop the alcohol abuse and get your vote back in family decision making. Stop being the target and start improving your day-to-day life in all of the ways you can control yourself.

Give yourself back your power. That’s the reason we named our practice Your Empowering Solutions.

That’s how you influence others – by living a better life yourself, by setting an example, by needing them less, and by exercising options other than checking out.

Really, as you get better and better at creating your own very satisfactory life, you’ll find that you’ll have little need, or temptation, to control others. Instead, you’ll attract all the attention you want and it will be positive attention, not negative.

Yes, it takes some time and effort and delayed gratification. But isn’t that better than the instant alcohol high that fades as fast as it appeared and leaves you ever weaker, more depressed, more isolated, lonely, bored, and anxious?

That’s what we think too. Give us a call and let’s get your life restarted. We can’t give you back the past, but we can give you a new today and far better tomorrows.

Rashness vs Procrastination

Many of our clients spent months, or even years, stuck in what we call “contemplation hell.” Pinned between our desire to “look before we leap” and the contradictory “he who hesitates is lost,” we muddle along waiting for “the right time.”

Trouble is, there isn’t any “right time.” Or if there is, it’s now, or six months ago, or…….

This is an example of over riding our feelings and acting on the basis of what we know. We know that it’s never going to feel like the right time, but we also know that we’ve been delaying rooting out alcohol abuse for way too long.

How do we balance this conflict? Unhappily, we mostly engage in behaviors that seem to be part of solving the problem but which, really, simply delay actually doing the things that will indeed fix things.

So we “research.” We read, scour the Internet, and maybe even make a call or two. And this makes sense since it’s impossible to make an informed decision without information, much of which is hard to find and most of which is misleading.

But when does “research” become just another excuse for delay?

That’s not all that hard to tell. When was the last time you got some new information? Have you asked about program costs? Staffing? Philosophy? Research? Outcomes? Confidentiality?

Probably not?

Why? Because we tend to avoid getting the information that would put us in a position to act.

We are in contemplation hell and afraid to move.

Time to fix this? Give us a call. Together we’ll answer those questions and help you move from contemplation to action with an excellent chance of resolving your alcohol abuse problem.

Really, you’ll look back in six months and the only question will be, “Why did I wait so long?”

Odd and Ends…

Ten Things I Wish I’d Known Before I Sent My Brother Off To Rehab is Mary Ellen’s popular article on what she learned the hard way ten years ago about the treatment industry.

The Real “Steps” to Overcoming Alcohol Abuse – what ‘ll actually work for you and any other competent person.

Help For Couples – alcohol abuse exists withing the context of your relationship and ending it successfully is most apt to occur when you’re both involved – which is why 99% of treatment programs exclude spouses!

Women and Alcohol – What To Consider In Treatment and why women need and deserve services built around women’s needs, not just another recycled (and failed) men’s program – which is all anyone else has to offer.