Ever noticed the phrase “putting in the work” when it comes to getting sober? What exactly is “the work” that’s referred to? This post will explain all and show you how coaching can help you figure out which “work” will set you up for sober success.
When you decide to quit drinking alcohol, you need to make a commitment to yourself. Whether you’re aiming to stay sober for 30 days, sober for 6 months or sober for life, it’s not going to be a walk in the park. Ask anybody about their sober journey, and you’ll hear them talk about “the work” It’s the same within social media sober groups. Some threads offer advice about “putting in the work” as being the only way to get and stay sober.
But what do they mean when they mention this elusive phrase “the work”. It means giving up alcohol is challenging, especially if you’ve relied on booze for a long time. It takes effort. You have to put in “the work” to succeed.
The good news? You get to choose what type of “work” you put in. You build your strategies around what works best for you. It’s an individual journey, and how you tackle it may be different to somebody else’s approach. But if you’re unsure where to start, follow the advice of those who’ve already experienced it. The people who have already put in “the work”. Because if it’s succeeded for them, chances are it’ll succeed for you too.
When you first ditch the booze, your “work” will be based on beating the cravings and figuring out your triggers. For Jo, a member of FFS (a sober Facebook group in which I co-facilitate challenges), the work is about “analysing your emotions, sitting with discomfort, refraining from expecting a fast solution and redefining your priorities”.
There are different ways you can approach this. For many of my clients in the early days of their sobriety, it involves:
- Developing a healthy exercise routine.
- Listening to quit lit.
- Writing a gratitude journal
- Listening to podcasts about giving up alcohol
- Taking up meditation or mindfulness
- Avoiding triggers by developing new routines that would typically involve drinking
- Staying clear of pubs and restaurants that’s you’d normally associate with drinking.
These are just a few of the strategies that help keep you on the sober path during the early days. It isn’t easy, and at the beginning, you might feel uncomfortable. You have to ride the wave of discomfort. Change is scary. Your “work” will be centred around finding joy in everyday things without adding booze into the mix. Stick with it, and you’ll soon see and feel all the benefits of sobriety.
I’ve worked with many women who’ve experienced these benefits first hand. When one of my coaching clients, Lisa, put in “the work”, there was a noticeable change in her lifestyle and mental health.
“I go out walking most days. I eat so much better and have started to lose weight. I have also set boundaries in work. I am so much more productive at work and in the house. I am so much happier, and my anxiety has disappeared. My life has literally transformed, and it’s all thanks to Jojo. She is my fairy godmother who gave me the confidence and strength to change my life. If I could bottle up how I feel now, I would be a millionaire!”
Absolute proof that putting in “the work” creates positive changes, especially in the early days.
As your days and weeks of living alcohol-free drift by, you’ll start to notice subtle shifts in how you feel, which will alter the emphasis of “the work”. If you’re 2 years into your sober life, your efforts will look different to somebody who’s only in their second month.
When you start to hit the bigger numbers, the 6 months onwards, your approach to staying sober may begin to change, and you’ll begin to question the bigger picture.
Being sober doesn’t suddenly turn life into a bed of roses. You can’t float along on the pink cloud of sobriety and hope all your problems disappear. Life will still throw difficulties your way; the difference is you cope with them better. You become more aware of what’s causing the issue and how to handle it instead of sedating it with booze. And that’s where “the work” shifts. As you begin to question any underlying issues and start to confront the real reasons you drank in the first place, you’ll begin to rediscover who you really are.
That was certainly the case for Michelle. She signed up for my coaching package as she realised that getting sober involved much more than just ditching the drink.
“Yes, the alcohol was gone, but the inner turmoil, the fight I’d been having for the whole of my adult life, was getting harder.”
As Michelle’s coaching sessions progressed, she put in “the work” and began to reignite her passion for life. Each session drew out more of her authentic character, and she began to learn who she was as a person, without the alcohol masking her individuality. Michelle put in “the work”, and it paid off, as she shows in her testimonial:
‘The coaching with Jojo is life-changing. The little nuggets of information she passes on to you, that tiny shifting of behaviour & thinking she teaches you, the light bulb moments. It’s priceless. 12 weeks ago, I was desperate. I hated the way I was, I felt trapped in my own messed up head & I couldn’t see a way out. Today is different. Am I completely fixed? No, but I can see a future. I like me today. I am a powerful, ferocious, loving mother of 2 beautiful girls & I have a newfound zest for life. And I’ll keep on ‘fixing’ me cos that’s the journey.”
As you can see from Michelle’s example, the “fixing” doesn’t stop. The work never ends. It simply changes as you develop your sober experiences.
For Sarah, putting in the work to get and stay sober has given her a newfound sense of confidence.
“Since I’ve been sober and working with Jojo, I’ve learned to speak nicely to myself, and it’s been a real change for me. I’ve had an academic article published in an international nursing journal, I take french classes one evening a week, and I’ve set up an Airbnb in my garden. I’m well, and I’m happy, and a lot of the anxiety I used to carry around in my stomach and think was normal is not there anymore, and I’ve never been more content – it has absolutely transformed my life.”
You can read more about Sarah’s sober journey and her experience of coaching here.
For me, although AA got me sober, I knew I had to put in “the work” to stay on track. That’s where I discovered Feminine Power. I learned a lot from their teaching, and I now offer my own unique style of transformational coaching for newly sober women.
For many women who choose to embrace sobriety, it can be akin to experiencing a form of spiritual awakening. This doesn’t have to involve religion. Often it’s described as rediscovering your inner self and the true power that you hold within. With sobriety comes the chance to reignite your true passions, all those dreams that alcohol made you put on hold. You gain clarity and start to question your direction and purpose.
You can become all you want to be, and I base my coaching around these values. When you get sober, you suddenly realise how much inner potential you have. You question everything that seemed acceptable when alcohol was around, and you begin to feel a strong desire to connect with your authentic self. Friendships might change, relationships may alter, and your wants and needs begin to differ. If you were drinking out of boredom, you’ll find new activities to replace drinking. This isn’t a bad thing. It’s putting you back in charge of your destiny. Without alcohol holding you back, you realise you’re capable of so much more. But if you aren’t too sure how to create those sustainable changes or where to start, it can feel overwhelming. That’s where “the work” comes into play again.
Coaching can help you achieve clarity and confidence. The JOMO 12 week 1:1 coaching program enables you to activate your own soul navigation system to overcome what has been in your way and map out a new way forward. It helps you learn how to create an unshakable bond with yourself and shift from feeling “stuck”, lethargic, afraid of making decisions and generally feeling “not good enough”. You’ll develop an improved sense of inner knowing and wellbeing, and learn how to take inspired action steps aligned to living a fully expressed life.
There’s no judgement, just a safe space to share your experiences and learn how to take the first steps towards a brighter future. As a recent client shows, you can trust the process.
“Jojo is probably the most serene person I have ever met. She is kind, calm, empathetic and guides you with a very gentle hand. I had lost perspective on my life and I was overwhelmed by my perceived failings and the limitations I had placed on myself.
After 12 weeks, you’ll activate a new level of self-belief, using your new superpower to make empowered choices feeling alive, excited and free.
Cathyann, a personal trainer, was shocked at how much coaching helped her rediscover her true self. “I was surprised how much I was able to slowly peel away the emotional layers (which had been buried by consuming alcohol) for years. Jojo supported me to open up and talk. Talk about how I felt and connecting my current emotions to my past. If it weren’t for Jojo, I wouldn’t have worked on my inner strength; she guided me to trust the unfolding.”
And for another client, coaching helped her figure out who she was and use her authenticity to thrive.
“To allow myself to be heard was revolutionary. We began one on one coaching, and it’s been a journey. Together we have broken down the unresolved trauma to allow me to heal. We have unpicked childhood trauma and acknowledged it’s ok; it wasn’t my fault. We have dug deep to understand my alcohol misuse, and I’ve learnt new coping mechanisms whilst unlearning old ones. Most importantly, she helped me believe I can change. I can be the person I want to be. Trust myself. Nearly a year on, and I don’t recognise that person I was last year. I now no longer betray myself and do things that risk losing my lifelong career.
Is it hard to quit drinking alcohol? Yes. But it’s also achievable if you know how to put in “the work”. Think of it as a metamorphosis. You can walk away from a life where your future is controlled by alcohol and stride confidently towards a life where you own your destiny. As one of my clients recently told me, “I have never been happier or felt more free since I embarked on this Sober Soul journey and I can’t wait to celebrate my 1st soberversary on 1st May 2021.”
Take the first step towards realising your hopes and dreams. Contact me for a free and informal chat to find out how coaching can help you become the best version of yourself.