This Small Lifestyle Change Helped Me Start Living My Dreams

Now I have the career, relationships, money, and lifestyle I always wanted

Photo by Ryan Moreno on Unsplash

Hi, I’m Amanda and I’m a high-achiever. I’m the kind of gal who has always looked like she had it together from the outside looking in. Yet, I spent years struggling to get where I wanted in my career, romantic relationships, friendships, finances, and personal development, all-the-while having a bit of a “woe is me” attitude because I couldn’t understand it.

You see, I am a good person, I’m smart, I’m driven, well-spoken, healthy and fit. Just a few years ago, I was doing the same things as everyone else but didn’t feel like I was getting anywhere. Somewhere in my late 20s, I found myself heart-broken, over my job, and stuck in a town with little promise.

I tried to shake things up with a big move and career change, but even in a completely new city, I found myself right back in the same position. Ever heard the phrase, “wherever you go, there you’ll be”? Well, it’s true. I took my problems with me and I did a lot of soul-searching to attempt to discover just where I was going wrong.

I mean, heck, I was buying the self-help books and going to yoga and therapy. I wasn’t just expecting miracles to rain down upon me. Yet, energetically, I was stuck in a major rut. Enter the most off-the-wall thought I’d ever had, “I wonder if all of this would be easier if I didn’t drink.”

The thing is, I was a “normal” social drinker. I barely drank during the week, but went into the weekend full-force to blow off steam from the week and relax with my friends. I couldn’t imagine any other way. Even though I wasn’t an alcoholic, I relied on alcohol to be the social lubricant that got me through awkward dates and networking events. I thought I needed alcohol to be normal, have fun, and be fun.

I never had a rock-bottom with drinking, although many people assume I must have had a problem when I share that alcohol was keeping me from reaching my goals. I didn’t have a problem with alcohol, but alcohol was problematic nonetheless.

Now, over three years free-from alcohol, I have manifested the life I ached for years ago. I have attracted various versions of what I’d been scratching and clawing to achieve for years, now with relative ease. I want to share just how this all worked so that you, too, can see what is possible for you once alcohol is taken out of the picture.

Of course, removing alcohol wasn’t the only thing that changed in my life. I also got super-serious about improving my self-worth, connecting to spirituality, and embarking on elaborate personal growth missions. A scientist might tell you there are too many variables here to determine what actually led to my success. But, I can tell you, without a doubt, from the deepest depths of my soul that none of this would have been possible if I hadn’t removed alcohol from my life fully.

Here is how alcohol was keeping me from achieving my biggest goals…and how life has changed since I said bye-bye to booze.

Self-Worth

Alcohol is a tremendous barrier to self-worth. All of the lies we tell ourselves about why we need/deserve alcohol are equivalent to sending our brains — and the Universe — a message that we do not believe we are “good enough” or “capable enough” without alcohol.

  • We are not confident enough to socialize or flirt without it
  • We are not fun enough to have a good time without it
  • We are not able to regulate our nervous system and relax without it

…the list goes on and on. Every time we drink, we send a message that we don’t believe we can “do life” without booze.

Of course, we know this is not true, but society has conditioned us to take on these beliefs…and they are more difficult to break than you think. Because underneath it all, we don’t believe that we are not enough without alcohol. No, we — subconsciously — believe that we are not enough. We hold negative beliefs about our values that date back to our childhood and adolescence. We’ve simply been using alcohol to avoid addressing them. And, until we can stop this avoidant, numbing behavior and look our self-worth monsters in the eye, we will continue to miss the mark when it comes to attracting what it is that we desire. This is the essence of our life’s work: to realize that we are enough and that we have always been enough. To understand that we can have whatever we want if only we are brave enough to stop running and hiding from our own shadow.

My biggest work has been to step into my self-worth and send this message to the Universe, “I am worthy, I am ready, and I am willing to do the work.”

Work

When I first decided I was ready to re-negotiate my relationship with alcohol, I was working a 9–5 corporate job that was just “good enough”. It paid me well, it was flexible, I was surrounded by good people. Yet, I felt emotionally bankrupt going in every day. This wasn’t my calling. This wasn’t what I was supposed to do. Good enough was not good enough.

Yet, while I was drinking, I couldn’t see past the boundaries that society had set for me: get a good job, climb the ladder, make a living. I applied for and interviewed for many other jobs that would be new, shinier versions of “good enough”. But each fell slightly short and ultimately were not getting me any closer to the dream I’d had in my heart since childhood: to be a powerful and passionate teacher.

It took me a good two years of building my self-worth to the point that I could really believe that I had what it took to be an entrepreneur. And when I finally declared it (and believed it), things started to flow more naturally. I was delivered a serendipitous opportunity that allowed me to step away from my corporate job and claim my role as an entrepreneur and coach.

This all flowed to me with ease once I was able to truly believe in myself and get out of my own way. And I believe it can flow easily for you, too regardless of what success means for you in your career.

Finances

Allow me to be vulnerable here: I’ve never had a proper demonstration of what it looks like to have a healthy relationship with money. I was fortunate enough to train with one of the best business financial minds in my early 20s (blessings to you Jack Stack). Yet, I still operated in a lack mindset and struggled to get my finances where I wanted them to be.

During my first year alcohol-free, I had a short-lived relationship end over the issue of me having too much debt (all from student loans, by the way, which I know now is the least of my worries). My romantic interest reflected to me that my worth as a partner was related to my financial worth. It was a blow to the ego but also a mega wake-up call.

When our relationship ended, instead of judging him for his approach or judging myself for not being good enough, I chose to see this as an opportunity to step into abundance. I decided to leave behind the absolute shit story he had imposed on me along with the icky money stories I’d been dragging along for years. I decided, the moment the relationship dissolved, that I was a magnet for money and that I could handle it brilliantly.

I shifted my self-worth story around money and — I kid you not — opportunities for abundance started to flow to me. It also helped that I’d long abandoned my weekends of frivolously spending my money on outfits, events, booze, and hangover food. This allowed me to better manage my money overall and make the best use of anything and everything that came my way.

As I stepped further into my worth, I started to send powerful messages to the Universe. Rather than investing my money in superficial pleasures, I started investing in opportunities to grow my worth even further. With each course I took and coach I hired, I showed myself and the powers that be that I wasn’t screwing around…and the abundance kept flowing.

Friendships

Photo by DESIGNECOLOGIST on Unsplash

When I picked up shop and moved three states away, I expected to suddenly make a group of high-vibe friends that were focused on wellness and personal growth and could guide me into a new-and-improved version of me.

The problem is, your vibe attracts your tribe, and my internal vibe was still that of a party girl who built her worth on an unstable foundation. Thus, I attracted friends who also chose to focus intensely on their social life as a means to avoid other uncomfortable feelings. Don’t get me wrong, I met some really incredible, kind, people. But these weren’t the deep-conversation, heart-centered, soul-sister bonds I was craving.

I wanted friends who I could be vulnerable with, with whom I could share my deepest desires and wildest dreams. Friends who would nerd out over spirituality and personal development and things of the sort. Friends who had the emotional intelligence to handle my problems (and their own) versus recommending we drown them with a bottle of alcohol.

But, you see, it was difficult to attract those friends when I wasn’t yet capable of being that kind of friend to myself…let alone others.

I was dead certain that giving up alcohol would be social suicide; that no one would want to hang out with me, that I wouldn’t be any fun if I wasn’t drinking, that I would feel left out. The reality was, yes, giving up alcohol did separate me from my friend group…a group which had served its purpose wonderfully, but couldn’t fully support me in this next phase of my life.

I think it’s important to note, I have certainly maintained many of these friendships, but they have shifted form. I rarely chime in on group texts or go out to big group events. Rather, I prefer intimate time with my friends where we can truly support and hold space for one another.

In addition, I’ve been able to attract many new friends who share my passions, beliefs, and interests. Friends who support my viewpoints, visions, and dreams. Friends who are in-tune with my emotions and needs. Friends who are capable of holding space for me in big ways.

More importantly, I am able to show up as a better friend. I am the type of friend you can count on, but who will also set boundaries. I am the friend who stands for your greatness and will not allow you to settle for less. I am the friend who will hold a vision with you and cheer you on wholeheartedly. I was not able to be that friend when my social life revolved around alcohol. Even though I was not an alcoholic, I drank enough that booze diluted my ability to show up for myself or others. That’s no longer a barrier.

Romance

As with friendships, I was attracting — and attracted to — a completely different type of romantic partner as a drinker. I’d meet men out at bars, or agree to “meet for drinks” to calm the nerves of a first date.

Let’s just say that the caliber of men I was meeting was not entirely impressive. I’d find myself in a cycle of dating emotionally unavailable, Peter Pan-types and wondering cluelessly why this kept happening to me.

Newsflash: the whole “your vibe attracts your tribe” thing doesn’t just go for friendships, it crosses over to relationships, too.

When I quit drinking and did a little (okay, a lot) of self-work, I instantly started getting clear on what kind of romantic partner I wanted in my life. And, you know what? They started showing up. I don’t care if it was meeting someone out, or swiping on a dating app, the right types of guys just started showing up.

Sure, they all weren’t matches, but they were a heck-of-a-lot closer than I’d gotten before. When it comes to romance, my ideal of what is possible has been tremendously upgraded in the past few years. And, even when I’m thrown a big punch in the gut (like the guy who’s dealbreaker was finances), I am able to see the bigger lesson and gift in each interaction.

What’s more, I no longer base my own worth and identity on my ability to attract a partner. Yes, romantic partnership is still something I look forward to, but I’m also learning to deeply love myself more and more each day. I know that I am preparing myself to be an amazing, whole partner and that my future love is doing the same.

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Overall, what I’ve learned is that when you vibrate at a higher frequency, you begin to attract different experiences. Furthermore, you begin to want, desire, and feel fulfillment from a whole new breed of experiences. Truly, your own concept of what is possible expands and you begin to see that — with clear eyes — the world is your oyster. And it is. In this lifetime, I know if I want to have an exceptional experience, I have to be ready to do exceptional things. This means, leaving behind some of the mundane, everyday habits that others settle for. I can say that, without a doubt, alcohol was keeping me from what I wanted in so many aspects of my life. With drinking out of the picture, I have the time, energy, courage, and capacity to go after it all.

If you’re interested in learning more about alcohol-free living & pursuing your authentic truth, connect with me on Instagram or download my Guide to Finding Your Authentic Self here.

Seeker. Writer. Elective Sobriety. A 30-something sharing my journey of personal development, spiritual growth, & authenticity. IG: @authenticallyamanda.

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