We live in a world where the hustle and bustle can often leave us feeling isolated, especially when we embark on the challenging path of behaviour change. But what if I told you that connection, that invisible thread linking us to others, is the unsung hero in our quest for transformation? In the words of Johann Hari,
“The opposite of addiction is not sobriety; the opposite of addiction is connection.”
In Johann’s TED Talk that struck a chord with so many, he reminded us that connection is the key to overcoming challenges. Addiction or not, the need for human connection is woven into the fabric of our existence. It’s not a weakness; it’s a fundamental part of being human.
One of the problems of deciding on ditching the booze, or any behaviour change, is that we all have a tendency towards FAB – sadly it isn’t in fact ‘fab’, its Fading Affect Bias, the phenomenon of looking back favourably on negative experiences. In other words when temptation hits, or we’re feeling anxious, or stressed, we tend to look back with rose coloured specs at the ‘lovely glass of sauvignon’ that seemed to lift our spirits’ and before we know it we’re back down the booze elevator.
It’s important to put tools in place to ensure that we are realistic, that we also recall the horror of waking up somewhere we don’t remember going to bed, of texting something we’d never say when sober, of feeling terrible, hungover and ashamed, and remind ourselves that in fact, this is worth pushing through, and life is better without the booze. Having others to remind of that helps too!
What about the science around connection? Research has shown that individuals with a robust support system are 65% more likely to successfully make positive changes in their lives. It’s not just about setting goals; it’s about who’s cheering you on from the side-lines.
As Oprah Winfrey wisely said, “Surround yourself with only people who are going to lift you higher.” Imagine being in a space where every interaction propels you towards positive change. That’s the magic of a community that values connection, shared goals, and mutual inspiration.
In The Sober Club community, we really do see the transformative power of connection. You’re not just a member; you’re part of a tribe with a shared mission. It’s a place where shared experiences dissolve the walls of isolation, leaving room for understanding, encouragement, and genuine connection. We have members who are on Day One…sober curious, a few weeks or months sober, through to those who are rocking it with over ten years of sobriety. We all become cheerleaders for each other, because it’s about SO much more than ‘just’ not drinking, it’s about the holistic picture, what do we want to focus on next towards living our best life?
Jim Rohn once said, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”
In the context of behaviour change, this rings especially true. Choosing to surround yourself with like-minded individuals, each on their unique journey, can be the catalyst for profound personal growth. It’s not always recommended to share all of your struggles with your partner or closing family members in the early days of sobriety. They may be supportive, and mean well, but when the rubber hits the road, and the wine witch comes flying in, the supportive partner who says: ‘It’s OK, you’ve been doing great, you can just have one glass…’ won’t be the support you need. Sharing those thoughts and ‘wobbles’ with those who have been through and got the T shirt is what will make the most difference. Our support is totally non-judgemental and knowing that you have a bunch of people who have your back makes all the difference.
“The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances: if there is any reaction, both are transformed.” Carl Jung
Our connections, much like chemical reactions, have the power to catalyse change in both ourselves and others. I’m sure you’ve heard the expression ‘Your vibe attracts your tribe’ It’s the idea that the energy and positivity you radiate will attract like-minded individuals who can become an integral part of your support system on the journey of behaviour change.
So connection is the vibrant thread that binds us together. So, whether you’re considering a shift in lifestyle, aiming for sobriety, or pursuing any other transformation, remember: You don’t have to go it alone. Seek out those connections that lift you higher, surround yourself with positive influences, and consider joining a community like “The Sober Club” to embark on your journey of change with a supportive tribe by your side. We’re not just social creatures; we’re social alchemists, turning connection into the gold of personal transformation.
Join us www.thesoberclub.com