How Coaching Can Help You Change Your Drinking with Heather Lowe

Episode 147 January 10, 2024 00:49:44
How Coaching Can Help You Change Your Drinking with Heather Lowe
Alcohol Tipping Point
How Coaching Can Help You Change Your Drinking with Heather Lowe

Jan 10 2024 | 00:49:44


Hosted By

Deb Masner

Show Notes

Today’s show is about coaching and how it can help you change your drinking (and your life.) 

Who better to have on the show to talk about coaching than Heather Lowe? Heather is the Founder of Ditched the Drink, a Certified Professional Life and Recovery Coach and the recipient of the Top Sober Coach Award from Coach Foundation. Heather also recruits, mentors, and trains new coaches.  

I’ve had her on the show before (Episode 85) and I’m so happy to welcome her back.  

We chat about: 

Find Heather: 

Alcohol Tipping Point: Break the Silence of Drinking and the Workplace with Heather Lowe on Apple Podcasts 


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Episode Transcript

[00:00:00] Speaker A: Welcome to the Alcohol Tipping Point podcast. I'm your host, Deb Maisner. I'm a registered nurse, health coach, and alcohol free badass. I have found that there's more than one way to address drinking. If you've ever asked yourself if drinking is taking more than it's giving, or if you've found that you're drinking more than usual, you may have reached your own alcoholiday tipping point. The alcohol Tipping Point is a podcast for you to find tips, tools and. [00:00:25] Speaker B: Thoughts to change your drinking. [00:00:27] Speaker A: Whether you're ready to quit forever or a week, this is the place for you. You are not stuck and you can change. [00:00:35] Speaker B: Let's get started. Welcome back to the Alcohol Tipping Point podcast. Today's show is all about coaching and how it can help you change your drinking and your life. And I thought, who better to have on the show to talk about coaching than Heather Lowe. Heather is the founder of Ditch the Drink. She is a certified professional life and recovery coach. She is the recipient of the Top Sober Coach award from the Coach Foundation. Congratulations. And Heather also recruits, mentors and trains new coaches. If that is ever anything you are interested in. And this is Heather's second time on the show. I was looking it up. You were on last November. It was episode 85. So I am so welcome to have, I'm so grateful and so glad to welcome you back to the show. [00:01:27] Speaker C: Thank you. This is so cool. Round two and kind of coming in at a different level with some different information this time. But it's great to be back and I love how we've been able to stay connected as coaches, as peers, as friends, as silver women through this entire journey. So it feels like. Welcome home. Thank you. [00:01:49] Speaker B: Yeah, Heather's my work bestie. That's what we've been calling each other and collaborating. So, yeah, one thing to notice, it. [00:01:59] Speaker C: Can be lonely, right? The coach world. Like, if you work from home, you work alone. If you're a solopreneur like I am, it can be lonely at times. And so you have to reach out to community and have people in your network. So, yeah, I Call you, like my favorite coworker, my work bestie. [00:02:17] Speaker B: Well, I mean, it can be lonely when you're changing your drinking too. That's just the power of community. Definitely. No matter what you're doing, you don't. [00:02:29] Speaker C: Have to do it in all stages and phases. Definitely. Yeah. [00:02:32] Speaker B: Awesome. Well, how did you get into coaching? Can you share your background? [00:02:39] Speaker C: Yeah, I love it so much. So it's like my favorite thing to talk about. Thank you for giving me a platform to do it. So, my background is in social work. My degree from college is actually in social work. So I always wanted to be a helper. I always wanted to work with people. I think I started as a psychology major, like a lot of people do, and was told if I didn't go on to more schooling, then I would be the manager at the gap. And I did not want retail. So I went into social work because it felt like an actual job title to help people that I could do. Plus, I think it had minimal math, which was a requirement to get out of school. Right. And so, very quickly in my social work career, I saw that I wasn't making the kind of change that I'd want to make in people's lives. And it's because I was held to bureaucracy and rules that weren't my own. It seemed like if I really want to make a change, I have to change policy. I have to get into policy writing and policy change, and that isn't something that I felt capable of. So although hopefully I was warm and kind and helpful in a moment, I wasn't actually changing the system. And that was really heartbreaking for me. And also, there was no money in social work, so I switched to human resources. I got a professional human resources certificate, and I told myself that I was still helping people and that it was just people in a corporate environment and that people in a corporate environment needed help, too. So that worked. I mean, I always wanted to help people, and I'm a very strong Enneagram. One, two, three. So that's, like, perfectionist, helper, and high achiever. So helper number two is always right in there. So it fits along with my personality as well. So for 20 years, I sold HR solutions. I started in operations, and then I moved to sales, and I had a lot of success in that. And I enjoyed it. I was good at it, but it didn't sing my soul. I always felt like I was meant for more and different, and I wanted to report to myself. I mean, I would look at leaders, and I would think, okay, I'll do what you say, because I'm a rule follower. But this isn't how I would run it at all. This is not my philosophy. This is not the way I think things should be done. So I got sober myself. My last day one was in February of 2019, and after one year of sobriety, which happens to a lot of people, it happens to my clients, I was like, this is what I need to do. I need to help people. Get sober. I need to help other high achieving professional women know the sunny side to sobriety. Because I didn't have any happy sober role models in my life. There was so much fear to consider quitting drinking, maybe take a break, maybe cut down. But a life of sobriety seemed really sad and really daunting. And come to find out, it's been the most beautiful surprise of my life. So I was terrified. Like, I didn't tell anyone, except for my inner circle that I was even working on quitting drinking until I was one year sober. I made a very casual Facebook post and I was secretly building ditch the drink as a passion project on the side. So I put everything that I used because there wasn't what I needed. When I got sober, I didn't feel like a fit for AA or rehab, which felt like the only two options for me. Looking back now, I wish I would have taken either of those options. I could have. They would have been great options for me. But I didn't want that at the time. I didn't want the label, I didn't want the stigma. I didn't want to admit to having such a problem. I didn't want to call myself an alcoholic and all these things, so I resisted. The only help that I knew was available. And instead I started to build my own holistic way of health and reconnecting with mySelf. It was a journey of self discovery, reconnecting with my own spirit and figuring out how to navigate and how to cope with life, which I had literally never learned since I had my first drink at twelve. So I was like a toddler with emotions and feelings and it was a real challenge. But once I started to see the bright side of variety, I really wanted to share it with the world. So I started this digital class. Ditch the drink. I was once again between jobs. I kept trying to make them work, but I was job hopping because nothing felt right to me. My resume was going up and up and up. I was getting bigger titles, it was getting more impressive. But my drinking was escalating as I was moving up the ladder, and drinking sometimes felt like part of the job, in fact. And after getting sober, I just knew I had to do this. So I started to drink. And then I got trained as a coach. I got connected with the International association of Professional Recovery Coaches and took their program and started coaching. And the rest is history. [00:07:49] Speaker B: Oh, that's great. You were saying things that I related to so much because I have a psychology degree and it was kind of the same. [00:08:00] Speaker C: You managed for the gap. [00:08:02] Speaker B: Yeah, either. [00:08:04] Speaker C: There's nothing wrong with that. By the way. I love the gap. [00:08:07] Speaker B: Totally. But I got to the point towards the end of getting my bachelor's that I was like, oh, I don't know if I want to go on to grad school in counseling. Originally I did and I decided to do nursing. Kind of like you were like, I'm going to do social work. So then I got my degree in nursing and, yeah, just same. Like, I started drinking in junior high and just feeling alone and not relating to AA or inpatient rehab and just looking for different ways. And I got sober in January 1, 2020. And that year is also when I was like, okay, I'm going to start building a website. And I just kind of knew, like, when I get to the other side of this, I'm going to help other people. I'm going to help other people change their drinking. And it's almost like we, like you and I, similar to your story, it's almost like we had to go through all of what we went through to get to where we are now. Just with your background in social work and human resources and being a helper, like, I was the same. I was a natural helper and always wanting to help people. And so it just felt like a calling in a way. Yeah, totally. Okay, well, let's talk about coaching. I have some just questions for you that we can answer. So a lot of people ask what the difference is between coaching and therapy. [00:09:45] Speaker C: Yeah, so such a good question. So I think the main difference is when you work with a therapist. First of all, a therapist could diagnose you and a coach wouldn't diagnose you with anything. And therapy is a clinical modality and coaching is not. Therapy spends a lot of time in the past reprocessing past trauma, different modalities to just reprocess the things that have happened in your past. And the focus of coaching is very much on the present and the future. It's where are you today and where do you want to be? Versus going through the past. Now, of course, the past makes you who you are and attributes to your present situation, but coaching is so action oriented and results oriented. It's in the now. So for my calls, we don't go back and process past trauma. We say, what are you going to do about that today? How would you like to show up today? What's one way you can move the needle in the direction that you want to go right now in this moment versus EMDR or EFT or any of the modalities that a therapist would use to go back through the past. I think those are the main differences. [00:11:11] Speaker B: That's great. And who would you say that coaching is for? And how it might help someone who is looking to change their drinking? [00:11:21] Speaker C: I think coaching is literally for everyone, just coaching in general. And I always say this because if you are a high achieving professional person like you and me, it's pretty hard to ask for help. It's like the last thing we want to do and we might view it as a weakness. We might think we're independent women, we can do it on our own, right? We can do everything on our own. We've got it. We've got it. And we take some pride in doing it all on our own. But coaching isn't for losers. Coaching is for people that want to show up as the best version of themselves. And the top athletes, top celebrities, top leaders in business, top politicians, every highest person in their field has a coach. So whether that's executive coaching, leadership coaching, recovery coaching, life coaching, change coaching. There's all different types of coaching. But coaching is for people that want to perform at their highest level, that want optimum performance and the most self discovery. Coaching is a flashlight. It's like a jar can't read its own label. So people that are open to having other people come in and ask questions and explore and navigate together, it's for the best people, right? It's for people committed to lifelong learning and self improvement. So it really is for everyone. Coaching in general, I would say. Now, recovery coaching specifically. Let's talk about addiction for a second, because we like to think that there's people that have a problem with alcohol and that there's people that don't. And that's not true. I think addiction in general is a human condition. We all desire things. We all want too much of things that aren't good for us sometimes. And that might be in relationships that could be from your bag of potato chips, that could be scrolling your screen or ordering from Amazon prime or being addicted to your own ideas and working too much. And I am all of those things, right? It might be to attention and affirmation from others. Yes, please. Of course I want that. Right. So addiction is any sort of compulsive thinking or doing something repeatedly that might not be good for you. And I think it's part of the human condition. I don't think it's left for specific people. And then it can change over time. There's a gray area that can change over time. So was my drinking a problem at first sip, maybe not, but it changed over time. And the way I used alcohol changed over time, and my brain and my body chemistry changed over time. And alcohol wants more alcohol. So I became somebody who always wanted more alcohol. Right. I became addicted to that. And recovery just means healing from it. And I resisted recovery for a very long time because I didn't know what that meant. And those words, addiction and recovery, scared me. So if you're thinking, like, I don't need a recovery coach or I don't have an addiction, and those words scare you, you can ask different questions, like, am I committed to healing? Because that's what recovery means. And so a recovery coach is for anybody who's interested in healing. [00:14:44] Speaker B: Well said and so true. And so thinking about just specifically, like, sober coaching, recovery coaching, like, whatever you want to call it. But for people who are changing their drinking, how is that different from other addiction treatment or support what goes on with sober coaching? [00:15:07] Speaker C: Yeah. So, first of all, people like me and you are trained in it. So there's the neuroscience of addiction that we know that anybody on the street probably isn't trained in the leading edge brain science of addiction, as well as navigating through change, how to help people make change, which I think really is what recovery coaching is. And there's a component of focusing on strength based, a positive psychology to it. When you're down and out with your drinking, your self esteem is so low, your confidence is so low, you've broken so many promises to yourself, you're walking around with shame. It's pretty hard to see anything that you're doing well, right? You feel like you've failed at this a million times, and a coach can shine a light on what you are doing well, and that starts to lift your spirits and that starts to motivate you. And once you start to feel better about yourself, you're able to keep some of those promises, you're able to show up for yourself differently, and it can lead you through change. So there are some limitations that a coach would have, however. So if you need, like, a medical detox coaching, that wouldn't be the right time for a coach, right? And so especially somebody like me or you, perhaps, that's like a virtual where we meet on Zoom. I'm not part of your medical team. I'm not a clinician, and I'm not part of your medical team, and I'm not even there with you in person most of the time to be monitoring your health status. So if you need medical support and attention or a medically assisted detox or a medication assisted detox. A coach is not the right person for you for those needs. However, coaching can work in tandem with medical professionals, right? Or even with therapists or therapy. Many of my clients have a lot of people on their support team, and that can include a coach, a therapist and a medical doctor. And that's what I recommend. I recommend throwing the kitchen sink at it, getting all the support you can possibly get. But the coaching piece is a very specific modality and it wouldn't be appropriate for medical care. There's times where somebody would need an inner outpatient rehab where they need more intense or more frequent support than a coach would. Often a virtual coach would offer. So there's times when coaching isn't the answer and there's different stages. So a coach can be great after care, right? Like after a stay in rehab. And a lot of my clients are that too. I've also had clients where I've recommended. Together we look up and check them into rehab, right. We take a pause on what we're doing because it becomes evident that they need a different type of support than what I can offer. So a coach can help you navigate the resources that are available to you and tell you more about the options. And there's a time and a place when a coach would be really effective. And there's a time where it might not be the right time for a coach, or a coach might not be the right tool. [00:18:24] Speaker B: Yeah, thank you for that. I think that brings up another point. Like there's so many different ways to change your drinkinG, and it's just finding what is the secret sauce for you. What's that magic combination? What tools are going to work for you? And it's different for everybody. So I think just being willing to try different things, like medication, like a therapist, like coaching, like a know. Just being open to that is so important. And recognizing what you need might not be what Susie needs. [00:19:02] Speaker C: Exactly. Yeah. I think the patchworks of recovery are as unique as we are as people. Right? So that's the other thing about coaching. My biggest misconception about it, before I went into it, I thought it was giving advice. I thought coaching was advice giving. And I thought, well, that's perfect because I know everything. I'm a big know it all. I'm like addicted to self help myself. So I've read every book, I've listened to every podcast. I know everything about everything. I'll be happy to tell people exactly what to do. I'm such a good boss. I can tell everybody what to do. This is what I do in my personal life. And coaching is not advice giving. To my shock and awe, it is not advice giving at all. And a good coach, a very trained coach, wouldn't be giving you advice. And I try my damnedest. Now, probably it slips out every once in a while, but I know my role is not advice giving. And I try very hard not to do that. Because the truth is, what I believe as a coach is that my clients have the answers inside of them. Like I said, they're very smart, accomplished, professional, brilliant, talented, unique people. They don't need me to tell them what to do. What they need me for is safe place to listen. They need a safe environment and a connection with somebody who's been through what they're going through and has what they want on the other side. I think that's a really important thing about coaching, is somebody who literally knows what it's like to struggle with drinking. I think the best trained therapists in the world who don't have this problem cannot have the same connection as somebody who does. So I think just our own lived expeRience, and I think the connection is the very most important thing to have with the client. If we have this connection, if they trust me, if they feel safe with me, if they feel like we are connected and they trust me, that is powerful just in itself. But from there, when they're loud, they get to hear themselves and I get to repeat back to them what I've heard. And it creates a whole lot of Ahas in their own mind. They recognize through my questioning, their own limiting beliefs about things, or their own flawed thinking about things. Or by the end of the call, they have their own ideas of what they need to do next, and they're telling me. So it's not me telling them what to do. It's creating a safe place for them to explore within themselves. And it's having a skilled and trained person, like a coach, that can go through a session beginning, middle and end, right? That can come up with a takeaway, that can lead somebody through change, that has the questions to guide them to their own answers, which, by the way, we're not able to do on our own. I mean, if you're like me, you try on your own for a really long time, and if you're continuing to do that, it's not working. It might be time to say it out loud. And saying it out loud has a million benefits, right? Being accountable to somebody, now you've got a little more skin in the game. If you have somebody that can celebrate with you, if you have someone that you can come back and refine and change, make a plan, document it, there's much more opportunity for change when you're doing it with somebody. [00:22:27] Speaker B: Yeah, well said. And I remember going through coach training at the hospital. We did a big week. Training brought someone in and it was with doctors and nurses and dietitians and social workers. But the big thing was like, you're not telling them what to do. And it was so hard for the doctors and dietitians and healthcare to get around because we had been so used to the setting, especially in the nurse doctor dietitian setting, where it's like, here's what you eat, here's what you take. It's just like boom, boom, boom. You're just always telling them what to do without giving someone ownership and choice and just free will and whatnot. So wrapping your head around coaching, and I think a lot of people don't understand that either because they would come in for coaching. Like aren't you just going to tell me what to do? And what I find is most people know what to do. And a lot of people who are changing their drinking have PhD level worth of information knowledge in their heads. They've been studying this in their own way, whether it's books, podcasts. They have so much information, they know so much. They know what to do. It's just a matter of doing it and having someone there, like you said, who can ask the right questions, who can hold you accountable, who can work with you and beside you and champion you, but ultimately pull it all out of you so that you are empowered totally. [00:24:15] Speaker C: And we learn by doing. We don't learn by listening to a podcast. That's wonderful information. But you don't learn how to quit drinking by listening to a podcast. Now that is the pre contemplation or maybe contemplation stage of making a change, right? Where you're starting to gather information, you're starting to get some resources. But to learn how to quit drinking, you have to not pick up that drink. And it's excruciating and it's really hard. You learn by the action stage. So it means taking a different route home from work so you don't pass the liquor store. It means pouring a sparkling water instead of a glass of wine when you're making dinner. It might mean not making dinner at all and throwing yourself in the bathtub instead, whatever that looks like for you. But you learn by doing it, not by reading about it and hearing about it and listening to other people that have done it, those are great. If you're there, keep doing that. I mean, those will be assets and that will definitely help you. But you actually learn yourself how to ditch the drink by ditching the drink. And we're afraid to fail. The reason we don't want to take this big leap is because we're perfectionists, high achievers, right? We're good at doing things. We project managed everything in our life. Why the heck, why can't we project manage alcohol? And we're highly accomplished people. We're trying to manage that with our own little project management plan, but it doesn't work. And we're so afraid of failure. With a coach, I'm a safe place. You can come back. Let's try something. Let's experiment with something. And sometimes it's just the doing something different. Right? It's like I went for a walk when I got home instead of drink, and it's like the children's book, if you give them also cookie. Because I went for a walk, then I wanted to do this, then I took them out, then I went to bed without a drink. It's like day one, congratulations. That felt good. Now, that's going to fuel the momentum for day two, day three, and it goes on. But you have to learn by doing. And we're so scared to try something because we're so scared we're going to fail at it or not be good at it. But you succeed or you learn. That's it. I think we should throw trying parties for everybody all the time that says, I'm going to try something new. Congratulations. Because you might fail, but you're going to learn, you're going to succeed or you're going to learn. So fail is just another word for learn. You're going to say, okay, I went for my walk, and that was great. And then I came home and I had a drink. Okay, well, tomorrow you're going to go for the walk and you're going to not make dinner because that stresses you out. You're going to order takeout and you're going to go put yourself in the bathtub. [00:26:59] Speaker B: Yeah. And that's why I like to say, like, practice, practice not drinking. Someone just said they use the term train training you not to drink because it is a learning process and it took a long time to create this habit, and it's going to take a while to unwind it totally. [00:27:19] Speaker C: I always say it's like a baby walking. The first time a baby takes a step and it doesn't walk all the way down that hallway. We don't hit the baby and say, what a dumb baby. You're never going to walk. Like, you understand that it's going to take some trial and error and quitting drinking is too. And you can call it a relapse, you can call it a prelapse, you can call it a slip. [00:27:39] Speaker B: I like it. [00:27:40] Speaker C: Somebody calls it an interruption. It's just feedback. It's just telling you some of these things are working. And I need to add in a little more. And what more, you ask your client, you can also point out pitfalls that they might not know that are ahead. Like they think they have this foolproof plan. And you say, well, what are you going to tell people? What's your script? I didn't think about that. Or what are you going to drink? Oh, I didn't think about that. So you could kind of walk them through whatever they have coming up and get a plan for success. And that preparation is the step right before action. So once you're fully prepared, which you do with your coach, you visualize it, you walk yourself through it, you know the pitfalls, you've got a plan. You know what you're going to do then you don't have to make decisions. When you're in that moment, step by step, you know exactly what to do. And you're going to report back to your coach what you've done. And it feels good. It feels good to finally start keeping your promises. [00:28:41] Speaker B: Yeah. Well, walk me through how you do coaching. Like, what would a one on one session with you be like? [00:28:49] Speaker C: So it always starts with connection right in the beginning, and then it's what the client wants to work on. And this is hard to nail down because if clients are like me, we're pretty scattered and we're word vomiting. We've got a lot going on. We've got a lot we want to talk about. We've got a lot on our mind. We've got a lot that stresses us out. We have a lot of anxiety, but it's really through questioning, narrowing down what is one thing that we could address today and then again through questioning, what would it look like at the end of our session if we were able to successfully tackle this topic? Let's say, what would a successful use of our time look like for you? So is that a plan? Is that a resolution to something? Is that whatever the client might need? And so again, it's weird because you don't do this kind of talking with your friends. You don't have this kind of communication with anyone else. It's a very specific way to communicate. So it's awkward at first, maybe for somebody, but as a coach, you get familiar with it and you see how clients are able to really focus what would be important. And sometimes it's not the first thing they say. There's something underneath that, and then, you know what? There's actually something underneath that. So it's getting to the root of what they want to tackle, right. And then exploring different options, exploring different challenges, removing barriers. Often it's mental. I mean, everything is a thought. Everything starts with a thought. So when we start to change our thoughts, we also start to change our behaviors. And I think we have just such limiting beliefs when it comes to alcohol. Like, I won't be fun without it, or I don't know how to relax without it, or I'm not going to have any friends if I quit, or my husband doesn't support me or whatever that looks like. So it's really removing some of those limiting beliefs and having a new perspective, changing some of those thoughts, which changes our feelings about it, too. We're so full of shame. And I think when you're with a compassionate coach, the thing that my clients say, which I think is the biggest compliment, is the voice in their head changes after working with me. It starts as a very loud inner critic, and when they're done, I'm the voice in their head of compassionate, voice of love. Now, that changes everything. When they can start to get on their own team, they start to see it the way I see it, which is only from a loving place. And that makes all the difference, right? When you can show up and link arms with yourself in love, instead of berating yourself and hitting yourself and beating yourself up. So changing that voice in your head. And then, of course, setting up a success plan, setting up a follow up plan, setting up exactly what. And then I like to gauge their commitment level and see if there's some other things we need to add in to make it a little grittier. Or maybe they've just committed to something that they really don't want to do. So then we got to revisit. And again, it's not for me, it's not what I'm telling them to do. It's not my homework that I'm giving them, necessarily. It's things that they have chosen to work on. Small, doable steps. I always like, like a 1% or a 10% better sort of thing. Tiny steps in the right direction. Get you where you want to go and then ending with that follow up plan. And with me, they have text and email support, so often there's a communication plan in between or an accountability plan in between. Often a celebration that we have when there's a big win, because I think celebrating successes is huge, even little ones. We need to celebrate our small victories. [00:32:41] Speaker B: Yeah, absolutely. Let's just lean into the wins and let go. Learn from the losses, but let them go. [00:32:49] Speaker C: And even with the loss, there's usually a win. Sometimes a client will say they set up a plan of when I get home, I'm going to take a walk around the block and I'm going to listen to a sober podcast. And I say, great. And they decide they're going to do that every day of the week. Excellent. Okay. Then they come to our call and they say, they report back, I failed at my assignment. Oh, really? Tell me more. Well, I listened to the podcast. Oh, okay. I did it every day. Okay. But I wasn't really happy and I didn't really want to. And I say, oh, okay, so wait, you chose an assignment of listening to a podcast every day of the week after work, and you've completed that? Yes. But still you're telling yourself you failed. Like, what? And then I say, was enjoying it or smiling while walking, was that part of your plan? Was that part of the goal? Well, no. So you're beating yourself up for something that was not even part of the goal. You're telling yourself you failed even when you actually succeeded. It's like, do you want to smile and enjoy it? Do you want to make that a goal this week? Because you can. And then you can measure and judge yourself on that, but you haven't even made that a goal and you're beating yourself up. And I think you did meet your goal. I can point out, like, you actually succeeded at this. Or people come to me and they say, well, I've done somebody's program before, a 30 day program or something. And I say, okay, what happened with that program? Well, I didn't drink when I was. I failed. Okay, tell me more. Well, I didn't drink when I was doing that program, but now I'm back to drinking and I say, wait, was your goal to do the 30 days alcohol free, or was your goal to quit for the rest of your life? To do the 30 days. And you did the 30 days? Yeah. Okay, well, you didn't fail that. You succeeded at that, right? If you want to make a new goal, you can, but stop measuring yourself like we tell ourselves, we're failing even when we've succeeded because we're so full of shame when we're drinking. [00:35:05] Speaker B: I see that a lot, and I see it with my 30 day program. People that are like, they really tend to dwell on the days they drink because I really emphasize, like, we're going to practice not drinking this month, and you don't have to be perfect. And so I like people to think about, okay, what percentage? And I'll have people who are like, I'm failing, I'm doing terrible. And at the end of the month, and it's like, well, how did you do? Well, I drank four times this month. I'm like, so you didn't drink 26. [00:35:42] Speaker C: Out of 30 days improvement from the month before, probably, right? That is amazing. Right. [00:35:53] Speaker B: Well, I want to hear, what are some of your top coaching questions? What are some questions that you like to ask that you can get a lot out of? [00:36:06] Speaker C: Starting with goal setting, always like a vision, because if you can see it in your mind, you have to see it in your mind first. So you have to have a vision of what you want. So lots of questions about, like, if you could wave a magic wand, where do you want to see yourself in 30 days, in one year, in five years, depending? What does that look in your career, in your relationship? You can use that in lots of different ways, but someone that has a vision of what they're going towards. And I think mostly it's just, again, removing the limiting beliefs and the negative self talk and also understanding where that came from. So instead of beating ourselves up for negative self talk, getting more questions around, how is that your armor? How has that protected you? How has that been useful to you in the past? Because including drinking, right. It's not even that alcoholiday has to necessarily be the enemy because typically it's been a solution before it became a problem. And the people that use alcohol are some of the most intelligent people in the world. We're quite resourceful. So it's feeling good about yourself and recognizing that all you've been doing is trying to protect yourself from things. And now that you know better, you can learn new ways. But with any of our coping tools that we're just like beating ourselves up over, I think gaining some clarity about how they've been helpful, how they came to be, what we can replace them with, and now moving forward. Right. And it's okay to make those changes little at a time. So some insight to our own thinking. And mostly, I don't do the talking. That's why it's so funny to do a podcast or to do an Instagram Live because you're getting a glimpse of me as a coach. But the truth is, in the best calls, I'm hopefully talking like 10% of the time it's the client that's talking out loud about themselves and they're hearing the things that they have to say. And for instance, I just had a call the other day. I mean, if I can shut my mouth and let a client go every once in a while I have to redirect them, but they can figure it out. They end the call going. I had no idea I was holding, I had no idea I was filled with so much shame or this was holding me back so far, or I thought I had gotten over this, but I guess I'm still not. I have more work to do in this area. So I just think being a sounding board and it doesn't take a lot of questions because people want to be hurt. And most people don't have people in their life that they're talking feel safe to talk about their relationship with alcohol with because we've defended it for so long, we've protected our relationship with alcohol. We've denied that we have a problem, we've hidden our drinking so we don't have a safe place to be honest with somebody. And when you get on a call with a coach and you can, and you know you're going to be received with understanding and love and open arms, you start to unravel some of your own flawed thinking yourself just by being heard. [00:39:26] Speaker B: That's so powerful. So very powerful. Well, what should someone look for in a coach? If they're looking for a coach to help them change their drinking? [00:39:35] Speaker C: Yes. Well, you should look for a dab at the alcohol tipping point or Heatherly drink specifically. No, I will say coaching is an unregulated industry, so that's kind of confusing because technically anybody can call themselves a coach. And that's kind of concerning because people without any training at all can call themselves a coach. Now, people that call themselves a coach without training do some really beautiful work in the world. They can be quite helpful. So I'm not dogging on them, but I would say if you want a coach who's trained, I think everybody would agree that the gold standard of coaching is somebody who's accredited through the International Coach Federation, the ICF, and that is an outside organization that would come in and accredited. So I think that's important versus somebody who went through a training that they just made up themselves and isn't accredited by an outside organization. So I think ICF is a gold standard to look for. The program that I did is the International association of Professional Recovery Coaches. It's been around for 30 years. We've trained people in 38 nations. It's a partner of she recovers coaches. It's the best of the best as far as I'm concerned. We actually just won an award from Life Coach magazine for being the top overall program. So it also has been recognized and it's accredited with ICF by outside organizations. And I think that that is really important to find a coach who's trained because coaches can also do damage to people when they lead them down the wrong path. It can also be very confusing and I do know horror stories of people that haven't been helpful at all when it comes to coaching. So I would pick somebody who's had some training under their belt, who knows the system and the process of coaching. It's not just talking to a friend. It's not a peer, it's not what you think it is. Maybe about like I talked to my friend, why do I need a coach? And I say, well, you've been talking to your friend about drinking for quite some time and nothing's changed. But after one call with me, you're starting to make some changes, right? Because there's a system and a process, a proven, repeatable process of navigating through change. So I would look for that, a connection. I mean somebody, I always say, who's been where you are and has what you want. So I think, I would imagine the people that do your program are birds of a feather. Like they're probably people that are quite similar to you. The people that do my program are also people that are quite similar to me. So you want to find somebody that you feel safe and comfortable with, that you trust that you think will get you complimentary call. Every good coach would offer a complimentary call before accepting you into a program or like at least a one on one. You would want to make sure you have that camaraderie and connection and feeling of safety. The most important thing. [00:42:30] Speaker B: Thank you for saying that and sharing your background. I do think that's important. Like you said, there are a lot of people, it is an unregulated industry. I know that we're trying to change it. I have certification through the National Board of Health and Wellness Coaching and Training from smart recovery. I'm a smart recovery facilitator and got training peer to recovery coaching from the National association of Addiction Counselors and Professionals. So I think it is important to have a well rounded training program, especially that, like you said, goes over recovery and addiction, because you do want to make sure your people are safe and well taken care of. So you said it much better than I did, Heather. [00:43:23] Speaker C: No, I agree. And working through the National association for Drugs and Know, you look for something that has an outside accreditation, I would say, and national Board of Health and Wellness, we partner with them all the time. I mean, those are top coaches. Also, I would say the program that you've done and the program that I've done are both wonderful programs. So I would definitely recommend either of those kind of coaches. But ask about coach training. Definitely get a complimentary call. Ask what their training is, ask what their background is, ask what their philosophy is. Right. Some people, there's different methods, like complete abstaining or harm reduction. There's different philosophies and you just want to make sure you find somebody that fits with you. She recovers. I'm also a she recovers designated coach and that has its own philosophy of a lot of diversity and inclusion. And again, this patchwork, if somebody only believes in AA as like a must do and you don't want that, then that wouldn't be the right coach for you. My clients, some are in AA, some are know. We find out it's very custom curated to them. But again, I don't give advice, but there are resources and I do have tons of resources. So a good coach is up and up in the field, as you are, as I am, to offer different kind of modalities and learning. And a coach isn't your only tool. It's one. Right. It's one of many things in your toolbox. So that's the other thing. I say, I now have a community, but for a long time I didn't. And I would say to my clients, I'm one thing, but let's add more, right? You can go to a smart recovery meeting and come to a coaching call with me. You can do both of those things. You can join a community of people. You can be part of the she recovers group and come to a coaching call with me. You can talk to your therapist and you can talk to your coach and you can talk to your medical doctor for that matter. So get everybody on board, get everybody on your team for sure. But yeah, ask about certification and then figure out connection if that feels right. [00:45:25] Speaker B: Well, how can someone find you? I'm sure there's going to be people who want to find you and also, I should point out, like I said at the beginning of the podcast, that if you're interested in becoming a sober coach, then Heather is your gal to talk to. So how can we find you? [00:45:43] Speaker C: Yes,, my website, everything is there. It's always under construction. I'm always trying to improve it, make it easier to read because there's just like so much information. But yes, if you want to get sober, I have a free Sober secrets guide and a free coaching video. So download that. That's for everybody. And then there's different options. Community digital class, one on one coaching. You can look at that. But also, I'm such a fan of coaching because I see it work every single day. I see it in process. I witness transformation. It's the Bees knees as far as I'm concerned. So yes, I recruit people too, because I partner with the International association of Professional Recovery Coaches. I do some training for them. I'm the editor of their newsletter. So I recruit people to the program that I did because I believe in it. And then I also have a course to teach coaches how to launch their business. So once they're trained in coaching and they want to know the business end, I'm sure you were there. I was there like, okay, we're helpers, we're ready to coach. But now, like, where do we get clients? How do we start a business? So I help people do that. I have a course to help people do that. And the most beautiful thing has happened in my life, Deb, is that my clients are now coaches. My clients have gotten sober with me. I always say, come for the recovery coaching, ditch the drink, stay for the life coaching. Because I'm a trained life coach, too. And as you know, once you ditch the drink, then you look around your life and you go, what the heck have I set up for myself? This is not working. I need to change everything, right? It just happens one day at a time, no pun intended. So save your life coaching. And so then too, they want to help others. So they've been trained with the International association of Professional Recovery Coaches. Then they take my launch your coaching practice to start a business. Then I welcome them back to my community to start, once they're trained and certified, to start leading some group calls for other new people in early sobriety. And it's just this beautiful full circle thing. So I love it. I'm a huge fan of coaching, either as a coach, myself, as a coach mentor, as somebody who recruits or answers questions about people that are interested in coaching because I didn't know when I started, like, what is it? What's good? What's bad? How much does it cost? That's the other thing. There's a huge difference in cost from a $30 Internet class to a $25,000 program that's accredited through nobody. There's a really wide range. So if anybody just wants to talk about coaching and get some more information about it, I'm happy to talk to perfect. [00:48:30] Speaker B: See y'all. I told you she is the perfect person to talk to about coaching. So I'll put the link in the show notes to ditch the drink. [00:48:40] Speaker C: Yes, perfect. [00:48:41] Speaker B: And you can find Heather. So thank you. Heather, I'm so glad you were on this show and we got to talk about coaching and I hope it helped people. [00:48:49] Speaker C: Thank you so much. Good to see you. My work bestie. Thank God we work together. I love the opportunity to be on again. I appreciate you. [00:48:59] Speaker A: Thank you so much for listening to this episode of the Alcoholiday Tipping Point podcast. Please share and review the show so you can help other people too. [00:49:07] Speaker B: I want you to know I'm always. [00:49:09] Speaker A: Here for you, so please reach out and talk to me on Instagram at alcoholiday Tipping Point and check out my website, for free resources and help. No matter where you are on your drinking journey, I want to encourage you to just keep practicing. Keep going. I promise you are not alone and you are worth it. Every day you practice not drinking is. [00:49:31] Speaker B: A day you can learn from. [00:49:33] Speaker A: I hope you can use these tips we talked about for the rest of your week and until then, talk to you next time.

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