It will put a ceiling on these three areas of your life.
“We’ll never know our full potential unless we push ourselves to find it.” — Travis Rice
To be clear, when I say “held back” by alcohol, I am referring to not being able to control your consumption of it and knowing that it does more harm than good for your life.
There are some who truly don’t have a problem with alcohol, drink it rather sparingly, and don’t experience many of the telltale signs that those of us who might have an unhealthy relationship with alcohol experience.
If you’re wondering what some of those things could be, check out Why You DON’T Need to Be an Alcoholic to Have a Drinking Problem, and it’ll give you three simple questions that will help you know if you might have an issue or not.
If you answer yes to any of these three questions, there is a good chance that alcohol has a bit more of a control on your life than is healthy, and you could stand to gain a lot by cutting back on your drinking or cutting it out altogether.
The reason for this is that regardless of how in control you feel when you’re drinking or how productive you feel when you’re not drinking, the simple reality is that alcohol will always hold you back from becoming the best version of yourself in three specific ways.
While there are some people who drink and are able to do amazing things in life, the truth is that for many people alcohol greatly impairs an individual’s ability to think and comprehend complex things.
While ideas that are rudimentary or familiar will come easily without much work, when it comes it comes to grasping something new that requires a bit more brainpower, the damage that alcohol does to your hippocampus will make this a bit more difficult than if you had not been drinking.
Over time, this damage becomes more and more pronounced, and you’ll find it a bit harder to even pick up things that are not as complex.
Naturally, as we age, it can become more difficult for us to remember and learn new things, and this is increased dramatically when we impair its development with alcohol.
Over time, if someone drinks long enough, the neurotransmitters in their mind can eventually burn out and make it much more difficult for one to be able to process information quickly or retain information at all — two impairments that will make it very difficult to see success in situations that require mental flexibility and strength.
Anyone who really knows me knows that I love to workout.
I believe that your outer representation is a reflection of your inner health and those who are not able to get this under control are suffering in other areas as well.
With alcohol, it is almost impossible to completely get a grasp on your overall health well-being. Whether it is from skipping morning workouts from being hungover or eating crap at night when you get home from a long bout of drinking, alcohol typically encourages behaviors that are the antithesis to a healthy lifestyle.
While I admit there are professional athletes who drink and party with the best of them, it is not really fair or realistic to compare your life to theirs.
Their JOBS are to stay in shape, so if they drink more than they should on a consistent basis, they have so much more time in the day to make up the workout they skipped that morning to work off those excess calories from that terrible meal.
Also, since many of them have nutritionists who constantly work with them to ensure they are eating the right things most of the time, they are way more likely to get back on track and stay on track after a “slip-up” than the average person.
And it has to be said that if some of these professional athletes had a better relationship with alcohol themselves, they would have a much better chance of maximizing their own athletic performances as well.
This is the sleeper that sneaks up on people. While I was drinking, I thought my relationships were all pretty solid with the occasional blow-up argument at times that seemed pretty normal in life.
I had also accepted the occasional anxiety that I thought was just normal in various situations. What I had no sense of, however, was how many of these situations and feelings were, in fact, CREATED by my overconsumption of alcohol.
Alcohol’s greatest trick is that it makes you think you need it to be able to function in certain situations. Therefore, it makes you feel comfortable in certain circumstances while drinking but doesn’t give you the chance to do the hard work that it takes to become emotionally stable without alcohol in said situation.
This leads to alcohol being the crutch that you turn to whenever something happens that might prove a bit challenging emotionally or if you are in a situation that makes you a bit nervous, e.g., parties, happy hours, networking events.
This puts a great cap on your ability to develop and grow naturally in these scenarios to be able to handle them without alcohol and even can cause you, with time, to lose your ability to function in situations in which you had no issue before.
With alcohol holding your development back, all three of these areas will always have a cap on the growth you can experience in them.
Therefore, if you want to give yourself the best chance to become the best you possible, you can’t deny controlling your relationship with alcohol is going to have to be a major step.