#103 – Episode 103 – Dealing With Resistance and Self Sabotage


Resistance is going to show up any time we do something new. Veronica and Chip discuss how the ego sabotages us when we get sober.

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Resistance and self-sabotage are part of everyone’s journey.

Most people, before they make a final decision to address their drinking, have started and stopped several times because they’re just not used to having to cope with things in a new, sober scenario.

We see a pattern often when people first realize something is wrong with their drinking.

Does this sound familiar?

  • “Oh crap, there’s a real problem here and I can’t get a handle on it. I think I’ve got to stop.”
  • You Google something, you get a book, maybe you go to a meeting or call a helpline.
  • You start getting a few days sober and begin to feel physically better because you’ve stopped drinking.
  • Those days will start turning into a week or so and then the resistance shows up.

Whatever the circumstances, your move into unknown territory triggers the ego, which wants to keep you safe. It starts feeling really uncomfortable and the ego kicks in saying that familiar is safe.

“The ego wants to keep you safe and it believes familiar is safe.” – Veronica Valli

It’s that voice in your head that wants to just get you back to how things were. It’s the voice that’s kept you going and allowed you to survive for all that time and got you through all kinds of dramas so you trust that voice. It can sound like “It wasn’t that bad. I’ll just cut out the weekday drinking and stick to Friday night. That should be fine.”

When we ignore it, it feels more and more uncomfortable and then we give in and sabotage ourselves. We listen to that voice and say “I’ll go to the party butI’m going to just stick to two drinks.” And once you’ve made the decision the resistance evaporates and you’ll feel much more comfortable.

And you’ll drink. Then, of course, what always happens will happen and you’ll be back to where you were.

That’s how people sabotage themselves over and over.

“I think it’s when people start to realize the reality of their emotions and that problems are real and life is real. That’s when we start to sabotage things.” Chip Somers

The work we do in recovery requires us to look at the reality of what will happen when our egos try to get us to go back to how things were.

It’s not going to present like, do you remember all those times you were hungover and missed work and threw up and missed your kid’s sports thing? Your ego is going to say, “Look at them having a nice glass of wine and laughing and having a really pleasant Friday. You’d like to do that.”

It’s incredible how our thinking can present it to you that a couple of drinks will be fine, despite the mountain of evidence to the contrary. That’s how powerful resistance is.

Our ability to self-sabotage is so powerful because of your subconscious programming. This is why we have such an emphasis on personal development.

“It’s not just about putting down the drink. It’s about changing these patterns.” – Veronica Valli

Even if our limiting beliefs don’t sabotage our sobriety, they will sabotage us in other ways until we develop the skill of navigating around them. Once you know how to get through it, it will massively change your life.

We have to change how we think and approach the world.

Think about things like learning how to drive, simple tasks that by persevering have become second nature. It’s exactly the same with recovery.

It will work the same way you just got to push through and you don’t have to do on your own. There are plenty of people who will help you get through that period but please try and stick around. It’s well worth the effort.


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