One reason many people drink is to boost their confidence. Alcohol is often used to remove inhibitions and make you feel more self-assured, brave and confident in yourself. You may drink at parties to feel more relaxed or down a beer before talking to someone you’re attracted to. Yet does alcohol truly increase your confidence? The simple answer is no.
It’s true that alcohol directly affects the brain, but not in positive ways. While drinking may make you feel a little more confident, it’s just a mask that you can hide behind. Self-acceptance without alcohol is the real way to find the strength to be yourself.
What Is Alcohol Courage?
Alcohol courage, or liquid courage, is a term that originated in the 17th century. Soldiers heading to the front lines to face cannons and gunfire were given a good dose of gin, which was thought to boost their confidence. Today, people use alcohol courage for other purposes. Drinking gives them the confidence to do things they are otherwise too scared to do — flirting, fighting, singing karaoke at a bar.
Alcohol causes our brain to release a flood of dopamine. This chemical is associated with pleasure and can make you feel confident and powerful. Alcohol also directly impacts the part of the brain associated with good judgment. This reduces your inhibitions and fears, making you more likely to make an impulsive decision without thinking things through.
Relationship Between Alcohol and Self-Worth
Why do people drink to feel confident? In many cases, it comes down to self-worth. Those with a poor self-image don’t believe they are attractive enough, smart enough or interesting enough. They use the effects of alcohol to hide these negative feelings about themselves and raise their self-esteem — at least for a little while. The effects don’t last, and they drink again to give them that boost of confidence.
Alcohol addiction goes hand-in-hand with negative self-worth. Drinking due to poor self-esteem can be a contributing factor to alcohol misuse and dependence. People who battle with a lack of self-worth don’t see their own value. These harmful thoughts and perceptions can be a trigger to start drinking as they attempt to fill the void of low self-esteem with false confidence. This unhealthy cycle can lead to addiction.
How to Increase Your Confidence Without Alcohol
Learning to improve your self-esteem is a powerful tool in the battle against alcohol addiction. Finding alternatives to drinking to increase your confidence will improve your health and happiness exponentially. Even the smallest steps to enhance your self-worth can have a dramatic impact on how you view yourself and the world around you.
Here are a few practices that can help increase your confidence:
- Try to love and accept yourself, quirks and all
- Challenge self-doubt and critical thoughts about yourself
- Focus on your good qualities
- Practice forgiveness for past mistakes
- Remember that what other people think about you doesn’t factor into your self-worth
Break Free From Alcohol Addiction With Gateway Foundation
Battles with self-esteem and confidence can lead to alcohol addiction. If negative perceptions about your worth and value make you feel like alcohol is the only solution, help is available. At Gateway Foundation, our evidence-based treatments focus on both the physical impact of addiction and the emotional roots that contribute to the disease. With our team by your side, you will learn how to improve your confidence and self-worth without drinking.
Contact Gateway Foundation online or give us a call at 877-381-6538 to learn more.