Did you know that identifying your personal core values can help you reinforce WHY you want to live an alcohol-free life and find more meaning and fulfillment in your choice?

It’s true. Values are your compass to a big, brave, beautiful life. 

Core values are fundamental beliefs that can guide our behavior and decision-making in life. They serve as a compass, giving us direction and helping us to prioritize what is truly important and meaningful in our lives.

But sometimes we aren’t even sure what we value, because our parents, culture and spouses tell us (directly or indirectly) what we should care about.

So that’s where core values work comes in.

In this episode, we explore the topic of how to identify your personal core values and use them to reinforce your decision to live an alcohol-free life in a positive and meaningful way that sustains your sobriety over the long-term.

Once you know your own personal core values you can use them to evaluate how you’re spending your time, money and energy as well as using them to make decisions. For example you can ask yourself “Does this move, job, habit, behavior, connection or decision bring me closer to my values or take me further away?” 

Core values matter because they can provide us with a sense of purpose, direction, and meaning in life. They help us make decisions that are aligned with our beliefs and goals.

Before I stopped drinking I thought my values were the ones I got positive reinforcement for from my parents, schools and jobs.

At that time I would have said, “I value competence, responsibility and integrity. I will never let you down. I’m hardworking, loyal and good.”

Turns out, those weren’t my core values. They’re wonderful – but holding on tightly to those priorities kept me stuck in a job that was filling me with anxiety and frustration (and making me want to knock myself unconscious at night with a bottle of wine).

Through core values work in sobriety I discovered my true values, and they’ve helped me have the courage to make major shifts in my life.

Identifying your core values is important personal development work to do when you decide to stop drinking. 

Core values can reinforce your commitment to being alcohol-free in a number of ways. 

  • They provide direction, clarity and focus: Knowing your core values helps you to understand what is most important to you and provides a sense of direction and purpose in life. You can use your values to make decisions that align with your beliefs and goals.
  • They promote self-awareness: Identifying your core values can help you to better understand yourself, including your strengths and weaknesses, and what motivates you. This self-awareness can help you to make positive changes in your life and to live more authentically.
  • They help you achieve your goals: When you align your goals with your values, you are more likely to feel fulfilled and motivated in pursuing them.
  • They facilitate decision-making: Identifying your core values can help you to make difficult decisions by providing a framework for decision-making. You can use your values to evaluate different options and choose the one that aligns with your beliefs and feel confident that you are living with integrity and staying true to yourself.
  • They help you to prioritize: Knowing your core values can help you to prioritize your time and energy, by focusing on the things that are most important to you. This can help you to avoid distractions and stay focused on your goals.
  • They strengthen relationships: When you know your core values, you’re more likely to form strong and meaningful relationships with others who share similar values. This can lead to more fulfilling personal and professional relationships.

My guest today is Libby Nelson, a Professional Certified Coach trained in the work of Dr. Brené Brown and a Certified Daring Way™ Facilitator who specializes in helping women navigate midlife transitions. Libby joined me earlier on the podcast in a popular episode on How To Navigate MidLife With The Work Of Brené Brown

In this episode, Libby shares how identifying her core values of Integrity, Connection, Growth and Curiosity, have helped her align her actions with her values and avoid triggers that might lead her to go back to drinking. 

Casey also shares how her core values of Connection, Pleasure, Optimism and Integrity have helped her make huge shifts in her life, from leaving her corporate career to becoming a coach to navigating life with more ease, self compassion, confidence and clarity.

In this episode, Casey and Libby discuss:

  • Why values matter
  • How identifying your core values can strengthen your commitment to alcohol-free life
  • Why drinking can let us to ignore things in our lives that aren’t in alignment with our values
  • Specific steps to follow and questions to ask to discover your own core values. 
  • Why your core values may change over time
  • Casey and Libby’s core values and how they’ve influenced their choices and decisions

How can you use your core values to help you quit drinking or stay sober?

By using your core values to reinforce your decision to stop drinking alcohol, you can tap into 

the deeper motivations and reasons behind your decision. This can provide you with the strength and motivation you need to stick with your decision and make positive changes in your life.

Core values can emerge when alcohol is absent as drinking can often serve as a coping mechanism that masks underlying values and emotions. 

By exploring values, individuals in recovery can identify new coping strategies that align with their beliefs and priorities, ultimately leading to greater resilience and well-being.

The process of staying sober can highlight the discomfort and challenges that you may face when confronting your emotions and underlying values. However, by embracing core values work and committing to personal growth and self-discovery, you can build a fulfilling life in sobriety that aligns with your values and priorities.

Once you have identified your values you can align the choice to be alcohol-free as being in alignment and supporting you in living your values. 

For example…

  • If one of your core values is health or self-care, you can use this value to reinforce your decision to stop drinking alcohol. You can remind yourself that quitting alcohol is a way to take care of your physical and mental health, and that it aligns with your core value of prioritizing self-care.
  • If another one of your core values is personal growth or self-improvement, you can use this value to reinforce your decision to stop drinking alcohol. You can remind yourself that quitting alcohol is an opportunity for personal growth and that it can help you to achieve your goals and become the best version of yourself.
  • If another one of your core values is family or relationships, you can use this value to reinforce your decision to stop drinking alcohol. You can remind yourself that quitting alcohol can improve your relationships with your family and loved ones, and that it can help you to be a better partner, parent, or friend.

Here are 9 questions that can help you identify your core values

  1. Describe a peak experience in your life, a highlight or truly happy time and experience. What was great about it?
  2. What was a lowlight in your life? What was bad about it? 
  3. Who in your life inspires you? What values do they seem to embody?
  4. What do you love most about your kids? Or your spouse or best friend? 
  5. What really bothers you about people and things?
  6. How do people describe you? 
  7. If someone was doing a speech about you when you’re 80, what would you want them to say?
  8. What’s a big dream you have? Who do you need to become to make that happen? What values do you need to practice or honor to get you there?   
  9. If time and resources were not a concern, what would you do?

You can also go through a list of core values words and circle the ones that resonate with you and cross out words that do not feel aligned with your core values. 

Then try to group together the core values words into similar groups until you have 5 values that seem aligned with the core values that came out of your questions above. 

See list below of Core Values words to choose from

Core Values Words - Hello Someday Coaching
Core Values Words - Hello Someday Coaching
Core Values Words - Hello Someday Coaching

Resources mentioned in the episode:

Ep. 105 | Navigating Midlife With The Work of Brené Brown 

Core Values, joy diets and pleasure as discussed in the podcast interview on 5 Types Of Perfectionism And How To Make Them Work For You.

List of Over 200 Core Values Words From Scott Jeffrey

Core Values List From James Clear, author of Atomic Habits 

Ready to drink less + live more?

Join The Sobriety Starter Kit, the only sober coaching course designed specifically for busy women. 

My proven, step-by-step sober coaching program will teach you exactly how to stop drinking  — and how to make it the best decision of your life.

Save your seat in my FREE MASTERCLASS, 5 Secrets To Successfully Take a Break From Drinking 

Grab the Free 30-Day Guide To Quitting Drinking, 30 Tips For Your First Month Alcohol-Free.

Connect with me for free sober coaching tips, updates + videos on YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and TikTok @hellosomedaysober.

Connect with Libby Nelson

Libby is a Professional Certified Coach (PCC) she is trained in the work of Dr. Brené Brown and is a Certified Daring Way™ Facilitator as well as a Gottman Institute Bringing Baby Home Educator.

In her private practice, Libby coaches bright, high-achieving professionals in creative transformative life shifts around careers, relationships and emotional wellness.  

She’s been on the podcast before about navigating midlife with the work of Brene Brown – friends of mine have coached with her. 

Libby lives in Seattle with her husband and their three teenagers. She has been in recovery since 2014.

To learn more about Libby and the work she does, head to www.libbynelsoncoaching.com

Follow Libby on Facebook and Instagram

Connect with Casey

Take a screenshot of your favorite episode, post it on your Instagram and tag me @caseymdavidson and tell me your biggest takeaway!

Want to read the full transcript of this podcast episode? Scroll down on this page.


Are you looking for the best sobriety podcast for women? The Hello Someday Podcast was created specifically for sober curious women and gray area drinkers ready to stop drinking, drink less and change their relationship with alcohol.

Host Casey McGuire Davidson, a certified life and sobriety coach and creator of The 30-Day Guide to Quitting Drinking and The Sobriety Starter Kit Sober Coaching Course, brings together her experience of quitting drinking while navigating work and motherhood, along with the voices of experts in personal development, self-care, addiction and recovery and self-improvement. 

Whether you know you want to stop drinking and live an alcohol-free life, are sober curious, or are in recovery this is the best sobriety podcast for you.

A Top 100 Mental Health Podcast, ranked in the top 1% of podcasts globally, The Hello Someday Podcast is the best sobriety podcast for women.

In each episode Casey will share the tried and true secrets of how to drink less and live more.

Learn how to let go of alcohol as a coping mechanism, how to shift your mindset about sobriety and change your drinking habits, how to create healthy routines to cope with anxiety, people pleasing and perfectionism, the importance of self-care in early sobriety, and why you don’t need to be an alcoholic to live an alcohol-free life. 

Be sure to grab the Free 30-Day Guide To Quitting Drinking right here.

Subscribe & Review in iTunes

Are you subscribed to my podcast? If you’re not, I want to encourage you to do that today. I don’t want you to miss an episode.

I’m adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the mix and if you’re not subscribed there’s a good chance you’ll miss out on those. Click here to subscribe in iTunes!

Now if you’re feeling extra loving, I would be really grateful if you left me a review over on iTunes, too. Those reviews help other people find my podcast and they’re also fun for me to go in and read. Just click here to review, select “Ratings and Reviews” and “Write a Review” and let me know what your favorite part of the podcast is. Thank you!


Thank you for supporting this show by supporting my sponsors!

Learn more: https://hellosomedaycoaching.com/sponsors/


Aligning Your Core Values With Alcohol-Free Life with Libby Nelson


drinking, values, core values work, life, people, pleasure, Libby, Coach, important, wine, alcohol, kids, integrity, friends, husband, connection, work, question, feel, job, compass, aligning, alcohol-free, sobriety, coping mechanism

Core Values

SPEAKERS: Casey McGuire Davidson + Libby Nelson


Welcome to the Hello Someday Podcast, the podcast for busy women who are ready to drink less and live more. I’m Casey McGuire Davidson, ex-red wine girl turned life coach helping women create lives they love without alcohol. But it wasn’t that long ago that I was anxious, overwhelmed, and drinking a bottle of wine and night to unwind. I thought that wine was the glue, holding my life together, helping me cope with my kids, my stressful job and my busy life. I didn’t realize that my love affair with drinking was making me more anxious and less able to manage my responsibilities.

In this podcast, my goal is to teach you the tried and true secrets of creating and living a life you don’t want to escape from.

Each week, I’ll bring you tools, lessons and conversations to help you drink less and live more. I’ll teach you how to navigate our drinking obsessed culture without a buzz, how to sit with your emotions when you’re lonely or angry, frustrated or overwhelmed, how to self soothe without a drink, and how to turn the decision to stop drinking from your worst case scenario to the best decision of your life.

I am so glad you’re here. Now let’s get started.


Hi there. Today we are talking about Aligning Your Core Values With Alcohol Free Life.

And if you don’t yet, know why this is really important work. Don’t worry, my guest and I will talk you through it and we’ll talk you through how this will help you in going alcohol-free navigating that time as well as really for the rest of your life.


So, my guest today is Libby Nelson. You may recognize her because she’s been on the podcast before in a really popular episode about Navigating Midlife with the Work of Brené Brown. She’s also a very good friend of mine. We met 6 years ago. I was one year alcohol-free when we met, and I was fan going on her because I basically want to be Libby when I grow up. She’s got just the best energy. Friends of mine have Coached with her and just rave about how amazing it is. So, I know you’re going to love this episode.


Libby Nelson is a Professional Certified Coach. She’s trained in the work of Brené Brown and is a certified daring way Facilitator, as well as a Gottman Institute, bringing baby home educator in her private practice. Libby Coaches bright, high-achieving professionals in creative transformative life shifts around careers, relationships, and emotional wellness. She lives in Seattle with her husband and has three teenagers and has been in Recovery since 2014. And let’s just jump in and get started.


Libby, welcome.



So happy to be back here. Casey, thanks so much for having me.


Casey McGuire Davidson  03:16

I wanted to do this Core Values Work because it’s something that I do with all of my private coaching clients when they reached the 60-Day Sober mark. When they’re out of the drinking cycle. And I know from talking to my friends who coached with you, and you directly, that this work is something that you do first with all of your private clients.



That’s right. It’s in the first time I meet with people in an official capacity. It’s a session called, Discovery. And we really, we craft how we want to work together, we set some intended results or goals. And then we do a deep dive on values. Because to me, and I know we’ll get into this, but values can be the compass to living a big, brave, beautiful life. And I think once we’re clear on our values, so many things are more or more possible for us because we have something to look to and say does this decision whether that’s stopping drinking, changing jobs, leaving a relationship moving across the country? Does this bring me closer to my values or further away? And I think once we have that we’re empowered to make that change in a different way.


Casey McGuire Davidson  04:28

Yeah, I mean, I see. It is just your compass and aligning it to what’s really important to you and what you want to do with your life. And I did Core Values Work for the first time when I was in my Coach Training Program. So, that was four or five years ago now. And what was really special about this episode was, you took me through your process, in sort of, redoing my Core Values. And we did that work together, which was really special. I know, we both think it’s incredibly important. And we do the work a little bit in a different process and a different way to get to the same outcome.


So, to jump right in, you said, You’ve done this work with women who are stopping drinking, or on the Alcohol-Free Journey, or an Early Sobriety?


Do you want to talk about why this work supports them on that journey? And why Core Values may get out of whack when you’re drinking?



Yeah, absolutely. So, because I am not a Sober Coach, you know, like you are. I get people usually in one of two places. I either get people, when they come to me for something else, you know, they’re experiencing burnout, they are considering a big change. They’re sort of asking this question, at this phase of life. Who am I now? And often, what comes out several sessions in is, oh, by the way, I’m drinking a bottle of wine a night, do you think that could be having anything to do with me getting traction in these other areas of my life? So sometimes they don’t. They don’t always lead, you know? Yeah, so the lead is buried a little bit.


The other time I get people is when they have a little Sober Time. So, if they have 90 days, you know, of Recovery, you know, for me, just based on the model of Coaching that I practice, I generally like to get people when they’re a little bit further along in their journey.


So, then they might be asking,

Okay, who am I now? You know, I let go of this thing.
Maybe I’m not part of mommy wine culture anymore, you know, or I don’t know who I am, who are my friends? Who are my people? What’s my social life going to look like?


And so, using it as a tool, then to get clear on the values. And I guess, just circle back, and answer your question. What’s so important about it is, that, first of all, our true values can emerge when alcohol isn’t in the picture. And sometimes, it can come. If we’re clear on what our values are, then it becomes so glaringly obvious, often painful, so that our behavior and our patterns are either smashing our values day after day, or completely bypassing our values.


And one thing, I know you and I talked about, is any time that we feel like our lives are stuck, frustrated, you know, we’re unhappy, it’s usually a huge red flag that something is going on with our values. We’re not living a life that is reflective of our values,


Casey McGuire Davidson  07:38

They are being violated, or they’re, you’re being asked to do something that’s not in alignment with your values. Whether it’s taking an action, behaving in a certain way, or even just not having the time to honor them. And that’s when you feel resentment, irritation, frustration. And most of the time, we don’t know why.


The other thing I think, is when we’re drinking. I mean, I know I did this, you drink to tolerate things you drink, so you don’t have to think about things that bother you or to shut them off. And often, that’s a misalignment of your Core Values.


And I totally agree with you, like, a lot of times when you stop drinking, and women have said this to me. But I think I even said this to my Coach. I don’t even know who I am. If I’m not the social butterfly who arranges all the wine tasting trips, who drinks as a main activity or habit in my life. I was like, I don’t know who I am. And I hear that a lot as well.


And then the other thing I hear is, oh, shit, I stopped drinking. And like, Now, all this other stuff is way too apparent to me that I’m not, you know, like, for me, it was work. I was like, I stopped drinking. And I’m clear and a lot of life is better, except for it’s incredibly obvious to me that I do not give a shit about being a Corporate Marketer. My job, my industry is just not fulfilling and it’s taking me away from what I care about. And by the way, that’s really scary, you know?



Yeah, yeah. Oh, I love that. You’re saying that because I think what it points to is that, yeah, oftentimes drinking is this coping mechanism to tolerate, to continue, to behave, or choose the things or live in the things that really aren’t working for us anymore. And that’s a thing that sabotages a lot of folks.


I think staying sober is, you know, they clear away. Sort of the coping tool, you know, and it’s like taking a little kid’s pacifier away. Cold Turkey. Without them having anything to replace it with. And but worse, because now you’re like, wow, I am not sure if I can do this thing. And I’ve had friends and clients in recovery who’ve said, you know, I’m not sure I can live in this job, in this marriage, in this way of doing life.


Yeah, without alcohol, you know, as a way to cope, it sort of forces you then to feel like, maybe I need to do something about it. And that’s pretty terrifying.


Casey McGuire Davidson  10:30

And some of that, too. I mean, I know, I stayed in my job, I leave for two years after I quit drinking. And doing the Core Values Work, going to Coaching school. Having my own Coach did help me find more personal satisfaction and draw healthy boundaries, while I was still in my work, and I’ve seen women do that with relationships with their parents, with their spouse with work, even with their kids. So, it is possible to do this core values work, and for that, to shift your perspective in your behavior enough. So maybe, like, for me, work, you know, wasn’t the, what I did every day wasn’t at my deepest level. What I cared about, but it did enable me to do other things that I cared about that were my Core Values. And for a long time, that was enough, while I was healing, while I was getting stronger. And it stopped me from feeling so much anxiety and resentment around it. So don’t, you know. Basically, I think what I’m saying is quitting drinking, and getting sober and doing core values work does not mean you have to quit your job and make more money and cut off your relationship with your mother and get divorced. It does not. The work will support you.



Absolutely. And in fact, in 12 Step work, one of sort of the unofficial rules is that you make no major life changes in the first year. So, if you’re single, you don’t get married three months later, you know, if you if that person wasn’t in your life, before you don’t ditch a job, you don’t, you know, make any massive changes in relationships, knowing that life needs a way to settle out, you know, in the new way of being, and I think values absolutely support that,


Casey McGuire Davidson  12:27

and yet change and transform it and learn so much in your first year sober, and you don’t want to increase stress on your life. And so, what are the biggest stressors, right? Financial issues, relationships, like getting force moving, changing jobs, like all of those things are huge stressors, which are triggers. So, you don’t want to add that to your life. But also, a year later, you’re going to be so much more clear and optimistic, and confident and content. And so, you want to make big moves from a place of power, not fear, or being shaky, or whatever it is.



Totally, completely.


Yeah. I’m curious, Casey, when it comes to your values, and I don’t know if it’s okay to segue.


Oh, yeah.


You know, what have you noticed about how going alcohol-free helps you to better support your mass? Well, I really think that when I was drinking one, I was really just trying to get through the day. I mean, once I had gotten into drinking at such a level where I was drinking a bottle a night, I was sort of hungover and shaky and beating myself up. Every morning, I really didn’t want anyone to know how much I was drinking. How worried I was about it, or, you know, my husband, my colleagues, the people at the bus stop, like how important it was to me to get that third glass of wine at a restaurant. And I spent so much mental and physical energy, deciding to stop drinking, trying to get some sober time saying screw it, drinking again, repeat. So, I was really operating from a place of basically like trying to move really fast, so no one could get a bead on me. Hiding how I was feeling because I didn’t want to say anything to my spouse or my boss and mostly my spouse and have him come back at me and be like, well, you’re basically checked out and drunk every night. Like, I felt like, I didn’t have a leg to stand on in asking for more. And a lot of my values, because I’ve never done sort of personal work and Coaching and therapy were the values I thought I had. And we talked about this. Were values I’d inherited from society, but mostly from my parents and work and what I got a pat on the head for.


So, if you had asked me when I was drinking, what are yours, tell me about you, tell me your values, tell me what you care about, I would have said, I am competent and responsible and will never let you down. And I might have said, act in integrity, because that was something I really thought I should do. Turns out, it is a core value. But it was something more related to people pleasing and being responsible and achievement. Turns out, three of the four of those are not my core values. That’s what my parents told me I should care about, which is probably why I was in Corporate.


I mean, I actually have a story about my dad, very specifically, telling me, shaming me, directing me not to go into what I actually wanted to do, which was Sociology. Which is kind of very similar to the work I do now. And basically, I wanted to Major in it. And he basically told me, I’ve never met no offense to Sociology Majors out there. If I could have done it, I would. He said, I’ve never met anyone who ever amounted to anything who majored in Sociology. And then he said, at least I don’t have to tell my friends. You’re a Women’s Studies major. And I mean, consider that I have now a life, had Sobriety Coach who works with women, and does a podcast all about society and alcohol and women’s role in the world in our culture. And I mean, literally, I did.


Yeah, but he didn’t want me to do and he’s, he died. 17 years ago, I adore him, he was working at a place where his Core Values were. I was such a Daddy’s girl. I still wanted to get his approval. I think I worked in the Corporate world for 20 years because of that conversation. You know what I mean?

Casey McGuire Davidson 

Hi there. If you’re listening to this episode, and have been trying to take a break from drinking, but keep starting and stopping and starting again, I want to invite you to take a look at my on demand coaching course, The Sobriety Starter Kit.


The Sobriety Starter Kit is an online self study sober coaching course that will help you quit drinking and build a life you love without alcohol without white knuckling it or hating the process. The course includes the exact step by step coaching framework I work through with my private coaching clients, but at a much more affordable price than one on one coaching. And the sobriety starter kit is ready, waiting and available to support you anytime you need it. And when it fits into your schedule. You don’t need to work your life around group meetings or classes at a specific day or time.

This course is not a 30 day challenge, or a one day at a time approach. Instead, it’s a step by step formula for changing your relationship with alcohol. The course will help you turn the decision to stop drinking, from your worst case scenario to the best decision of your life.

You will sleep better and have more energy, you’ll look better and feel better. You’ll have more patience and less anxiety. And with my approach, you won’t feel deprived or isolated in the process. So if you’re interested in learning more about all the details, please go to www.sobrietystarterkit.com. You can start at any time and I would love to see you in the course 



Yeah, yeah. Oh, that’s such a thank you for sharing that in theater major over here, who would have minored in women’s studies, except my parents had a similar perspective on that, you know, and, and it just, it just actually almost brought a tear to my eye as you were saying that because of course, you know, our parents are doing the best they can, you know, with what they have. And that is something that served your dad really well, I know enough about your dad to know, he had an amazing purpose driven career, you know, and an amazing life. And, gosh, we just, yeah, we just want to, we want to hit the mark. Right.


Casey McGuire Davidson  17:50

And I think he cared about me, being able to financially support myself and being able to get a job and, you know, have to depend on a man, you know, for all kinds of different things, right, and options, whatever it is, but, and I’m sure he didn’t realize that that very offhand comment, although it was fairly pointed, and he apparently felt very, like, impacted me, for every choice I made for 20 years, despite the fact that like, my physical body through anxiety, and drinking was like rebelling against the daily move I made, you know, yeah.



Yeah. And I think so many of us who wind up on this path, and certainly the women I coach, you know, who, as you said, in my, my intro, you know, are by and large, very bright, high achieving women, they have some perfectionism in their backpack, they have some people pleasing, you know, and I think, not UNCW incidentally, you know, we all, like many of us, certainly not, we all, but a lot of us ended up in this place, because we’re trying so hard to please and fit and hit the mark and not disappoint, you know, and make expectations. And it’s like, if you just keep adding rocks to that backpack of what you’re carrying, you know, it makes complete sense that you would be looking for a way to cope, and to like, numb and soften that a little bit, and hence, opening the bottle of wine. So, it’s so… it’s all connected, right?


Casey McGuire Davidson  19:23

Yeah. And I know just so people know your background. I mean, I met you when you were already sober. You were already a coach that was way back in my mind, something that I wanted to be, and you just have this incredible energy around you, which I love. But our drinking was also very similar. You were just further along and getting away from it. When we met I just literally I met you on the day I hit one year alcohol-free. So will you just give us sort of a little bit of background on what your drinking looked like and why you stopped Oh, yeah, absolutely,



you know, I was super functional, you know, for most of my drinking life, and, you know, I got a late start in drinking, I was a good girl in high school, you know, I was a great student, I went to wonderful university, I didn’t, I developed an eating disorder there, which is often sort of a sister, you know, issue that can come up for many of us. And didn’t really start using drinking too. There definitely were some red flags and some warning signs of some poor decisions and some risky behavior and that sort of thing related to alcohol. But it really was when I got into the working world. And, you know, and really started opening a bottle of wine with my husband, you know, first boyfriend and husband, you know, at the end of the day, and just having a glass of wine, it was like a great way to cap the day, I had seen my parents enjoy alcohol that way, it seemed very connected and sort of, like their time.


And, and then I had, um, I went through some infertility, and then I had three babies in two years. So, I had my oldest. And then, two years later, my twins were born. And I was a full-time mom at home, I’d worked in mental health earlier in my career, I know I’m jumping around a little bit. I had a husband, who worked a lot, and then was in grad school, ultimately. And I was at home with three little kids, he traveled a lot. And I really didn’t have any skills at saying no, at setting boundaries, I was not good at asking for help. And I was totally drowning in the responsibilities of my life, and instead of looking for help, or crying uncle and I want to give myself some compassion, because it’s very difficult to do that. And we have a lot of cultural messaging around what motherhood looks like, and good motherhood. And I mean, my kids are late teens early, you know, my oldest is 20 now and so it’s, I think it’s even worse for moms today, because they have even this that much more pressure about “should” and shouldn’t, then maybe we did. Even when my kids were small, but I didn’t have any coping tools. And so, when I would put the kids to bed at night, then I would open the wine, you know, and that, that became I’ve liked it. I like it.


Like, if you’re looking for a taxi, and a taxi that has its light on is taking passengers in a taxi that has it slide off, is closed for the night, you know, or they’re, they’re full, and it was like a taxi turning off, it’s like my drinking wine was like, I’m off, I’m off duty. And I could be off duty, you know, until the next morning. And in short, that just became very slowly and insidiously. It just became sort of a harmless and I’m putting air quotes, you can’t see, if you can’t see it. If you’re just listening on the podcast, but that it went from sort of a harmless habit into something that I really depended on to – to relax, to sleep, to check out to manage my anxiety to cope with the stresses and pressures of life. And my dad, who I was very close to, ended up having a stroke, and we almost lost him. And it’s sort of like, the wheels came off the bus at that point. I stopped trying to moderate. I was very sad. And I just start. Really starting us. Using wine in a major way as medication and nothing groundbreaking happened. I’m so fortunate that I didn’t end up with you know, a DUI or losing my kids. There are many of the consequences that so many people, and people I love, and some of my dearest friends in the world have been through. But it just got to wear it, to bring it back to values. I was living in a way that was so far from my values. And my most, my one of my core values is, integrity is connection. And I was just this growth and learning, you know, and I was just so far from that. And to live so far apart from my values became so unbearably painful. That finally, you know, a day came where I just thought I can’t do this anymore. And that was sort of the beginning of the end of my drinking career.


Casey McGuire Davidson  24:28

Yeah. Yeah, I am. I was just looking. After we did our personal core values work. And we actually have very, very similar core values. Yours. I’ll just say it and then we can go into it years where integrity connection, including spiritual connection, growth, curiosity.


Mine were integrity, connection, optimism, and pleasure, but I could seek her growth and curiosity right in there as part of connection and pleasure in mind. And we would talk a little bit about joy, diet, and restriction and otherwise pleasure might have been one of your top values.


So, we can go into that. The one thing I want to say is, there are no bad core values, like, every single person is different. And other people have core values where I’m like, yikes, I should feel like I should have service as a core value. And it’s just not one of my like, I feel like in connection and integrity, I do like I am of service, but it’s just not something that drives me. And that’s okay for other people, if they have ambition and power as a core value, like, good on you. That is incredible. For me, power gives me anxiety for some, you know what I mean? Or it takes me away from pleasure, ambition takes me away from pleasure. And what that means to me. So, all that is to say is, if your core value is not integrity, that’s awesome. It does not need to be in my core value, does not need to be service.



Absolutely. And I work with people in the corporate space a lot. And I also do this work with couples, and it’s so interesting. So, if I have an individual client, I often will give them the opportunity to have their spouse come in, and do values work with me separately, and then they can sort of see where do they match up on their values, and where are they further away, but I just had a really great guy, I was doing values work with the other day. And he loves, first of all, he’s in. He’s in Finance, and he also loves sports.


So, he was, you know, this is what he did. His whole growing up, he seeks out sports opportunities for competition in sport, and, and we’ll talk about our values process, I’m sure in a few minutes, but essentially, the words that I was hearing coming through for him were competition, you know, and, and I thought, That’s interesting. I’m not sure if I’ve ever had somebody like, is that a core value of his? And ultimately, only the person whose values they are, can decide what their values are. And he came back to me, and he said, after doing the work on his own, and he said, You know, I realized, like, competition is really key for me. But I think the value that it hits on is achievement. Like, I really like to achieve. I like to win. I like to have a goal and hit the mark. And so, that’s, you know, that’s beautiful, because that’s so reflective of who he is. And it’s really important that he has work and hobbies, and places in his life where he can live out that value for somebody else. It might be security, you know, and safety. And oftentimes, our values are born out of our life experiences and our families of origin, you know. And sometimes, it’s personality and the way we’re wired and DNA and inherited, you know. There are all kinds of ways, but I love that you made that point, because there’s no right values. The only values that are right for you are the values that feel true.


Casey McGuire Davidson  28:14

Yeah. And I think that, and we talked about this, how your core values can change. Over time, I think that when I was younger, whether I was important score college or on my own in my 20s, when my parents were very, very far away, you know, physical distance, emotional distance, whatever it was, safety, security was a huge value of mine. And it you know; I think of it kind of is like Maslow’s Hierarchy Of Needs. Like, it’s awesome that my value now gets to be pleasure. That would not have been the case when I had no money and was figuring out what job I needed to take and had my support, you know what I mean?



Totally. Yeah. And it’s curious. And I love that we talked a lot when we met about pleasure is one of your values. And, you know, I’m just curious how that intersects with being alcohol-free for you. Like, what did pleasure maybe look like then? And what does pleasure look like now?


Casey McGuire Davidson  29:19

Yeah, I will answer that question. And then I want to circle back to the Couple’s Work because I do that. I thought that was so interesting.


Yeah. pleasure for me. I think that when I was drinking, and I think my Coach even asked me about this in the beginning. Like, what do you like more than red wine? I think this was my first week. And I almost could not answer that question. I was like, I like a lot of things in addition to red wine because I drink every night. So, like, I like concerts and one I like girlfriends with wine. I like, weekends away. Why TV and wine? Right? I like cheese. I think my answer was basically like, I like doing burpees early in the morning without buying board that why’d you know, like it, my list was like, Okay, take that off the table. I like good books, I like coffee shops, I like they came, you know, whatever it was. But I feel like when I was drinking, my universe of pleasure and reward had shrunk so much around alcohol, that I got lazy in actually exploring pleasure outside of it.


I also think that because of looking back hindsight, being 2020, the way that alcohol spikes your dopamine, and then it just lower your baseline is lower that I didn’t actually feel pleasure, as much as I naturally would have, without alcohol. And in the beginning, when we were doing Core Values Work, I had all these things on my list, and I had trouble boiling it down to that word, right? Because I was like, is it happiness? Is it whatever the equivalent is of travel or adventure or experiences? Is it beauty? You know, because I love just seeing and experiencing beauty, whether it’s in nature, or like, in my physical, your, oh, yeah, like Jarden all those things. And I was like, oh, you know, is it happiness, and I was like, I think it’s just pleasure. So that’s, you know, that’s, I think, how it changed when I was drinking. Once I stopped drinking, I had to find new sources of pleasure. And ones that didn’t include like, basically getting drunk. And that was a really cool experience. But when that took time, and I think I got to experience things in a new way. Also, we talked about joy, diets, and restrictions. And I think when I was drinking, I felt guilty about it. And I felt like I was overcompensating. So, I almost would not allow myself other pleasures, like taking a nap when I was tired, or going on vacation without my kids, or not doing things for my kids, because I was, you know, I was in that place of like, I do everything for everyone.


Yeah, both because I want to prove there’s nothing to see here about my drinking. But also, it allowed me to be a little bit of a martyr, therefore, I had a reason to drink. You know what I mean?



I relate to that. 100% Yeah. The other thing that really stuck out to me, that you were talking about pleasure, and that you sort of lost access to real pleasure, you know, when you were drinking, and that really mirrors one of the things Brené talks about.

Brené Brown talks about in her work, and she talks about numbing as, as sort of a universal tool, like we all use numbing, and in little ways, right? Or we all, you know, and compulsive numbing, she says is addiction, you know, but non complete, like, we all know, maybe we eat too much, or maybe we shop too much, or we all we watch too much TV, we scroll too much on social media, you know, we all have things we reach for and we don’t need to put some big morality judgment around it like to not miss human, you know, to an extent, but she also talks about how we can’t selectively numb.

So, if we numb boredom, anxiety, pain, overwork, you know, lack of rest, we also are numbing pleasure, joy, like the full experience of life. If you think of it, it’s sort of like a tunnel that has like a bunch of build up, you know, or a drain a pipe that has a bunch of buildup. It’s not just one part that sort of gets gunked up, the whole thing gets dumped gunked up so that what can go through it is so much less. And that’s what I think, you know, maybe think of when you were talking about how your life just got so much smaller, because we kept the low, but we also kept the high. Yeah, so we’re just operating in a really small window of life experience.


Casey McGuire Davidson  34:26

Yeah. Yeah. You know, it’s interesting, okay. When you were talking about your Coaching clients and you offer or as part of it, they can decide to have their spouse do a session with you on Core Values. I was just like, Oh my God, I want to have Mike do that. You got it?


Yeah, well, I will pay you. Hey, y’all, I would love to do it. But now I just have to get him on board because I think that a lot of when you were talking about the person with achievement and how important that was for them. And that’s why competition in sports. I feel like in a marriage, understanding why something is important to someone else allows you to have, have them have that happiness with more ease and grace, as opposed to being like, Why the fuck are you doing this? Because it’s not important to you, you know what I mean?



Right. And sometimes we think, you know, we can make judgments about our spouses, because we’ve seen, you know, that they load the dishwasher the wrong way, or they, you know, never go for the promotion at work, or they spend a lot of money or they save too much money, like we all have our, our ideas about our spouses and things that we love about them and things that drive us crazy about them.


And yes, I think it’s so helpful to have a sense of what the values are, because of what you’re saying, you know, that, that then we can approach it with more grace and respect around why they’re doing what they’re doing. And I think when it comes to making big decisions as a couple, you know, do we want to have another baby? You know, do we want to via a lake house? Do we want to take a hiatus from our jobs and travel for the next three months? You know, whatever things, you know, how, where do we want to invest? Our money can be so helpful to see where are we like, where do we die, you know, divert, diverge from each other. And we’re How can we meet each other so that both of us feel like our values are getting honored? And, and how can we support each other in that way? And I just think it’s very enlightening. And offers each a real appreciation, you know.


Casey McGuire Davidson  36:51

So nice, really. Here’s some, you know, I clearly have done work with a Coach. I’ve gone to Coaching Squad Conduct Therapy, so I am very comfortable making choices, including leading, leaving my corporate job in and prioritizing connection and travel on pleasure and all that stuff. Because I now know, it’s in alignment with my core values. But I do wonder if you haven’t done this work, and my husband hasn’t, if he is making choices, that he experiences irritation, or resentment or anxiety based on it, that are his father’s values, or what he believes a man, or a parent or a husband has to have as these core values. Do you know what I mean?



Completely, and honestly, that’s the main reason I do my values work the way that I do. And I’d love to hear about what your process is, like, for my process, you know, I’ve done this work as the values definer, that the recipient, the client, you know, multiple times, both in my own coach training and in other venues and settings. And a lot of very typical values work involves taking a look at a list and kind of circling the values that stand out for you. And I think, for somebody who’s done a lot of work. And that is a totally cool way to do values, you know, because you might have a little bit more discernment as far as what belongs to me and what belongs to somebody else.


Yeah, I think, for people for whom this work is very new, it is a little muddy and clear. And sometimes, we’re not sure. Is this really my value? Or is this a value that I inherited, you know, from somewhere else. And so, the process that I use when I do values with people is we just pretend that we’re curled up on a couch with a delicious, in my case, nonalcoholic beverage, having a you know, a juicy conversation, or in a coffee shop somewhere. And as you know, because we did it together, I just asked a lot of open ended questions. And then as the Coach, I’m just listening.


Yeah. So, I’m not asking people to serve up their values, the values emerge in how they would spend their perfect day or who they most admire and what they admire about them, or the thing they love most about each of their kids. You know, are the questions are fairly spontaneous based on who I’m talking to, and kind of piggybacking off previous questions, and so then I send them a list of all the values I heard. And while they’re certainly not limited to those because we can’t in the course of 50 minutes, we can’t talk about every possible topic. So, for example, we might never hit on anything religion to relate it to faith or spirituality. Probably if that’s really core for the person probably that’s shown up somewhere for them in another way of answering the question, but not always, so they have the opportunity to add on and then of course, delete anything thing that doesn’t work for them. But, um, but it, it helps to take off a little of that, like, No, I’m going to define my values, you know, it feels a little more self-made at it getting it that way.


Casey McGuire Davidson  40:12

Definitely. Well, I remember when I did the work with you, which I think is really cool. Before we had this conversation, and was a bonus for me, I’m actually getting my hair cut and colored later today, right after our call, and you know how you’re always jealous of your hairdresser. Because she talks about like ad extensions, a friend of mine did, or I got my hair updated, or whatever it is. And I’m like, you get that for free. You just trade off. So as a coach friends with other coaches, we get to trade off on friendship benefits a different way. Yeah.



No. Yeah. Like some guy was interviewing on the Enneagram. He did my Enneagram assessment. Like, this is cool. But you taught us to get really, really cozy. So, I know you really well. So literally, I was laid off by carpet it my off. Yeah, back. And at some point, you were like, I can’t really hear you. And I was like, oh shit. Cozy told me to get cozy.


So anyway, so you asked me about peak experiences, like remembering my most happy memory of a time or place? You asked me what really bugs me about things, or people? What people say about you, what you most love about each of your kids? Who do you really admire and why and a whole bunch of other things. But I thought, you know, my process is different. So, I thought that was really interesting. And it was, it was great to just be able to talk and to have you pull out the pieces that you heard from me without me having to, you know, go through this exercise of, you know, you kind of get used to, here’s how I self-evaluate, you know.



Right, right. And, and a really important piece of it is that I reflect what I’m listening, and then you in this case, or the client ultimately does have to go through that that same process, right. And so, it still could pop up that you’re like, wow, you know, you could have a self-judgment based on your history of let’s take pleasure, for example, like ghoulies pleasure and okay value to have perhaps a more reputable value would be, you know, I don’t know, strength or wisdom or something like that. Right. So, you’re still, it’s not foolproof, right? We still have those messages and tapes that can pop up for us, you know, and it’s it just maybe gets you there a little more quickly. Maybe? Yeah, and there’s no right way.



Casey McGuire Davidson  43:03

Yeah, and I love that you said too, that you’re both listening for the values I mentioned. And also, the ones I don’t mention, can you tell me a little bit about that?



Yeah, so, um, so when somebody is. So first of all, when I asked the question, and this is what I asked, absolutely everybody is what drives you nuts. You know, what, what, can you not stand in other people in situations in the world right now. And so, I think that is a great place, because people are pointing out something that drives them crazy. But what they’re not saying is the flip side of that value, because that’s the value that’s getting stepped on. So, if like narcissistic, narcissistic people drive you crazy, you know, then what’s the value kind of on the other side of that, you know, is it selflessness? Maybe not, is it, you know, I don’t know, altruism? I don’t know. So that, but then, but then I think, just in the way and I think as Coaches, this is just something we do every day in our, in our work. I’m quite certain when you’re talking to your clients, they might be talking about something they’re struggling with. And there’s like a big hole, you know, in what’s not being said and sometimes that will pop up so maybe somebody will be saying, Oh, my You know, I really value time with my family and all of this and they’ll be saying all this, and you know that this is somebody who works 80 hours a week, so yeah, what missing here? So, just place, sort of, like, I don’t know, I think of Hansel and Gretel like follow the breadcrumbs, both in what they’re saying out loud, and then maybe where there’s a little bit of a disconnect happening and getting curious and maybe poking a little bit there.


Casey McGuire Davidson  44:55

Yeah. I think that’s really interesting. And the idea. Yeah, of working X number of hours a week, or whatever it is, was sort of one of the indications or I felt, once I knew what my core values were, it really helps me make decisions that included, you know, basically not being considered for promotions where I was working. So, I was at L’Oréal, and my boss, you know, essentially was working a ton traveling a ton, she was single, she really wanted to be a general manager, she was always managing up, didn’t have kids, etc. And therefore, in order to get her to give me the pat on the head, and the respect and the approval I wanted, she wanted me to work the way she did. And it’s very, as a people pleaser, and a perfectionist, right? I it’s very hard for me to feel like I’m not measuring up to someone or letting them down or that disappointing them. And, you know, someone said to me once is like, don’t take directions from people who aren’t going where you’re headed. Like, if you don’t want their life, their values, the way they spend their time, their relationships, if you don’t want that, by definition, they have to disapprove of some of the choices that you’re making. And so, when I looked at my values, I wanted, you know, at the end of the day, and we’ll talk about this more and your values, but one of the things that was important to me was just, I wanted to have a strong marriage, where we really liked each other. And I wanted to have, be really close to my kids and have them come home from College or visit when they were in their early jobs and like sit at the kitchen table and like tell me everything about their lives. You know, that was really important to me. And at my job, you know, in order to even move up my GM was like, What is even 25% of the time is even that too much travel for you? And I was just like, that’s a week of every month. Like, yeah, that’s too much. I was like, and in my mind, I’m like, my marriage does not work, not because we’re pretty equal. Like, if I’m just gone a week of every month, and like, don’t spend that time with my kids, I want to be the mom at the baseball practice. And I want to be the mom at the bus, and I want to work. But you know, I said at the end of the day, do I want people to say at my funeral, wherever it is, at the end of my life? God, she was a really good VP at X company, you know what I mean? Or do I want them to say she had all these experiences and relationships and connections and conversations like, that’s what I want. It’s not to be in some random Hotel, which by the way, would not have been great for my sobriety either. To be alone, in a hotel in New York going to business dinners with people I didn’t know.



Totally, totally. And I love that you’re saying that. And the important thing about values is that there might be some people listening, for whom, like being a huge contributor to the business where they were, or being an amazing leader of 100 people is a huge reflection of their values, right? And what’s important is that or taking that step. So, they have that financial security, so that x, y, z are modeling, like women in leadership, yes, you know, to their, their children, or their nieces and nephews or the broader world, or to the women coming up after them. And I work, I Coach a lot of women in the corporate space who are moms. And you know, and for some of them, you know, I’ve had women say to me, my mom, was always dependent on my dad, and she could not leave a really difficult marriage because she had no choices. And so, I’m never going to be that person. Right.


And so, I think what it just all keeps coming back to what’s so important is that the clearer you are on your values, then you can take the trips 25% of the time, or 50% of the time, if that reflects your values and give yourself some grace on saying, You know what, I’m not going to be the mom at the bus stop or at the game, but I’m going to show my kids what’s possible if they dream they you know, as an example, so go helps us to let go of some of the shame and the should that culture wants to pile on to us no matter what we choose.


Casey McGuire Davidson  49:51

Yeah, I totally agree with that completely. And I think that like for a lot of people, it’s some balance. I have that like, I never was a stay at home mom, I never, you know, I want to have great relationships with my kids. I also found them unbelieving and draining. When they were little, and I wanted financial independence, I had a healthy fear that anything could happen, you know, my husband could die, he could divorce me any, you know, whenever I wanted to be able to support myself and my kids, and you know, all that kind of salute.



Yes, yeah, I hear that. And I, you know, I think it’s so beautiful that you, you gave yours, you know, it was the right choice for you, on many fronts. One way and no doubt helped you have some of the skills and tools you’ve, you’ve been able to use to launch this beautiful business and podcasts and everything that you have now, right? Like, you know, that the end, you give yourself permission to pivot to reflect your values.


Casey McGuire Davidson  50:58

And to shift right, even if I wasn’t going to leave my job saying, I don’t want to be on the road 25 or 50% of the time. That was the saying, I’m going to stay at home with my kids and spend 24/7 with them. And it by the way, if you do that, that’s incredible.



Yeah, I did when my kids were really small for a few years. For me, it was our kids, as I mentioned, where we’re in vitro babies, they were really hard to come by and, and my husband kept getting transferred. And for me to keep having to sort of find new jobs in each place. You know, this was before everybody could work remotely from it. Not everybody, but a lot of people can work remotely like they do now. And, and for us in our family, like that was the absolutely the right choice at the time. And so, yeah, that reflected my values, you know, of where I was in time.


Casey McGuire Davidson  51:49

So, your structure of going through it is you work with someone and pull out their values by asking them, you know, what drives you crazy? What are your peak experiences? What do you love most about x person? In your life? If you don’t have kids, it’s someone else they love? Who do you admire? And why? What other questions because if someone wants to do this on their own, we’ll put a lot of these questions in process in the show notes.



Yeah, I mean, and I’m sure there’s some really great tools that might have some of these questions online. I’ll be honest, some of the questions I ask everybody, like you’ve said, another great one is, let’s say someone’s giving a speech about you, you know, and when you’re at, you know, what, or you know, at your funeral, or when you’re retiring, what do you want them to say about you? You know, that’s one. Another question I love is, if time and resources were not a concern, what would you do? You know, you know, and some, so some of it are questions that I can use on everybody. And then some are ones that are more spontaneous that come out of a conversation.


So, let’s say somebody says, Oh, my volunteer position at the soup kitchen, you know, then it’s what’s important about that? Is it service? Is it connection, you know, is it, you know, and one thing I guess, I want to say, to piggyback on that is sometimes we, we kind of throw around these value words that we hear in the media, like, a lot of people would say, Oh, family is one of my number one values. And I think that’s true for a lot of us. However, I think family has a different meaning.


So, that’s part of the process to have.
What does this word mean, for me?

Once I’m clear on what it is, Is it shared experience and shared history? And is it legacy?

 Is it unconditional love? Is it like cheers? A place to go where everybody knows your name, you know? Is it mutual care and understanding and respect?


So, I think there are lots of ways to sometimes approach some of the same values.



The other thing that I do that I think is really interesting, I’m curious if you do it too, is say, you probably do it through your process. I do mine a little differently, and we can talk about that. But if someone sort of centers on a value, we go through that and be like, Okay, why that’s such a coaching thing, right to like, pull it apart and tell me more about that and whatever. What I’m doing with that is to try to figure out or talk about whether it is a fear based value meaning this is a value for me because I whether it’s security or something else, because I want to guard against x or y, which is true, but I feel like fear based values, spurred resentment and dissatisfaction are hard to orient your choices around in a really positive way. And to not.


That value isn’t valid, but I want to shift it to something positive versus something, you know, like, take the sentiment, the reason why you care about this deeply and figure out sort of what the, what the flip side of that is so that you can orient your life towards that in a positive way. Does that make sense?



Yeah, absolutely. I love that. And I think it helps people get a little bit more clear. I’m trying to think of what would an example like, what might an example of that be? So, so let’s take financial security, like we talked about, that could be a fear based value, especially for somebody who did not grow up? Having much or maybe had to scramble? And from a positive? What might that look like? Yeah. Maybe that’s not the best example. But yeah, it’s an interesting question.


Casey McGuire Davidson  55:53

Well, the other thing that Danielle Laporte does that I think’s interesting is she talks about desire based goals, right, as opposed to achievement based goals. And I just liked this idea of you’re like, okay, my goal, you set out goals in the beginning a year is to get promoted to x thing, or to travel to y or to get married or whatever. And I holding a part like, why? How do you think you’re going to feel when that happens? Why is that going to make you happy? And it’s like, okay, well, then I’ll feel truly loved or I will feel financially secure, or I will be able to do x, y, z. And her question is, okay, you want to feel that way? What can you do today to experience that feeling, or to prioritize that feeling versus, you know, what she talks about is we keep going towards these achievement based goals, I’m going to lose 30 pounds. And you can get there, get the promotion, get married, lose the weight, whatever it is, and of course, like, very anti diet culture, but just as a goal that a lot of people have. You all may not feel that. Do you know what I mean? You think it’s going to give it to you?



Right? Right. I love I love that about her work. And I used to use that a ton. In my work is sort of this idea of, how do you want to feel and getting clear on that? And yes, what can you do today? To experience that feeling? If you can’t leave your job right now, and a lot of people can’t, you know, but what you’re craving is freedom. How can you create a little freedom? Yeah, how in your day, where can you open up some space? Does that mean you’re getting up half an hour earlier? So, you have that time just to yourself when no kids or, or bosses, or anybody are pulling at you, you know, how can you? How can you sort of taste test, you know, those feelings or work them in? You know, knowing that, for many of us, like the realities of life, you know, demands that we work for pay? Yeah.


Casey McGuire Davidson  58:08

Yeah, yeah. So yeah. So, one of the things once you got your values, and this is something you can continue to dig into, then, you know, in my mind, the work is to say, Okay, how often? Or how well, do you honor your values with time, money, or energy? Which I’ll use her being collected? Are there any values that you feel you’re actually having violated? On a decent basis? And how can you spend more time more energy, my prayer, more priority on your values, so like, for me, working, enabled me to go on trips and have adventures and have these pleasurable experiences, and spend time with my kids without worrying about financial security or, you know, all these things? So, I wanted to keep you know, once I framed it that way, I was like, Okay, this work that I’m doing is enabling me to do X, Y, Z. Yes. But if I were to travel 50 or 25% of the time, that would actually violate one of my values. So, is there a balance in that? Yeah.



Oh, I love that. Yeah, it reminds me of Simon cynics work about the power of why, you know, and knowing your why, and if we’re clear on what our values are, like, being able to have adventures, you know, and, and travel, let for example, you know, in that example, then maybe the job doesn’t offer that right. Maybe that doesn’t feel like there’s a lot of joy in the job. But if our why of why we’re doing it and why we’re showing up every day helps to honor a value, then that’s a pretty powerful lie, just like, and if somebody has a value of, let’s say, authenticity, and hiding their drinking or trust, you know, and they’re hiding their drinking from everybody, and, you know, they might not want to give up drinking, or, or scale back drinking, or whatever they’re considering, and maybe that becomes just 1% Easier to address that issue. If they feel like it’s helping them really live in the values that are most central to who they are. Yeah.


Casey McGuire Davidson  1:00:47

Yeah, I  think that’s a good point. And in bringing this back to doing core values, work, identifying your values, and allowing that work to align with an alcohol free life, if that’s your goal, or aligned with helping you continue on the sobriety path. How would you look at that, you know, in that context, specifically?



Well, I can use myself for examples. So, you know, integrity was one of my number one values was integrity and connection are my top two. And I might have thought that connection was getting honored through my drinking. You know, I had friends that I used to have whiny playdates, we call them wine, why? Girls nights book club, my husband and I loved drinking wine together, we would go to Napa, Sonoma, we went to Italy on our honeymoon and drank wonderful wine, you know, we had some really connective experiences over wine, but there became a part a time somewhere, not sure where the scale tipped, where connection became less important, less valued, if it the wind was getting in the way, you know, of your connection, maybe I would, before I go to a party, I’d have a glass of wine or two at home, because I didn’t want to drink too much at the party, and then maybe I’d leave early and come home and have some more wine at the end of the night.


You know, and I guess where I’m going with that is, that not only did that feel like I was hiding, which stepped on that integrity value. But connection was being truncated, not because I couldn’t necessarily have real conversations with people. But because I always had this feeling in the back of my mind that if these friends even, if my husband really knew.



Really knew that’s much I was drinking, how much I was thinking about drinking and thinking about not drinking is still thinking about drinking. Oh, yeah. Trying not to drink still think about drinking. If they really knew me, it’s that that feeling? If they really knew me, would they love me the same? Would they care about me the same? And, and so I just really cut myself off from that deep level knowing and that deep level connection and integrity as well. So, you know, for me, I think I didn’t even know how far I’d gotten from that. Because it was such a slow build, you know, but one of the things that really, once I decided something had to change. That was one of my big why’s that in connection with my kids. And the integrity with my kids. My kids were not teenagers, yet. They were still single digits. But I was going to be getting to a place where I was going to need to be talking to them about alcohol and I was a total hypocrite.


Yeah, you know, even so, it felt really important to be able to be an integrity around that. And so that kept me staying the course. Even when I had days where I really, really wanted was questioning the discussion.


Casey McGuire Davidson  1:04:13

Yeah, yeah. The I completely relate to that. And also, if someone’s listening to this, I want to also frame it as we spend a ton of time romanticizing drinking. Or you know, we all have highlights and lowlights drinking. We prefer to ignore all the lowlights and celebrate the highlights that trip to Italy, that wine tasting weekend on your anniversary, the bonding with girls over happy hour, etc. Insert yours where you’re like, I can’t imagine missing out on X. We need to spend a lot more time romanticizing and sobriety, so we see the benefits, so we actually don’t just be like yeah So I’m sleeping better and I’m not hungover. But that’s not as cool as whatever this romantic highlight of drinking is. Values and aligning not drinking with your core values is a really powerful way to romanticize sobriety, versus I love that concept.


Yeah. Yeah. So, in my mind, for example, same thing, right? Connection, pleasure, integrity, optimism, are a lot of my core values, right? Not being hungover every day. That is pleasure, right? By literally, every morning, that is definitely violating one of my core values. Connection, you know, I wouldn’t remember conversations I had at night, I wouldn’t look my husband in the eye. In the morning, I felt like I was always dodging and weaving, you know, being able to have a conversation without shame. You know, that’s pretty, that’s pretty awesome. One of the reasons that I really helped me stop drinking or, or was powerful to me was, my son was eight. Hank, you know, Hank was eight when I stopped drinking this gorgeous little cuddly redhead. And I imagined when he was 17, or 18, a decade out. If I kept drinking the way I was drinking, knowing it’s progressive knowing you drink more, not less. Would he want to bring his friends home to hang out at the house? If I was still drinking that way? Would he not want to be around me like that, in terms of connection and love was really powerful. Totally. And flip it to, oh my God, when I don’t drink 10 years from now, I feel like I’m going to have a really great relationship with this awesome human. I love more than anything. You know what I mean?



Completely. It’s funny because I was just romanticizing, with my husband, I even still, you know, I’m going on 10 years sober. And I’m still romantic, you know, can find myself sometimes romanticizing the drink from time to time, and I was saying our oldest is turning 21 this year. And I was like, oh, you know, I guess I feel kind of sad. I can’t, you know, crack a bottle of champagne, you know, to celebrate the birthday or buy the first drink or whatever it is not that I couldn’t I guess I could but just doesn’t align with my values, you know, anymore. But you know, and my husband said, you know, gosh, but think of all the important moments and conversations you’ve been able to have.


Yeah, because Paul’s not in your life. Yeah, I was like, Yeah, okay. Thanks for the reality check.


Casey McGuire Davidson  1:08:01

Yeah, yeah. Well, the other thing about pleasure and joy and experiences and connections. So, I very much remember a New Year’s Eve that I was so excited about. My kids were young, and we got sort of a hall pass from grandma, we were going to go over with these other couples and like sleep over on New Year’s Eve, right? Like, pretend we did not have kids again. And I remember going over there, obviously, I was drinking, I was very excited. At some point I completely blacked out well, before midnight, I do not remember going to bed. I was not there to toast with my friends or kiss my husband at midnight. I woke up with no memory and just the most brutal hangover and a shitload of shame. Like yeah, that was not pleasurable at all. And romantic, not romantic, not connected, not in integrity, you know what I mean?


And so, I love New Year’s Eve now right? We do wish fly in wish paper with our whole family we you know, bake a birthday cake because my son asked for it once and we do it every year I make a vision board like that is very pleasurable and connected and optimistic making wishes for the new year and all the crap right so the more that you can figure out what your values are, use that to romanticize sobriety use that I love James clear, with atomic habits to help build an identity based habit around being a person who doesn’t drink so that you can say drinking is out of alignment with the person I am at a deep level like that will all help you.



Absolutely, absolutely. And if we’re going to romanticize sobriety, let’s not forget the fact that the depth of friendship and connection like you and I share and that we share with to other sober friends. There is nothing that compares to that. Yet any conversation over cocktail hour can match. I’m sorry, I can say that with 100% clarity.


Casey McGuire Davidson  1:10:11

Me too. All right, yeah. So, we could talk forever, but tell people where they can find you. And I adore you. So, anyone who wants to touch with Libby like, do it, I have friends who are not sober even who have worked with Libby and like, just rave.



Thank you. First of all, this is just the best conversation. I could talk to you all day. So, thank you so much for the invitation.


So, folks can find me at libbynelsoncoaching.com. My website is in the process of getting an overhaul. But what’s there now tells a lot more about my story, how to work with me, that sort of a thing. People can also just reach out to me at [email protected]. And I’m sure that will be in the show notes. Feel free to reach out to me about that. And Casey, it’s just awesome. Thank you so much for the opportunity to come and talk about values and hey, I want to I want to connect with you about doing values with Mike if he’s game.


Casey McGuire Davidson  1:11:11

His birthday is the 15th so we can have for now. So, I’m going to see if I can throw that into the birthday present. I’ll make you a gift certificate.


Oh, will you do it? Awesome. Okay, well, thanks.



Thank you for listening to this episode of The Hello Someday Podcast. If you’re interested in learning more about me or the work I do or accessing free resources and guides to help you build a life you love without alcohol, please visit hellosomedaycoaching.com. And I would be so grateful if you would take a few minutes to rate and review this podcast so that more women can find it and join the conversation about drinking less and living more. 


Connect on Instagram

Get The Free 30-Day Sober Guide That Has Helped 20,000 Women Take A Break From Drinking. 10 Tips For Your First Month Alcohol-Free From Hello Someday Coaching.

Get the FREE Guide


You're In! Check Your Email For the Guide.