Why Do Women Lose Self-Trust? 

High-achieving women who struggle with alcohol are often smart, hard working and struggle with trusting in their own worth, instincts and decisions. 

Before I stopped drinking, I identified as a people-pleaser and an overachiever who lived with a somewhat constant fear of failure, a need for approval and a lot of self-doubt. 

I started relying on wine to turn off my busy mind, let me relax and quiet my insecurities. 

But ironically, once I started drinking to cope it became even harder to trust my choices, feel confident and capable.

How could I when I was checking out at night, feeling sick in the morning and dragging myself through the day? 

If you’re struggling with self-trust, you might feel…

🤔 Self-doubt that makes you second-guess decisions and seek validation from others.

🫣 A fear of failure which makes you hesitate to take risks, try new things, or pursue your goals.

🧐 Perfectionism that makes you feel constantly stressed or dissatisfied.

🥴 Uncomfortable setting boundaries or asserting your needs because you fear rejection or worry about disappointing others.

😱 Dependent on others’ opinions to the point where you prioritize their opinions over your own choices, beliefs and values.

And if you’re at all like me, you might also drink to quiet the constant chatter in your mind.

I asked my friend Sara Dean, a business and leadership coach and the host of the Shameless Mom Academy Podcast, to help us understand why women lose self-trust and how to get it back.

Why do we have a hard time trusting ourselves, our instincts,

values, capabilities and intuition?

  • For most of us, it started when we were young and taught to please the adults in our lives to be safe and feel loved. 
  • As we grew up, we learned to look at the people around us to know how to dress, how to act and how to gain approval. 
  • We were encouraged not to make waves and to follow the rules.
  • We were discouraged from drawing boundaries, because it might be upsetting or inconvenient to others.
  • And being a “gold star girl” probably served us really well in childhood, college and in the workplace, but it comes at a cost. 

In this episode, Sara and I discuss:

✅ The phases of when women lose self-trust throughout their lives

The societal pressure on women to prioritize others’ comfort over their own feelings

✅ What happens when women are not connected to their own sense of intuition

✅ How drinking can initially help us cope with uncomfortable feelings of self doubt and then compound those insecurities over time

✅ How to tap into your intuition, rebuild confidence and regain self-trust

Previous Episode featuring Sara Dean

Ep.50: Overcoming Perfectionism: How to Get Out Of Your Own Way

Episodes and articles related to people pleasing, boundaries, perfectionism and self-trust

High Achieving Women At Work: The Pressure, The Patriarchy + A Bottle Of Wine A Night

Kristi Coulter on Working, Drinking and Being a ‘First World Woman’ 

Codependency Recovery and People Pleasing in Early Sobriety

Why High-Achieving Women Struggle To Set Boundaries

The Nice Girl’s Guide To Saying No. How to set boundaries when you’re quitting drinking

How To Make Perfectionism Work For You

How to Build Confidence as a Woman I Psych Central 

Forbes – Why Are We Still Telling Women They Lack Self-Confidence

3 Ways I Can Support You In Drinking Less + Living More

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

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

💥 Connect with me on Instagram.

Or you can find me on Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube and TikTok @hellosomedaysober.

Love The Podcast and Want To Say Thanks?

Buy me a coffee!

In the true spirit of Seattle, coffee is my love language.

So if you want to support the hours that go into creating this show each week, click this link to buy me a coffee and I’ll run to the nearest Starbucks + lift a Venti Almond Milk Latte and toast to you!


💕 Support the sponsors of The Hello Someday Podcast

You can find all the special discounts mentioned on the show right here: https://hellosomedaycoaching.com/sponsors/

Leave me a rating and review on Apple Podcasts!

I read every single review and they really help the podcast algorithm decide to share my show with a wider audience.

Just click here, scroll below the latest episodes, and you’ll see the link to “rate and review this podcast”.

I’ll be forever grateful to hear from you and to read reviews like this one from Laura,

“I’ve listened to so many sober podcasts and The Hello Someday Podcast is by far THE BEST Sobriety Podcast out there for women. This podcast was key to me quitting alcohol. Casey’s practical tips and tricks are invaluable, with advice I haven’t heard anywhere else. If I could give this podcast 27 stars I would!!”

Connect with Sara Dean

Sara Dean is a keynote speaker, a business and leadership coach, and a Step into Your Moxie® certified facilitator.  She is also the creator and host of the Shameless Mom Academy Podcast, a top rated podcast with 5 million downloads.  Sara’s biggest passion is helping women own their space.  After enduring her own identity crisis following the birth of her son, Sara took her background in psychology/health/ wellness and rebuilt her identity, one step at a time.  Sara motivates and inspires women to stop shrinking and start shining #everydamnday.   

When she’s not supporting Shameless Moms, you’ll find Sara with her husband and 10 year old son – trying to keep up on video game jargon and baseball stats.

The Shameless Mom Academy Podcast 

Speaking: saradean.com

IG: @shamelessmomacademy

LinkedIn: saradean.com/linkedin

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 0.5% of podcasts globally with over 1 million downloads, 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/


Why Women Lose Their Self-Trust And How To Get It Back with Sara Dean



people, work, women, drinking, life, love, trust, recognize, hard, mom, god, recovery, taught, socialized, intuition, space, decide, happened, action taker, podcast, self-trust


SPEAKERS: Casey McGuire Davidson + Sara Dean


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.

Today, we’re talking about


why women lose self-trust and how to get it back.


My guest is Sara Dean, and she is one of my favorite people. I’ve had her on before to talk about perfectionism. And we met 4 years ago now at an entrepreneur experience event way down in San Diego.


She’s a Keynote Speaker, a Business and Leadership Coach and a Step into Your Moxie® Certified Facilitator. She is also the creator and host of The Shameless Mom Academy podcast top rated with 5 million downloads. I actually fan curled on Sara when she sat down to be at this event for lunch, because I had listened to her podcast and loved it. And she lives in Seattle, which is super cool.


Sara’s biggest passion is helping women own their space. After enduring her own identity crisis following the birth of her son, Sara took her background in psychology, health, and wellness, and rebuilt her identity one step at a time. She motivates and inspires women to stop shrinking and start shining every damn day. And every time she comes on the show, I learned so much, so we’ll just get started.


Sara, welcome.


Sara Dean  02:44

Oh my gosh, thank you for having me. I’m so excited to be here again.


Casey McGuire Davidson  02:48

I know me too, because we were just chatting for like 20 minutes before and then we were like, okay, okay, we need to report.


Sara Dean  02:54

We need to record us chatting sometime. We can write forever.


Casey McGuire Davidson  02:58

Exactly. Well, so this is a big topic. Because I know that as I’m going through life, one of the biggest things that I worry about is rethinking decisions I’ve made or how I presented things, or should I have done XYZ? And what do people think of me. I describe myself as a Recovering people-pleaser. And I know it’s tripped me up. And it’s because I don’t trust the decisions I make, or I second guessed them. So, teach us all the things.


Sara Dean  03:31

Oh my gosh, self-trust is one of my favorite things to talk about, like I’ve done over 800 podcast episodes at this point. And when I get asked to speak and they’re like, what?! What of your 800 episodes we do. Like, let’s do the self-trust, talk, and talk. So, I love talking about this because especially with women, it is so relevant, but it’s also so eye-opening, once you hear and see the stuff I’m going to share in just a minute. You can’t unhear it and see it like, it really opens your eyes to kind of how you show up in the world, how you interact with the world, and how that’s working out for you, or not working out for you. But also, it takes a lot of the blame off of yourself.


I think sometimes, not sometimes often, women really struggle with feeling like they don’t trust themselves, feeling like they’re struggling with confidence. And we carry guilt, shame, regret resentment around all of that. And if we can recognize, oh, wait, it’s because of the system. It’s not because of me, then we can show up really differently. And that I think changes everything. So, can I share my like phases of losing self-trust over the course of one’s life?


Casey McGuire Davidson  04:33

Yes, I need.


Sara Dean  04:36

Okay. So, when we’re really little, and this is aimed primarily at women, because this is what you know, podcasts with mostly women, listeners, but I also want to say there’s also phases for people who are socialized as men, for people who are transgender, non-binary, they’re going to look a little different, but these are phases for any gender that I think are relevant.


So, for women’s specific though, when we’re really little from a very young age, we are told to do things that are pleasing to other people. So, grandma gives you and this is true story, Grandma gives you a really lacy, super itchy dress for the holidays and you are for it’s like, Well, you got to wear it to visit Santa. And then you got to wear it to like Christmas dinner and Christmas Eve and you have to wear it like 4 times. And the whole time you’re like, what mom? It’s just so itchy. She’s like, No, like Grandma wants to see it. So, from a really young age, we’re taught, please other people ignore that that’s itchy. Ignore that you hate it. Be grateful. Be grateful grandma gave them a dress. We’re also taught, go hug someone. So, you’re Like, with your relatives again over the holidays. Go hug Uncle Larry. And you’re like, I don’t know, Uncle, there’s kind of creepy. Go sit on Uncle Tom’s lap. And you’re like, Tom is really creepy. So, we’re told to override our own sensations where we have a feeling around something and just taught to like internalize it and ignore it. Because the norms are you do the things that grown up, say, and you do the things that please other people and make other people comfortable. You know


Casey McGuire Davidson  05:58

You know what’s funny? I actually, like experienced that the wrong way. Because Hank was so friendly. And so like, wanting to wrestle our friends, like our male friends, and like, we’d go sit on their lap and be around them all the time. And I was like, Dude, that’s a bit much like, I’m sure he doesn’t want to tickle you for the 17.


Oh, same thing. You’re like, I know, you’re super excited. But like, don’t. Because you’re even though the people had never said anything to us.


Sara Dean  06:32

Right? Yeah, it’s really tricky. And depending on and like, you want your kids to have healthy boundaries, like that’s totally normal. So it is that fine line? Right? Do they want to check on my kid?


Casey McGuire Davidson  06:44

Oh, my God, give a picture of hey, at 18 months, like on the plane, Mike flew with him. And he was in a middle seat. And he is literally sitting on the lap of the random guy in the window seat looking out. And we’re just like, Dude, get some boundaries. I love. That’s amazing. Okay, so for women. I totally hear that too.


Sara Dean  07:05

Yeah, yeah. So, it starts at this really young age, really closely following and statistics show us that this is like a disturbingly young age. Young girls are taught to think certain ways about their body and taught that certain bodies are better than others, that certain foods are good for foods, certain foods are bad foods. And this happens really young, even if it’s not explicitly coming from your parents giving you these messages. You just know, existing in the world that like, oh, it’s having a belly, that’s not too good. And you at 7, 8 years old might be, like, mom, like my belly is a little squishy. Or for me, it was like my belly. But it was also my thighs, like my thighs touch. None of my friends have bicep patch at a really young age. So, we’re from a really young age, we start to erode our self-trust around our body, like Oh, but my body doesn’t look like hers. There’s something wrong with her. It’s not as good as someone else’s food is either good or bad. So, I can’t have the doughnut because that’s bad. As you just have the tuna fish. Like, I spent a lot of my youth eating tuna fish and go into weightwatchers with my mom where everything was like, you went to eat with your mom.


Casey McGuire Davidson  08:10

Just like, I can’t feed her because she was going or like, you doing the program with my mom.


Casey McGuire Davidson  08:21

  1. What my mom used to pay us to not let her eat doughnuts that we brought home when we were like 11 like we would get money if we didn’t let her eat the food, right? Like that. Messes us but I have I mean, I know. And they’re they were conditioned to right they’re part of the system. So, she never talked about our bodies, but we definitely learned thing you know, my mom’s you know, it’s funny.


Oh, I saw. Yeah, Lila. So, a we talk about diet culture all the time. I interviewed her two weeks ago, or no two days ago. And we of course talked about alcohol and what she knows about it, but then we went over to like, diet culture, the patriarchy and Taylor Swift did like, oh my god, I love it. It was cracking me up. But when she was seven, she came to me we talk at night in bed and she was like, Mom, my stomach doesn’t go in. And I was like, Honey, that’s where your organs are. Like literally those are where your organs are you It’s not supposed to go in. And she was really self-conscious. But you know what helped her and I love this. Do you know that song by Jack’s Victoria’s Secret?


Oh, yeah.


She’s knows every word to it. She actually sang it when I was interviewing her on the podcast. And it’s just like, you know, the whole thing about like, he’s a man that lives in Ohio making money off of girls like me, you know, teaching me about body issues like it’s, you know, skinny big boobs. I was like you whoever sang that song? I know she’s famous now. I love it.


Sara Dean  10:06

Yes, yes. 100%. And I liked that you just mentioned that Lila was seven when she said that, because that shows like how young it is. And it also been raised by parents.


Casey McGuire Davidson  10:29

So, this isn’t what your mom asked you to do. Isn’t because she was a bad mom, it’s because any of us who had who were raised by parents in the 70s and 80s experienced this to some level, I feel like I mean, I went to Weight Watchers, not with my mom, but before my wedding. And again, after I had Hank, like, I am still struggling with the yes, no conflict of diet culture in my life.


Sara Dean  10:42

It’s yeah, it’s so tricky. So, so tricky. So we have that piece where we’re like, not trusting our bodies, we’re not trusting our instincts, we’re not trusting our bodies, we’re not trusting that, like we’re good enough, the way we are, we’re not trusting that we’re good enough to take up space, like I need to lose 10 pounds before I can go get on a stage or I need to lose 30 pounds before I can go, you know, go swimming with my kid like all these different things that are related to this culture, diet culture, then we go into a little bit older into adolescence, and we are considering how can I look appealing, but not attract danger?


Casey McGuire Davidson  11:27

Yeah, so tricky to a young mind. And especially, I’m going to sound a million years old, especially with boys and girls dress these ridiculous million years old, right?


Sara Dean  11:32

I insane, it totally tongue in cheek. But there is like this culture right now. And I’m so glad I didn’t wasn’t growing up in a culture of crop tops, because it would have really been cool for me. But it’s like, looking a certain way to attract people. But also knowing like, rape culture is a thing. And so how are you toeing that line that like, I got to look good. That’s how I get the attention from the people I want to get attention from. But also, there’s danger in looking certain ways or taking that too far. Or maybe you haven’t taken it too far. And you might be fully like I am today in like a biggie black sweater and baggy jeans, and still have someone be really harmful to you. So, there’s all sorts of ways that then we continue to have this erosion of self and it goes back and forth, right?


Casey McGuire Davidson  12:16

Like, I completely agree. Rape culture is a thing and also shaming from other girls and boys. And like, it’s so loaded, because you don’t want to be targeted, but you want to be accepted. And also, like, dress codes for girls, I mean, are so steeped in that, hey, you don’t want to attract attention or be seen by a slept? Like, why can boys wait wear tank tops, but girls can’t.


Why can boys wear shorts, but girls? Skirts are too short, right? Like the whole thing. I know. It’s so it’s, it’s so fucking complicated. And it’s a mess. No wonder girls are screwed up. And no wonder we were screwed up.


Sara Dean  13:04

Totally, totally. So, as you evolve out of that, then you go into your early stages of career. And I’m thinking to any job I had, where I walked through the door in any of those early roles in my work, study jobs in my first jobs out of college. And I assumed because I’d been taught this about authority, that anyone who was already existing in that system knew more than me had more education than me more experienced than me, they knew all the right things. And I accepted things that they said at face value.


And in my early to mid 20, I was working in a hospital system. And I started recognizing like, why is this the truth is in this organization, and like that truth that this organization is carrying is actually harmful to the patients. And like, when I wanted to question things, it was very much like, sit down little girl. You don’t you aren’t old enough to ask these questions. And also, you haven’t been here long enough. And you’re new in the field. And do you even know, this was actually said to me it was I got called into the CEOs office. He said, You know the implications of what you’re saying. And I felt like do you say implications of what you’re doing? Yeah, it was so ridiculous.


And so, we’re taught that the people who have been in the field longer than us that our bosses they know more and that we need to just be really subservient, and do what they say and kind of, you know, follow without questioning. And so again, we have these hunches like, that seems weird or inappropriate or harmful, that we’re like, Well, I don’t know, like, I’m new or I’m young or like it’s all men who are making these decisions. And so again, that trust that self-trust is keeps taking these hits.


Yeah, if we decide to be partnered, there’s all sorts of and I’m laughing because whenever I talk about this I give an example. That still makes me laugh. So, when, if we decide to, you know, get married, whether that is a long term relationship so whether or not you’re married, but you’re living in a you know, situation where the two… When a partner making daily decisions together, typically you’re entering and even if you’re a staunch feminist l-ke me, you’re entering into a relationship where you’re like, I’m not going to be like, I’m going to be the progressive person in this in this role. And I found myself and still do as like the super feminist wife, who somehow still makes dinner every night.


Casey McGuire Davidson  15:20

Yeah, wait a minute.


Sara Dean  15:23

And this is not because my husband wouldn’t make dinner. It’s because I had just, I immediately accepted but like, I would just do that. And my mother-in-law, also strong, hardcore feminist for our wedding, she gave us a crock pot, and five recipe books to go with a crock pot, but then said, like, these are for Sara, what oh, like, yeah, you to jointly make the meals. And so, we have this, this messaging, that is like, you need to keep taking care of people, you need to keep showing up in a certain way.


You’re the family manager, the household manager, the default parent to do all of this. And then if we go on to have children, so this is for my mom’s listening, we’ve gone through all these phases of our self-trust being eroded. And then when we go into the season of, I call it newborn land where we have a new baby, we have to automatically override our intuition over and over. So, our intuition to keep our child alive is off the charts high like anything to keep that child alive. And the cost of that is completely shutting down our intuition around how we take care of ourselves. So, we ignore when we’re tired, we ignore when we’re hungry, we ignore when we have to go to the bathroom, we ignore.


Like, if we feel dirty, and we haven’t taken a shower in three days, just ignore that, like who has time the baby has to eat. So, we then have to keep the baby alive, we have to also override our intuition over the course of months, sometimes years, especially if you have multiple kids back to back.


And so, I’m not saying you shouldn’t do these things to take, smile, but you should absolutely keep your kid alive. But recognizing that over the course of your life, over decades of developmental stages, that you have yourself-trust eroded, you have been led into systems that do not make space for you to show up and ask questions and challenge authority. And then if you’ve had a child, like forgotten to ever pee, when you have to pee, we can start to see how your connection to your own intuition can be almost nonexistent. If you haven’t paid attention to where that has been eroded over time.


Casey McGuire Davidson  17:18

Yeah, and one thing I see with so many women who aren’t in early sobriety, one of the first things that you need to do is you’re going to be incredibly tired. You just are if you’ve been drinking alcohol messes up your sleep so much, I hadn’t had a good night of sleep. In years, like literally years, you’re with which you remove alcohol, and everybody’s like, I’m supposed to feel better. Well, your body is healing from that toxic substance, it takes a while. So, you feel like you’ve been hit by a bus, you automatically cannot keep going at the rate you are going to knock yourself unconscious or numb out to tolerate it. So, you need to do less. And it’s really uncomfortable for women because they say, oh my god, I’m so tired. I want to take a nap. And I’m like, take a nap. Like, the difference is like we’re used to I’m tired drink. It’s a stimulant. I you know, XYZ I can’t rest when I’m tired, because I’m overcompensating or our life has been set up in a way where I do everything, even though I work full time, or I’m with the kids full time because my husband has a job.


And so, one of the biggest hurdles that women go through is trusting their body like actually listening to it, I’m hungry, eat, I’m tired sleep. I’m irritated, walk away, and go get some time for yourself. And Ben, they feel guilty, right? They’re like, Oh, I couldn’t possibly sleep. I feel so selfish. And I’m like, can we reframe that to? I’m tired, I’m sleeping, because I’m taking care of myself. Like it’s a completely different approach. But it’s hard to do.


Sara Dean  19:12

Yes, totally. And I think that it’s also really, really uncomfortable to have, if alcohol has been a coping mechanism or a numbing mechanism. Then when that is removed, and you are stuck listening and word when you haven’t done that before or haven’t done it in a long time. That reconnection to intuition is really uncomfortable, and maybe painful and like you’re actually having to feel things and recognize habits and recognize, like, Oh, like this is the space where I used to escape and now I have to like, just be here and practice being here while I’m feeling something that’s hard whether that is feeling tired or feeling you know, whatever that you know feeling like it was a hard day at work or hard time in a relationship or parenting. And that is so, so uncomfortable. Because aside, like, aside from the removal of alcohol, making that really challenging and different, it’s also that that is just uncomfortable for women in general.


And so, if you’ve been masking with using alcohol over time, then you’re it’s going to be maybe that much harder to have to sit and click and listen to that intuition. What often happens when people hear all these phases, then they get really mad, because they’re like, well, one thing, I didn’t realize I’ve been socialized in a way that made me like, ignore my own self. And sometimes, then you can get really curious, oh, I want to start listening. And what I want to recognize, like, what do I think? What do I like? What am I actually interested in? I had a client who came to me when her kids were 20 and 22, her boys, and they had just moved out of the house. And she said, I don’t know what to make for dinner, because they don’t know what food I like. So fast, not tapping into her intuition for that many years. He’s like, I don’t know, I only made food for them. I don’t know what I like to eat. And I think that that’s, you know, what you’re talking about as well, where you have that space. And then suddenly, you’re like, I don’t even know what to do with this. And it’s really hard and uncomfortable to listen in more.


Casey McGuire Davidson  21:13

Yeah, no, and I’m sure men do it too, right. They’re taught to like, push down their emotions to not admit when they feel anxiety to, you know, my husband said to me something a while ago, when he was really uncomfortable, are hated, didn’t like his job, or whatever it was. And he was like, Yeah, I read something that resonated with me that my family would rather I fall off the white horse and die, then step off of it. And I was like, no, like, that’s what they’ve internalized, too. Yeah. So yeah, it’s yes.


Sara Dean  21:56

Yeah, totally, because there definitely is, you know, I mentioned at the beginning, like, it’s across genders, that it’s the phases can look a little different. But that socialization is across genders in terms of having to show up in certain ways subscribed by culture, that are often in avoidance or in direct conflict with your actual identity. So one of the things I talk a lot with women about, and I actually, it’s interesting, because I talked about this on the pod, I still talked about this on the podcast over the course of many years now. But I’ve also been talking about it with my business coaching clients. I’ve been talking about it when I go into organizations and work with teams. And what’s been so fascinating to me is the things that I thought were just specific to pockets of moms, because that’s who I was serving are very relevance to women in leadership or very relevant to, you know, a team, a leadership team, where there’s only one female on the team. So, it’s interesting the things that show up in one place, how they show up in other places and like the same, there’s not a difference.


Casey McGuire Davidson  23:00

Oh, my God, I have to ask you have you Do you know who Christy Coulter is? Yes, I haven’t read the book yet. But I’m Oh my God, you have? You have to interview her that you interviewed us?


Sara Dean  23:12

No, it’s on my list. So, she follows me on. Again, I’m going to sound 85 years old. She follows me on LinkedIn. Young people are like, Oh, my God, she talks. She’s talking about LinkedIn, goodbye.


Casey McGuire Davidson  23:23

No, good. But I now that I’m at a corporate I don’t do shit on LinkedIn.


Sara Dean  23:28

So, I’m dying to read the book because of the work that I do in corporate not Yeah, but I’m not actually working. You know, I don’t work in Ghana. Every day, I go in serve corporate teams. I’m dying to read the book.


Casey McGuire Davidson  23:39

I’ve interviewed her twice. She’s a friend of mine, I will link to the episodes she did one on working drinking in a male dominated workplace. And the second one was on her book, exit interview, which is amazing about her 12 years at Microsoft, but she literally talks about I mean, it was amazing. There was this one section where it was like, dress to be attracted but not to emphasize your boobs, hips, waist up, but whatever.


Sara Dean  24:11

File sir, like a corporate is yeah, like look at the business try and go forward eyes, nose, but never at the social triangle mouth, nose, whatever.


Casey McGuire Davidson  24:14

Like, she’s like, You can’t do it. It’s too contradictory. It was. I was just like, yep. And my husband didn’t get it. Like I read it to him. He was like, Oh, my God, that’s ridiculous. You don’t do this. And I’m like, it’s like, every fucking day of my life. Yeah.


Sara Dean  24:36

It’s so interesting. So, when I thought, when I talked about this in rooms full of women, exclusively in a room full of women at the corporate level, they always say, we need to have the men in the room, like the men don’t know that this is what women go through. And so, when they step into a boardroom, and they’re the only female there, that how can we make sure that that person actually gets to take up all the face that is due to them.


Yeah. Because of where the how they’ve been socialized. Same thing for how can we make space for like a man to be sad at work and not just like, angry and a jerk. So having to make space for people to be human versus holed up holding a gender role, or upholding socialization that does not allowing them to freely express themselves is really, really significant. And when we look at that in the workplace, it’s really imperative that genders understand it from other genders perspectives. And so, when I have men in the room, they’re like, Oh, wow. And there, it’s interesting. They’re like, Oh, well, I didn’t know that. And some of them are a little bit like, oh, yeah, like, I can see how that happens. Some places, but not here. Like, there’s a lot of like, it’s over there.


Casey McGuire Davidson  25:47

Yeah, they also, if they have daughters, they’re like, oh, I don’t want like, oh, that’s one of those like, I have daughters. So, I would never know.


Sara Dean  25:53

It’s more, they actually are more receptive. Because if it’s not pointing fingers at like, you’re doing this as a dad, but I’m saying society is doing this to your daughter, they’re actually open to it, because it’s not saying you’re doing this. But in a work environment, they are more like, we don’t do that here. So, it’s kind of two different angles that I most commonly see, of course, exceptions to all about across the board. But it’s super, super interesting. And I agree, I think a lot of men don’t, because they haven’t experienced it.


Casey McGuire Davidson  26:26

It’s really hard to understand and see well, in terms of trusting your intuition, you have to be so careful about coming, making sure that you override your conditioning to be people pleasing, or to make sure people like you or to smile, because we’re always taught to smile, without being aggressive, or a bitch or too much, or thinking too much of yourself. Like, you know it Christy’s section, which I just loved, it was like, don’t take notes, because it seems secretarial, but do take notes. So your contributions are documented.


Sara Dean  26:59

It’s like, Oh my God, is so good. It’s so interesting when I’m in circles of I’m in in multiple circles, many circles that are all swiftly women. But I’m in a handful of circles that are like mostly women with a few men. And it’s really interesting, when I take up a lot of space as I do as an extroverted speaker. When I take up a lot of space, women are really, typically open, and receptive. And I’m trying to like I don’t try to take the oxygen out of the room. But it is interesting how often the men are, they appear to be very passively listening. They never have follow up questions. And they’re not like, they don’t want to grab my ear, at the end of the conversation, like women will come up to me over and over and over, like, oh my gosh, that thing you said. But it’s interesting that men don’t, if I’m doing training in a corporate setting, they will come up to me. But if I’m in community circles, they like don’t have fault. They’re like, they don’t have use for the space that I take up.


And so, this can be like in the sports environment. Or this can be in like a school parent association environment. Like it’s just really interesting to watch. And I can tell I’m like, they do not like meat. They’re threatened by me. They’re intimidated by me. They don’t know what questions to ask me. They think I’m going to disagree with everything they say. But I have a certain point. I’m like, if they don’t have the courage to like, come and have a chat. I don’t have time or use for them. Yeah, yeah, got bigger poster pride, then I’m always very appreciative to the ones who do which are always are like, you know, exceptions to that where people are open, and you want to engage kind of across the lines. And that’s amazing. It’s incredible. And that’s how we can accomplish great things together.


Casey McGuire Davidson  28:37

Yeah, we’ve been taught what we should do, right, that word. My favorite thing with women I’m talking to is they’re like, but I should do X. And I’m like, I want you to finish that sentence. Because the finishing part, the end of that sentence is I should do X. But what I really want to do is why, you know, and nobody, including myself usually finishes that sentence, right? You just stop at the should?


Sara Dean  29:04

Totally, yeah, yeah. I want to talk a little bit about some ideas how we can start to like plant seeds for soft or replants after soft press. Because yes, I think this, this is where we can get into some of that shit territory. And I want to give this very big disclaimer that none of this is like take these 18 steps and implement them today. And bigger disclaimer that if you’re doing something that’s working well for your recovery, do not take my advice as a non-expert in addiction and recovery. Like, decide to do what Sara said instead of what’s already working. So obviously, whatever is working in recovery, that’s the priority. Some of this will overlap probably in terms of what people might be doing in terms of prior in terms of recovering and in terms of sobriety. But there’s definitely things that we can do to revive route ourselves and start to listen in Word, and then figure out how do we listen inward in order to then show up differently in the world and externalize ourselves to the world in a different way.


So, do you want me to go through some of those? Oh, yeah. Okay.


So, the first is, know thyself. And when I talk about Know thyself, it’s recognizing where all these phases, where we lost self-trust. Where do those overlap for you? Where are you?


Are like, Oh my gosh, like, I remember that phase. And I remember that phase, I remember that phase. And oftentimes, women I work with, they’re like, I had all of those, all of those are relatable.


So, recognizing, okay, so I’m hearing this space, because this is the system, this is the patriarchy, this system has worked, exactly how it’s intended to work. This is where I come from, and then what am I going to do about that? I’m going to recognize, here’s where my self-taught trust was broken. And I’m not going to stand for that. And then recognize even who the people are, that have participated in that, and what are your current relationships with them? And are those relationships that you could, should continue to uphold or uphold in the way that you’re currently upholding them and currently navigating those relationships. So sometimes that is recognizing like, this person has been in my inner circle for maybe my whole life, shouldn’t be in my inner circle, they might still be in my circle, but maybe on another outer ring? Or maybe like, there’s firm boundaries around like, they can be here in this capacity, but not that capacity? Or maybe they’re just out altogether.


So, recognizing, like, who actually deserves a seat at the table, based on their participation in my life up to this point? And do you recognize that based on emotions based on the way they make you feel based on their actions? Because what I hear most from women, which is incredibly hard, it’s a lot of those people are family, you know, yeah.


So, I can give you two examples of each of my parents.

So, when I look at my selftrust being eroded over time, my selftrust was eroded by things that happened with my mom.

So, my mom, we talked about diet culture, my mom was chronically on a diet, she went to Weight Watchers my whole life, she was always trying new things like she always ate separately, then my sister and I like cause she was having cabbage soup. And my sister and I were having macaroni and cheese. So, my trust was broken, just in growing up that way. Now, my mom is an amazing mom. But she’s my biggest champion cheerleader. Like, she was a victim of her own situations and circumstances around diet culture. So, I’m not like, Mom, back in 1982, when you were like doing the white fish diet, and all you ate was white fish every day. Like, I have no use for you now like, that’s no,


Casey McGuire Davidson  32:37

no, no. 1982 was tough. And I was I feel bad for any woman who was in the workplace and dealing with Jane Fonda. And God knows what, right?

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 


Sara Dean  32:49

Yes. So, there’s like, that I can look into I can be like, Okay, here’s what happened. My mom is an amazing mother and an incredible leader in my life, a really important person to me, like she can look back and roll her eyes the same way I do, we recognize now that there was harm in that, like, we can move on.


My dad, on the other hand, who left my family right before Christmas, when I was 4, had just turned four years old. He, over the course of my life, and eroded trust in a lot of different ways, but always showed up as like, friendly, fun guy, but like not a great dad. So, he’s like a good friend, not a great dad. As I got older and older, he was not able to repair trust, he was not able to take responsibility and shifted more and more over time in terms of like, blaming, and having like weird ideas about this dynamic of our relationship that was definitely not like a father-daughter relationship. And it overtime created more and more harm, and it was deeply impacting my mental health.


So, at a certain point, I had to say, hey, if we’re going to have a relationship, which I would love to have, and I would love for you to have a relationship with my child, but there’s a couple lines in the sand that I need to draw. And these are like, this is just how it has to be, I’m going to leave the ball in your court in terms of how you want to move on from here. And he never spoke to me again. I tried to reach out a couple times when there was some health crisis stuff happening. And he again was just like, his wife would kind of communicate for him. And at a certain point, I had to recognize that I am chasing something that is only creating harm. So, I have to be okay with the fact that this person will not I will even if he comes back to me, I’ll never trust him. So, it’s still this very, like arm’s distance relationship. And what am I losing in my life by spinning and circling and ruminating on this for years and years and years at this point, I had to make peace with the fact that I probably would never talk to him again. And that that was probably the best thing to happen. And that’s what ended up happening. He died a year and a half ago and I had not I didn’t I hadn’t spoken to him and I’m so sorry.


Casey McGuire Davidson  34:55

That’s so hard. And you deserve better. That’s the hard thing right? Like when that stuff happens to you deserve. Everyone deserves a parent who loves them and supports them and champions them. And a lot of people don’t get that, right.


Sara Dean  35:08

And they can look back and see that if I had made concessions for him to stay in my life, the way things had been, in order for him to have a relationship with me with my son, that I know, with 100% certainty, there would have been constant stress and drama in that relationship. And that would have been something that took up so much space in my life over the course of those 10 years that we didn’t speak. So, there was a huge cost to determining like, where do you get to be in my circle. And also, I can look back and recognize that keeping him closer in the circle would not have been more helpful, it would not have served the purpose that I would I was hoping that it would serve. So, I think that’s where you have to like, listen in, and recognize, like, if I make the concession, then what’s the cost?


Yeah, so giving people chances for do overs, I think 100%. But then looking at like, at a certain point, you can put some conditions on that.


Casey McGuire Davidson  36:10

Yeah. And if anyone’s listening, I have done a ton of different episodes. I’m not the expert, but on boundaries, on codependency on relationships with narcissist, yeah. All those things, because this shit is hard. Yes. And it’s so hard to see it from the outside when you’re in it. And so I’ve been able to see it from the outside over the court, you know, for a long time now, over the course of those early on in that first 10 years, when we had no contact, I was still in it, right?


Sara Dean  36:36

Couldn’t see out. So, like I was still like, maybe I should try one more thing. Maybe if I try this, maybe if I try it from this way, maybe if I reach out on this platform versus that, maybe if it’s a Facebook message versus a text, you know, yeah, so when you’re really in it, it can be really tricky. But then when we have more and more distance, like that distance actually really, really helped me. And then doing some learning on my own around like, you know, intergenerational trauma and parenting and narcissistic parents and all those different things, made a huge difference. And so then I was able to really kind of solidify my perspective when I had that space. Yeah. So that’s the first thing is knowing thyself, recognizing where do you come from? How did systems influence you had a parenting influence you had, you know, other people outside of your household that were immediate in your circle influenced you. And that can be you know, even your school, your teachers, your college experience all of that. The second thing to do is, after you’ve recognized all of this, about where you’ve come from, and kind of what’s impacted, you then turning inward, to really start to pay attention and find evidence around who you are at your core. So, never mind. All these ways that you’ve been socialized. And I don’t mean to be flippant, and say like, it’s so easy to ignore them.


Casey McGuire Davidson  37:57

So, it’s not, it’s going to still impact who you are in the work, right? This is why I love Therapists and Coaching.


Sara Dean  38:02

Totally, but finding that evidence that that supports who you are at your core, what you stand for, and then letting that dictate the direction that you want to go. And that I mean, I can say it in one sentence, but that is not one sentence where the work can be months, years, decades worth of work. But it’s turning inward to listen to recognize, like, Oh, I’ve been, and I always use the example of like lawyers and CPAs. Who I don’t ever meet lawyers who are CPAs have been at their job for more than like, two years. We’re like, Yeah, like, it’s going great. I love it. It’s so it’s like fulfilling, they’re all like, Oh, my God, like how many days till retirement? Know how long it’s like, can’t wait for tax season again, like they’re all just like buying time to be done. And if you’re a lawyer or CPA who loves your job, thank you because we need to.


So, when we look, listen inward, it’s like, I know, I’m doing this thing, how I feel about that thing, where I’ve always wanted to do this other thing. I mean, Casey, you’re such a great example. Like, I do, you know, on this corporate track. It’s going great. But hmm, there’s this other thing I’m really curious about. There’s just other gifts I think I might have. And not even just podcasting for you, by the way, but like, you’re like singing doing your rock band. Now. You’re a rock star.


Casey McGuire Davidson  39:18

I’m so nervous. I’m prepared. I’m performing on stand on Saturday.


Sara Dean  39:24

Oh my god on Saturday. You are? Yeah. Amazing. Yeah. So, every time I like this is you This is the worst showing up for you. Like I go to Instagram. I’m like, Oh my God. There’s Casey doing another thing that’s like, absolutely terrifying that I would never do.


Casey McGuire Davidson  39:37

Yeah, so terrifying. Yeah, but I texted my best friend and I was like, hashtag bucket list. Hashtag YOLO hashtag we’re not getting any younger.


Sara Dean  39:47

Oh my god, you’re going to have so much fun. And yeah, it’s like it’s recognizing like that evidence of who you are at your core and what you stand for and how you want to show up or how you want to, you know, show up for your kids and your audience, all those different things and then I think that becomes the indicator those become the indicators in terms of where you want to go and how you want to make decisions and whether or not you say yes, when someone puts this opportunity to get up on stage in front of you, and sing your heart out.


Casey McGuire Davidson  40:11

So, one thing I will say just for people listening, this work is incredibly hard to do if you’re drinking. And that’s because you almost can’t listen to your intuition. You can’t figure out who you are when you’re numbing out and then waking up and feeling sorry for yourself and hating yourself and beating yourself up. And it’s really hard to listen to your own emotions, because you blame yourself for being hungover or drinking too much or saying things you don’t want to and, and also when you get in arguments with your spouse, or have a legitimate resentment or legitimate boundary, and you’ve been drinking, because so many of us did it every night or do it every night. They don’t take you seriously. They’re like, Yeah, let’s talk when you’re not drinking, like they use it as a weapon against you. So, this is the really good work. And this is the work that will set you up for happiness and success and competence in the future. And you need to stop drinking first. And you need to get support for that. And I say that because I experienced that firsthand. I went to therapy for years when I was drinking and like talked about everything but my drinking and was in the same cycle constantly. Because you don’t have the emotional space to do the work.


So, you know, by the way I talked about with drinking, there are two kinds of problems. There’s the aftermath problems, which are hangovers feeling ill feeling less happy than you would less emotionally stable because alcohol messes with your serotonin and your dopamine and spikes your cortisol. So, you feel more anxious, you feel more depressed, you feel less happy, you feel less content less positive, and you’re hungover and you’re blaming yourself, and you’re losing four hours every night. Those are the aftermath problems, they get resolved, super, super quickly. I mean, within a month, within six weeks, but then you have all the underlying problems, which is what we’re talking about now with self-trust and relationships and boundaries and what you want and who you are. Those are the aftermath problems. And those are the things I always think about are the reason the things you don’t have to think about when you’re drinking what you’re using alcohol as a coping mechanism for. And that’s the hard work. But that’s the good work. And that’s where you need to bring in a therapist, a coach, podcasts, amazing books like, but get to move past it like, I did that work in the full year. A year and a half after I quit drinking. And I finally got to put it to bed and move on with my life. So, just to jump in. I think this work is hugely, hugely important. And you can’t do it when you’re drinking. So that’s yet another benefit of stung.


Sara Dean  43:08

Yeah, I’m so glad that you brought that up. And I immediately thought of our mutual friend Laura Cathcart Robins, a handful of other people. I’ve had the huge privilege of getting to know a number of people in the sober community through doing my podcasts and just having people come to me and wanting to share stories and which has been extended to me like attracting people in recovery outside of the podcasting world. I feel like I’m like collecting incredible friends in recovery everywhere I go. And what’s been so fascinating to me is the level of clarity and ease around who they know they are and how they show up in the world. And I know that does not come easily. But it’s this gift from recovery, that, like my friends in recovery are the most self-actualized centered, grounded people that I know. And so just to reiterate, what you’re saying is that yes, it’s a process but like you are going to know your shit and know why you’re why you know, you’re sad and like go upside down and inside out.


Casey McGuire Davidson  44:16

Because you go through that work in a really unique way that I think is really hard to do. And most people never do they stay on the surface, just literally reading water and not getting honest and not getting it I love people in recovery because they’ve done the work. You’re right. They know who they are. You have to, but also they are really funny. They’ve got fantastic stories. They’re super used to getting vulnerable and connecting they like really don’t tolerate surface conversations and small talk. And for people like you and me. That’s amazing, you know?


Sara Dean  44:50

Yeah, yeah. Oh my gosh, it’s incredible. So yes, like it feels it probably initially feels not probably like it feels like you’re being naked in front of yourself. Yeah, like that is not easy work for anyone. But like the rewards that come out of that that carry that you carry with you forever are irreplaceable and invaluable. I also think part of this that’s really important is as you’re going through this and you’re turning inward and you’re listening, and you’re learning about yourself and learning about who you are, and kind of where you want to go with that, there’s this really incredible opportunity to own and embrace the all the ways that you’re unique. And again, going through recovery, I think you do have the opportunity to look back at life circumstances and really pinpoint like, Oh, like this thing, made me feel a certain way or impacted me in a certain way. And that may be contributed to the way that I use substances.


And so, there’s a lot of opportunity to connect dots in different ways and recognize how things have impacted you. And sometimes you can then attribute that to this is why I’m really good at this, or this is why I have this work, or this is why like I have this unique strength. And I think that when we do that, like as someone who I’ve talked about on my podcast a lot, has multiple mental health situations, anxiety, PTSD, ADHD, and knowing that has allowed me to really embrace like, these are the things I’m really good at. And here’s where I’m like, a little offbeat, and people are either going to love it or hate it about me. But like, I’m super cool with it. And so, and we talked about, like taking up space in the room, and that like some guys are just like, that’s a lot.


Casey McGuire Davidson  46:28

Dude, that’s what I love about you, like, just smart to the point vulnerable, real. I love that shit.


Sara Dean  46:37

So, I think it’s a thank you. I appreciate that. And I think that that takes recognizing like, my value in the world. And the way that I bring security into the world is unique in these ways. And no system gets to make me quiet those things or hide those things or mask those things, I will go find or build, which I’ve mostly built them the systems that will allow those things to shine.


Yeah, and I think that, that is a huge part of turning inward. And that can be so eye-opening and daunting and scary. But also, oh my gosh, it’s so liberating. Keeping going down our list, this one, I think is a really important invitation. And I’m, this will look different. And I’m sure you’re going to have something to say about this one, Casey. But this will look different for everyone based on where they’re at in their journey, and especially in a journey that involves recovery or that involves, you know, substance use or struggles around substance use or addiction.


So, another part of ceding our self-trust, and starting to grow those roots is owning. I call it courageous truths but creating your courageous truths or owning your courageous truth.


And really looking at that as a self-trust resume.


So, when I’m doing presentations and trainings on this, I always have people create their own self-trust resume, which is fun, and fascinating and really, really eye opening for people. But one of the steps in that process is creating a list of your courageous truths. And when we talk about courageous truth, it’s owning the things in our life that have happened by choice or by chance that it impacted who we are today.

And the first time I did this with clients, it was totally accidental. I had, like, quickly and casually with a group of homeless moms I was working with in our community. I was like, at the end of a call one day, I was like, I want you to just make a list between now and our call next week of your courageous truths, like the things that you’ve gone through in your life that have made you who you are today, et cetera, et cetera. And if you want to go ahead and post them on our Facebook group, and then I got off the call, went about my day. The next morning, I get up, and people have started sharing their courageous truth list in the Facebook group. And they’re like, lists that are like 30 items long that are people’s deepest, darkest, hardest stories, and also their like brightest, shiny, most exciting stories. And I’m reading them I’m like sitting in bed crying, and they kept pouring in over the course of a week. And when we got on our next call, everyone was like, that’s the most incredible thing I’ve ever done in my life. Like they were like, I can write my own story in a completely different way. Now, because I’m looking at this list of where I’ve had to be courageous in my life, again, by chance or by choice, like there’s things that we have to navigate that we choose for ourselves, I want to run a marathon, it’s going to be hard, I’m choosing that courage versus chance where I you know, something happened with a parent, a family member, a job like frickin’ COVID. You know, you’re by chance we’ve had to be courageous. And all of those are putting us in a position of being able to create a narrative that gives us power. And so, when we’re thinking about that in response to or in the context of struggling with addiction or being in recovery, owning this part of your story is such a huge and important piece, and also something that you can frame with a lot of pride. And I think that I want you to talk on that. Because I think that that might be counterculture who said, like, talk about pride.


Casey McGuire Davidson  50:11

I love that. And that’s something that is one of my favorite things to do. A lot of women are like, I have so much shame or this is so embarrassing, or, you know, I don’t want people to know this about me. And, you know, part of me is like, okay, you’ve been socialized to think that becoming addicted to an addictive substance is some personal weakness. It’s not the substances working as designed, and anyone who drinks enough or drinks enough. And often enough, will eventually go down the road of some version of alcohol use disorder, mild, moderate, severe, you name it. And there are so many reasons that women or anyone drink and drink more it can be your social circle, it can be because you’re compensating for social anxiety for ADHD for anything, it can be just because the person you married, drinks a ton, or your parents drank a ton, or I played on the rugby team in college. I’m not blaming the rugby team. But that is like a crash course in unhealthy binge drinking.


So yeah, and it was fun. But you know, it taught me that blackouts are funny and throwing up as normal. And you know, whatever. So, one of the things that that I truly believe, and I love the question from, Why is this happening to me, too? How is this happening for me? You probably won’t see it in the beginning. But you couldn’t go through the rest of your life after you quit drinking and saying, why did this happen to me, this is awful. I am a victim. I am unhappy with this. Or you can say this, in some way happened for me because it this is how I feel if I had not gotten to the point where my drinking had gotten to the point where I felt doomed and was scared and knew I had to quit and try forever and couldn’t moderate. I never would have done the work that were talking about, I would have never gotten honest and real, I would have skated through life in a very surface way, using happy hour as the highlight of my day, and vacations as a way to reward myself for doing a job that wasn’t right for me and gave me anxiety. I never would have left Corporate. I would have been too scared. I never would have started a podcast, I never would have gotten into Coaching, I never would have met incredible people like you and, and just learned so much. None of this would have happened if I hadn’t struggled with alcohol and quit drinking and done the work.


And, you know, it’s just a very different way of looking at life. And I know so many women who have quit drinking, and then just done such incredible things. I mean, write novels, and my best friend started a bookstore and, you know, done all these incredible things because they they’re no longer occupied and sort of letting nights and weekends and months and years slip away. So, you can reframe it as something that you’re proud of in my mind. I always am like, yeah, a lot of people drink. That’s cool. It’s everywhere in society. It is addictive. It does cause cancer. But it’s a really hard thing to walk away from. And you should be proud of it in the same way that people who run marathons, that’s really hard. And they put their 26.2 sticker on their car for the next 20 years, even though they, which I love but you know, they talk about it constantly.


Sara Dean  54:04

You know, they have to get a new car, and then they’re like, oh, no, I’m no longer.


Casey McGuire Davidson  54:07

Oh no, then they buy a new sticker because they did it. And God bless him. Right, you know, good. But, yeah, it’s something to be proud of. It’s hard to do. And you are a badass.


Sara Dean  54:19

Yes, yes. 100%. The last seat I want to offer is really embracing and identifying as someone and I think that we have this unique opportunity to decide who we are and then like, label it and then be that person. And anyone can do that. And you don’t have to wait for someone else to be like, Oh, you’re really good at this. You can just be like, yeah, hey, like I’m good at this or, and even if you’re newer to that you can still be that thing. So, for example, when I first started, like I got one speaking gig and a friend of mine who’s a life coach was like, so you have to put the speaker on your email signature now. I was like, Well, I mean, I spoke once, but I also ended up with the time and topic class every single morning, I was yelling and screaming and leading and she’s like, you’re a speaker. Yeah, I was like, Oh, I thought I had to wait for someone like, gave me a certificate or something.


So, we can, at any moment, we get to come and choose what we how we want to frame who we are in the world. And like, in ethical ways, of course. But I’m not saying that like, we’re a CPA, and then less than that people talk to us, because we actually don’t have the right training. But one of the things, I think that can be really helpful in grounding yourself growing those roots is identifying as someone who is an action taker, and a decision maker. And when you identify someone who’s an action taker and a decision maker, we get out of the being stuck in rumination, and I will raise my hand very, very high, which I’m doing on my Zoom screen right now, but very high to say, I am someone who spent my entire life stuck in rumination, I still find myself stuck there all the time. And when I am taking action and making decisions, then I’m not sitting there spinning. And so, I literally have a post it note on my computer, it’s buried under three other post it notes, right, so I’m going to pull it up and show you. But it says, I’m an action taker and a decision maker, it’s been on my computer for like four or five years, probably. Because when I’m sitting here spinning about something that’s not working in my business, I just have to make a decision, like are you going to ever be, and regardless of the outcome, you can figure it out. Because you know what, you’ve been running a business for 20 years, and you’ve always figured it out.


So, when we’re looking at tapping into our self-trust, being an action taker and a decision maker and trusting that there’s not a right or wrong decision in most cases, and that no matter which decision we can make another decision will present itself. And we get to take action on that one based on where we’re at in that moment.


Yeah, that creates momentum, where we’re not sitting and spinning in the place of shame, or guilt, or confusion or frustration, or just inaction where we feel like we don’t have control over our own lives and in the context of sobriety and recovery, if you can own and honor, and I don’t want to make it sound trite and like it’s so easy. But if you can own an honor that you’re an action taker and a decision maker, then you can every second be deciding, like what’s the action you’re taking in this moment. And it can be a different action than oneself going to go.


Casey McGuire Davidson  57:08

I love that. Because I also hear from high-achieving women I work with, lots of women who are doing all the things and doing all the things well, and they write me or I’m talking to them, and they say, I can do everything else in my life. Why can I not get a handle on this? Why is this the one thing that I am quitting on myself over and over again, or failing?


And first, I say, there are a million reasons why this is incredibly hard, right? It’s addictive. It’s everywhere, you’ve been socialized, you have a lot of limiting beliefs around what it means it does immediately affect you, and both relax you and stimulate you like there are all these reasons why it’s incredibly hard to actually just decide and move forward. And at the same time, you do a million other things. And when you do them, you typically gather resources, you gather support, you put your intention out there in the world, you take the first step, and then you take the next step, even if it’s scary. And those skills can be brought to bear in the same way. When you’re quitting drinking, right? If you decide you’re like, Oh my God, I’ve been able to run five marathons. Well, the first time you ran a marathon, you did not just go out and run it, you probably joined a running group, you might have bought a course on like, couch to 5k, you read some blogs, you read some books, probably eating fat. You were terrified, but you didn’t just say, I want to run a marathon, I decided why did I fail? And so, one of the things I like to help women do is just break it down. And in terms of being an action taker, and a decider, like, just do the next right thing, you are deciding every minute to take a step towards what you want in life or a step back. And it doesn’t mean you have to look forward for the rest of your life. Like just do the next right thing. If you are tired nap, if you are overwhelmed, say no. If you are scared about going somewhere and drinking, don’t go just tell them you’re sick. You know, like, if you feel alone, reach out to a group, like just do the next right thing. And that is taking action.


Sara Dean  59:34

Yes, yes. I love that. It’s also I think, a really helpful way to get out of looking back. And I think sometimes we’re stuck in a place of rumination or if we’re stuck in a place where there’s, you know, some guilt, shame, regret. It’s really our default can be looking backwards and like if only I did this and I wish I did that and bla bla bla like really? And that keeps us stuff. And this is forward and momentum. Even if I screwed up 10 seconds ago, it’s forward and it’s momentum. Like we don’t have to keep revisiting the thing that makes us feel awful because it’s not really serving a purpose. Like if we did harm on the harm to, you know, make your amends. But like, keep the ballroom thing forward. I think that piece is really significant, too. Yeah.


Casey McGuire Davidson  1:00:21

And I also believe in terms of rebuilding self-trust, and you tell me, the more you do things that honor yourself and trust your intuition, the more confident you will be like the first time you do anything. It is going to be uncomfortable. It is going to be scary, that’s a muscle to be built to set a boundary.


And then sit there and be like, Oh, my god, is this going to be okay? She hasn’t texted me back in an hour. Is she going to hate me? What are they going to say? Just sitting in that? Yeah, oh, my God, that’s hard. And that’s afraid, but what you’re going to figure out is the world didn’t end. Or that person isn’t your person, or it was awkward. But you move forward.


Sara Dean  1:01:02

You know, like, when you have your performance on Saturday night, and you’re going to spend all day being like, Why did I say yes, yeah. And then the second is over, you’re going to be like, Oh, my God, I can’t wait to do it again.


Casey McGuire Davidson  1:01:15

I am regretting inviting so many people. I’m doing well. And it’s not just like, Oh, my God, I’m scared. It’s not good. I’m like, Oh, my God, they’re going to drive to Columbia City. The song is like, 4 minutes long. It’s a waste of their time. Like, I feel awkward. A friend of mine’s coming over from Bainbridge, isn’t even going to be fun. But like, you know, it’ll be great. And they can watch the rest of the show. And how much time do you get to like, go watch live music for free and see a bunch of hacks like beaming? Right? Totally.


Sara Dean  1:01:46

And I think that this is such a great example. So, I think that, like a couple of different things that could happen like you could, it could get over be done. And you’re like, that was the most amazing thing. I can’t wait to do it again. And like be riding this like performance high for a few days, maybe a week or two. Or you couldn’t get done and be like, I don’t know, that felt weird, whatever. But now I know. And I’m so proud that I did that, like I stepped in did this really scary thing? Or it could be really Bumbly? And yeah, like, I’m just not made for that. It’s not my thing. Yeah. And I always say like, worst case scenario, then that’s part of the narrative that you get to build however you want to say, the other thing I tried, after all these other things was I decided that I wanted to get up on stage and I wanted to sing the song. And this is what happened. And here’s what I learned, like, you get to own that story in whatever way you want. So there’s, you can’t lose in making that decision. And in deciding to go forward with it and in stayin in, in forward momentum, because you, no matter how it goes, in the next minute, you get to decide what you’re going to do with that. Yeah. And you be great. But you don’t want to do it again. But well,


Casey McGuire Davidson  1:02:50

I’ve done it like a couple of times. The first time I did it off topic was I took lessons from the same guitar teacher his amazing when I was 28 to 32. And then I came back to him when I was 47. So, 15 years later. So, I done the jam when I was 28. And by the way, that was I wish I was 28 Again, but the first time I mean who doesn’t Right, right, just yeah, the past couple years have been fantastic. But 28 was pretty cool, too. I got on stage for the first time when I was 28. And I had this like out of body experience where my legs started shaking. And I was playing, and I literally could not stop my like it was I would it was like a physical reaction. And it was so weird. But I was like, when’s the last time I did something that actually terrified me that much into it. And now I get up there and I of course feel ridiculous and embarrassed. But I’m like, my legs start shaking. I’m just like, all right, you know, like, plus, I’m easing myself in. My teacher asked me if I wanted to have the band. I’ve never had the band before and I was like, oh my god, first of all people are going to think I think I’m all that the band’s going to hate, you know, are all that that is a true statement.


Casey McGuire Davidson  1:04:14

But, you know what I did? I asked my very best friend. He’s like, is there anyone who would want to sing with you? And my best friend from when I was 15 were skinny Billy Joel’s only the good die young. We used to be such nerds in high school that we would have Billy fests where we would go off and like play all Billy Joel songs all weekend, we used to play the song game, which was all Billy Joel song. So you’d end on a word and you’d have to think of the next song that had that word, but it had I mean, we’re weird. And I was like, I love it. EDL to it. And so we’re getting all of our girlfriends there, you know, to like, do whatever.


Sara Dean  1:04:51

It’s going to be so fun. It’ll be fun, right? Yeah, you only live once. Exactly. And like I’ve had those leg shaking moments where you’re like Oh my god, how do I make it stop? Oh my god, did that happen to you when you speak? I don’t know how you know, even when I’m running my. So, it hasn’t happened. When I was like in high school, yes, it would happen to me speaking. But I also I would block out and I still occasionally do like black like out of body experience I get done. And I’m like, I don’t know what I said. Like, I know I stayed on topic. And I know I like was able to follow my mental outline. But like, I don’t remember seeing any of it. Yeah, so I’ve had that. But my legs, the shaking legs has been the scheme. I learned how to ski at 42. And I’ve had that many times where and it still happens if I go on black runs where I like I’m real comfortable on blues. But I’m very convinced some of the die anytime I go on a black run, my legs immediately start to shake like uncontrollably and it makes it way harder to ski when your legs are shaking.


Casey McGuire Davidson  1:05:54

I know when you’re like what I’ve had that happen when we do these team building things in corporate like the ropes course. Why do they make you do this? Like, you know, around the ugliest helmets, you look don’t look good. You have to climb up this high thing. And I had all these if my VP made us, you know, suggested as a fun team building thing. But I had all these people on our team who worked for me, and my leg was shaking, like, I was terrified. And I was like, you know, like, technically you’re standing on a platform. You’re not going across the rope yet, but I apparently am afraid of heights. So, you know, it happens to be climbing rock walls, too.


Sara Dean  1:06:35

I’ve had that experience on a ropes course that I did with my child, and I had to come off of the ropes.


Casey McGuire Davidson  1:06:42

Yeah, yeah. And that’s one where I was like, wow, I was terrified. And I’m never fucking doing that again. Because, no, because first of all, I have my own self-trust. And I’m just going to be like, ugly.


Sara Dean  1:06:54

Like, I’m really proud. I tried. That did not bring me joy. Do not need to revisit it.


Casey McGuire Davidson  1:06:58

Yeah. So, people will be like, it’ll be fun. I’m like, no. Yeah, back to when it Oh, my God. All right, this was so fun. Anything else we haven’t covered?


Sara Dean  1:07:08

I think that the last thing I want to say is that,

we can get really stuck in our stories. And a lot of times our stories come from the way we’re socialized. And so, a lot of our stories carry in no matter your circumstances, a lot of our stories seem to carry guilt, shame, regret, resentment, I’m not enough, how can I be better everyone else has it figured out. And so, I want everyone to give themselves permission and use this as an invitation to rewrite your story in a way that gives you power. And anyone can look back at their life and take away their own power. And anyone can look back at their life and give themselves power by doing that. knowing thyself, listening inward, and recognizing that, oh, this is how I have power here. This is how I’m going to use this thing that was hard or scary or not successful and use that to give me power moving forward.


Casey McGuire Davidson  1:08:06

So that’s my, this self-stretch resume, or you’re courageous. How do you do that? Give it to us quick.


Sara Dean  1:08:12

So that so the self-stretch resume is a separate exercise, I didn’t really get into doing that. But quickly, the self, your courageous truth is really simple. You take out a sheet of paper, and you just write down make a list. And you can do this like in one setting or like, start it and then return to it a couple days later, or maybe two or three times because you’ll start to think about it and you’ll be like driving somewhere and like, oh yeah, I have to add that thing. So, over the course of a few days, just write down all the times in your life that you’ve been courageous by choice or by chance. And then when you the list feels complete to you over the course of a few days or a week or whatever, then look at that list and look at like, what is the story that I can tell myself based on all of these truths? Because a lot of them are things we haven’t thought about and forever, we haven’t revisited or we haven’t considered like, Oh, like that plus that equals this. And so, you can take those things and really own them to build a story that works for you. Versus oftentimes the narrative that we’ve created this a story or narrative that works against us.


Casey McGuire Davidson  1:09:17

Yeah, yeah. And so, for anyone listening to this, I want you to put on your courageous moments, questioning your relationship with alcohol and listening to this podcast and anything else you’ve done. Lots of women have done, okay, I signed up for this group or I signed up for this program, or I tried. And then I drank again, but I learned and I’m still trying like all of those should go on your list because they’re really brave.


Sara Dean  1:09:49

Yes, every time you try, it takes courage.


Casey McGuire Davidson  1:09:53

Yeah, so you get an error. So many I have to tell you, there are so many so many, so many people out there who are worried about They’re drinking and not taking these steps. So anytime someone writes to me or emails me or joins a group, I’m like, You were so fucking brave. You should be proud of yourself.


Sara Dean  1:10:10

Yes, yes, yes, yes. 100%.


Casey McGuire Davidson  1:10:15

Alright, people are going to want to listen to your podcast because I adore it. And you’ve had the most amazing guests and the best conversation. So, where can they find it? Where can they, you know, work with you? What types of work? Do you do all that good stuff.


Sara Dean  1:10:29

Thank you for asking. So, the podcast is the Shameless Mom Academy. You can listen, wherever you’re listening to this podcast on, we’re on every podcast platform. And then in terms of how I work with people, I do Executive Coaching, Business Coaching, and then I also do Speaking and Training inside organizations. And so, for information on any of that, or just to reach out directly to me, you can go to saradean.com. And you’ll see information about how I’m supporting corporate people and individuals over there.


Casey McGuire Davidson  1:11:04

That’s awesome. And I want to thank you, because you literally invited me on your podcast, which is huge, when I hadn’t even left corporate when I was just starting, you know, my website and coaching women and talking about quitting drinking. And since then, you have been a huge cheerleader for me and an advocate for me, and I can’t tell you how much courage you’ve given me?


Sara Dean  1:11:32

Oh my gosh, I have loved. I mean, I say this all the time on social media, but I mean it so deeply. I have loved watching you grow, like your success with your show and the way that you’re working with women. It’s just, It blows my mind.

And it’s such a great example of what can happen when you start listening in word and you tap into that intuition, and you decide to take action.

I mean, I’m just, so thank you.


Casey McGuire Davidson  1:11:56

Thank you so much.


All right. I love this.


We’ll talk again soon. Thanks, Casey.

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.