Do you ever find yourself feeling stressed, unhappy or like something is missing? Perhaps you find yourself doing what many busy professionals do to manage those feelings and latch onto the unhealthy habits of turning to alcohol and the night club scene to wind down from the days turmoil.
Drinking and going out all the time can appear like the answer, lets admit it together, going out at night can be fun. Loud music, beautiful people, perceptions of exclusivity and importance, the possibility of a once in a life time chance encounter, the playing on wits, etc.. Yes, the list goes on and on If you have been there then you understand and know all too well what Im talking about and how seductive that side of life can be.
As seductive as it can be, it can also be as equally destructive. Its easy to become attached and addicted to the scene, and with out conscious awareness, you replace your real life experiences for the temporary fleeting rushes the night life serves up. When moving through life in that direction people often find themselves less focused on themselves (the inside), and more more focused on the outside (other people, appearance, approval seeking behavior). I know some of you are probably saying what?!”.. I go out 5 nights a week and that is not me, I go out because I like to, and its fun… sure, but the money you spend on clothes to look good, the time you spend getting ready, and the emotional and physical energy you commit to the night often outweigh any potential benefit that may await. When you really think about it, you might find yourself agreeing.
Now what?It comes down to having the courage to take an honest look at yourself and figure out if your lifestyle is either serving you or sabotaging you. Discover what it is that you are truly seeking and looking for through living this lifestyle. Could you be really reaching out for: the approval of others, love, a need to be seen, or perhaps a way to feel validated? For a lot of people they think they go out to be social and for fun, that is at least what the conscious mind is telling them. The real story is that it goes deeper then that and if you are willing to explore yourself for a minute then here is an exercise to help wake you up to what is truly important to you.
I want you to take out a sheet of paper and draw a line down the middle. Got it? Ok, now I want you to draw a horizontal line across the top. Congratulations, you just created what we call a “T” graph. On the left write “Needs” and on the right – write “Night Life”.
Note that for this article we are focusing on those drawn to the night life so my examples will be framed within that context. Note this is a life coaching tool that you can use to analyze any aspect of your life to find out if something is serving you or not.
Under your Needs , list you five primary needs in life. For example they may be:
1. To be respected
2. To be loved
3. To be understood
4. To be needed
5. To be valued
Understand? This isnt rocket science you know and dont copy my example either unless it truly reflects you.
Now on the Night Life side attach a YES or NO to each need listed on the left.
The way to go about this is to ask yourself: “Does going out all the time give me respect?Does going out all the time make me loved?” You get it, so do it for each one.
If you answered NO then that means your needs are NOT being met, thus you are preventing yourself from achieving real happiness.
For the quick ones reading this here is a fast example:
Ex. (need) To be Respected (night life) NO
As for all the “YESs” you write down ask yourself “are they fleeting, or lasting”. If they are lasting then great, and if they are fleeting then its time to reevaluate why you commit resources and energy to going out.
At this point I want you to close your eyes and remember a time and place when you felt comfortable, safe and secure. Remember where you were, and what you were wearing, remember if there were any scents in the air, or tastes in your mouth. Lean back and go deep, and feel yourself in that special place where you experienced those real feelings. Now reflect on how that experience compares to the night life. Good.. Now on a separate sheet of paper, list 5 things you have never done in your life that you have always wanted to do. Perhaps one is surfing, or another is sailing or maybe building a computer..whatever you write, those ideas are yours. Now compare those ideas to the needs you listed and ask yourself if I do these activities will my needs finally be met. You see, its often in the things we have always wanted to do / aspired to do where our needs become met. With that being said I now want you to swap a night of going out with a night that you go to bed early to enjoy the next day pursuing an activity on your list. Do this at least once for each activity you list. Can you handle the challenge? Because if youre up for it, then get ready for your life to change, as you will know the benefits first hand. Sounds bold I know, but I also know its true.
On a personal note I think you deserve to be happy, and live a life having your needs met. Perhaps you always knew there was a way but no one ever really cared enough to guide you. Personally Ive done the club scene, and still go to bars and clubs from time to time, and in my early 20s I worked as a bartender and promoter so I know how easy it is to be seduced into the night life. I also know that most people who are in it are stuck. So hopefully for some of you my article has served on some level as inspiration to become free again – back to your true amazing self.
Remember – needs are eternal, they never go away and supplication to the night life is rarely an answer or a way to serve them.