Autonomy: Self-Determining + Independence

Autonomy Self-Determining Independence2

But when we approach abstaining alcohol from an intrinsic motivation—because it allows us to show up as we aspire to, because it improves our health outcomes, because it makes space for joy practice, because it just feels good—we can turn down the volume on this noise. It doesn’t go away, it doesn’t disappear, but it rolls off our shoulders. We’re able to stand firm in our decision because it’s the right one for us.


How do we cultivate autonomy and intrinsic motivation within our alcohol-free life? We return to our Why, we dig into the reasons we quit drinking in the first place. And specifically, we focus on the motivations that came from within us (intrinsic) like wanting to feel better and show up differently and fulfill our dreams.


Today, consider what sort of affirmations you might be able to build in order to support your alcohol-free choices. Perhaps “I don’t drink because it makes me feel really good” or “When I don’t drink alcohol, I’m able to show up as my highest self.” Practice these affirmations, so that next time Kevin makes a dig about your AF IPA at the barbecue, you can stand tall in your decision and maintain your sense of autonomy.


Deci, E. L., & Ryan, R. M. (2012). Motivation, personality, and development within embedded social contexts: An overview of self-determination theory. In R. M. Ryan (Ed.), Oxford handbook of human motivation (pp. 85-107). Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

Ryan, R. M.; Deci, E. L. (2000). "Self-determination theory and the facilitation of intrinsic motivation, social development, and well-being". American Psychologist. 55 (1): 68–78.

Ryan, R. M. & Deci, E. L. (2017). Self-determination theory: Basic psychological needs in motivation, development, and wellness. New York: Guilford Publishing.