Why we don’t say good luck

By Posted in Skills and Tips

To start with I want you to know that when I say ‘we’ I mean all of us at Club Soda.

You may not have noticed, but we don’t say good luck often. I thought I would share why we have made a conscious decision not to use those two words, and how you can help us find some better words that suit this community.

Just to be clear, this does not mean you can’t or shouldn’t use it (we don’t have those types of rules in this Club). What you want to say is always up to you, and there is no judgement on our part, just so you know. 🙂

We want to share our absolute support

Our aim is always to reassure you that you can do this, you can make a change to your drinking habits. Whatever your goal is, you have the strength inside you to make it happen, even if you don’t believe that right now. And we want to support you all the way.

We find it hard to express that in words, quickly and succinctly, and I often find myself typing the words ‘good luck’ and then deleting them just as quickly. This may seem mad to you. ‘Good luck’ are just the words we always use on these occasions. We don’t have to think twice.

You have the strength to do this yourself

But once I had thought twice about it, I realised how totally inadequate ‘good luck’ is for what you are trying to do by joining Club Soda. To change your drinking you don’t need luck. That leaves far too much to chance, suggesting that you are not in charge of what happens. In some ways it is quite pessimistic, implying that only a benign other force, ‘luck’, can get you to your goal.

The reality is that changing your drinking is a marathon, not a sprint. Just like an athlete running a long distance, you will need to train every day, learn new skills, ride the discomforts, and resist the temptations society continually puts in your way. Sometimes you won’t stick to your plan. We see that as a ‘learning lapse’ rather than a failure, or lack of luck (try repeating that fast when you’re pissed!).

We believe that you can all reach your goals. You may need support from others, advice and encouragement. But none of that is luck.

Joining Club Soda was not luck

By joining Club Soda you already took a positive step to improve your chances of success. Seeking out other people on a similar journey means you don’t feel alone, you can learn from others, and share your own experience. You took a positive action to help you. That is worth celebrating. That is a sign of your strength and commitment.

The Club Soda community is not ‘lucky dust’ that will make you magically sober, or get you to cut down overnight. It is the result of lots of strong people, just like you, coming together and not relying on luck.

This is why we don’t say ‘Good Luck’

Other options don’t make sense

What we have not managed to do yet, is work out a good phrase to use instead. Sometimes I say ‘we are rooting for you’. But that does not sound supportive enough and is a bit too cheesy.

We can’t say ‘break a leg’ either. I actually did just that (broke my leg) when I was drunk one night, and you may have done as well. You can’t express support with a common drinking injury!

‘Fingers crossed’ seems to lack any practical use – it does not express the fact that as a community we actually work hard to support each other. Jill sharing book reviews. Caroline her drink choices for the evening, Simon his terrible jokes … and so on …

What could we say instead?

So we are putting this back to you, Club Soda members. What would be good words to use, to show support and encouragement? Choose your words wisely, and you could help someone gain confidence as they take their next steps.


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