Self Esteem in Recovery

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self-esteem
ˌsɛlfɛˈstiːm/
noun
 
confidence in one's own worth or abilities; self-respect.
"assertiveness training for those with low self-esteem"
synonyms:
self-respect, self-regard, pride in oneself/one's abilities, faith in oneself, pride, dignity, morale, self-confidence, confidence, self-assurance, assurance; amour propre
"assertiveness training for those with low self-esteem"

Hi it's Dermot again. If you read my last blog from 9th May, you will know that this is a follow up to that blog and part of a "Recovery from Addiction Series", If not read on:

 

LOW SELF-ESTEEM

What is Self Esteem

We tend to go through life evaluating ourselves and others according to a scale of worth. The idea of self esteem is the amount of value that we consider we are worth. These values vary from person to person. Whilst we might rate ourselves as being of little value, others might rate us much higher. If we get into the habit of thinking negatively about ourselves, then low self esteem, or placing little value on ourselves, is the result. 
Low self esteem can be a result of negative life experiences, particularly when we're young and most vulnerable. These experiences may include being criticised or judged negatively, such as from a parent or school bullies. As adults, abusive relationships and very stressful life events can also cause low self esteem.
Low Self Esteem is one of the biggest consequences of addiction, & one of the biggest challenges in recovery.
Low self esteem can stay low, because of our own self-critical thoughts, which can be triggered by criticism, or perceived criticism (even if none is intended, we believe we are being criticised).

How Low Self Esteem affects us

Emotions
-depressed
-hurt
-angry
-frustrated
-anxious
-ashamed
-guilty....

Thoughts
-Negative, self-critical: I'm so stupid, I'm worthless, It's my fault, I'm a failure, I'm not good enough, I'm incompetent. 
-Unhelpful Thinking Habits (www.getselfhelp.co.uk/unhelpful.htm) might include Mental Filter, Mind Reading, Self Blame, Internal Critic, Compare & Despair, Shoulds and Musts, Black and
White Thinking
Behaviours
-try to please others
-get defensive when we believe we're being criticised
-under-achieve or work harder to compensate and cover up our incompetence
-shy and passive around others
-avoid situations and people
-neglect or abuse ourselves

Making Changes

Doing things differently
Communicate with others assertively (www.getselfhelp.co.uk/ccount/click.php?id=36)
Set achievable and realistic goals. When you achieve them, congratulate and treat yourself, and allow others to congratulate you
Accept compliments - say thank you, and smile , do more things you enjoy doing
Stand, walk and talk confidently
Change your image - hair, clothes, make-up
Take up a new hobby or interest
Learn a new skill
Reward yourself for achievements and successes - however small
Thank others - show your appreciation, and others will appreciate you
Do things for others - help someone out. It makes us feel better about ourselves
If you can do something well, let others notice - when they notice your work, their opinion of you will be raised, which in turn, raises your own self esteem
 

Thinking differently

STOPP! Pause, take a breath (www.getselfhelp.co.uk/stopp.htm)
Ask yourself:
What am I reacting to?
What have I been thinking about here?
Is this fact or opinion?
Is that "Internal Critic" operating again?
Am I looking at things through those gloomy specs ("Mental Filter") again?

Think Positively

We have learned over time to think, feel & behave in a negative manner.
That is only a learned behaviour
Challenge your negative thoughts and replace them with positive ones, and you will be amazed at how quickly you will begin to feel better.
Always take responsibility for yourself and never put blame on anyone else. Remember they are also on their journey and you can never know what they are thinking

My Next Blog is on Shame

The articles in "Recovery from Addiction" Series, are the opinion of the author and if you would like to contribute to it, please leave a comment in the comment box below. If you want to subscribe, for free, to any further blogs of mine please leave your email in the blue box below.
 

Recovery is about growth and everyone does grow at a different pace. My advice to anyone in early recovery is to wait at least 2 years before making any major life changing decisions that might have emotional ramifications. An example: get a mortgage, get married, change career, emigrate. In light of this everyone has dreams and we all do want to better our lives in one way or another, so it is important in early recovery to start to put those dreams into reality by creating achievable goals which can be reached in time. I found in my early recovery, although I had dreams, I wasn’t aware of creating goals and my life unfolded by default. It turned out well for me, but had I had clear goals, I do feel that it would have been even better.

I do try to learn from my mistakes, and that is why they are little miracles in themselves that happen for a reason. I am a growth seeking being I will continue to seek change in myself. What motivates me is the Pain – Pleasure, which moves me away from my pain points (a lack of finances, time & peace of mind) to my pleasure points (freedom of finances, time & peace of mind). The way I have found to achieve this freedom and to move away from the “Groundhog Day” of life is through on line marketing. I have taken this step into the abyss, I’m not tech savvy at all, and with the support of SFM, I am working my way through it. The internet is here to stay and is the future for all of us, so don’t get left behind because it is gaining momentum. If you want to learn what I am learning and are in a point in your life where you want change, then I offer you, through my mentors, a no obligation FREE 7 day video series to watch.

 

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