Regaining Self Esteem and the Power of Positive Thinking
Through the process of recovery and working all twelve steps we receive many blessings. One of the major changes we go through from this process is re-gaining our self-esteem, or self-worth. A person’s self-worth is simply his or her perception of oneself, and self-esteem is defined as a realistic respect for or favorable impression of oneself; self-respect. Self-esteem refers to what we feel are values, abilities and assets are. Many of us have years of wreckage to repair when we get sober, so this process of rebuilding does not usually happen overnight. Years of damage through negative thinking and negative self-talk cannot be changed instantly. It’s only through sobriety that we get the opportunity to work on these kinds of things. Besides staying sober one day at a time, there are some things we can do to improve our self-esteem.
First, we have to be aware of the impact negative self-talk has on our lives. Without awareness we would not know what we need to work on or change. When we fill our minds with negative ideas, thoughts and beliefs we put out negative energy. All this negativity lowers our self-esteem and self-worth. If we replace those bad ideas and false beliefs with positive thoughts and affirmations, then eventually we start believing in ourselves. Reversing our thinking from things we don’t like about ourselves to things we do like will have a positive outcome on our self-esteem. Try writing down a list of your achievements or things you like about yourself, or ask your friends what they like about you. When we look at these assets on paper, then our defects seem much smaller. Try working on your strengths, and your weakness will appear much less important.
The next thing you can do is to set some goals for yourself and follow through with them. Do something that you always told yourself you wanted to do, but procrastinated and never got to it. You may want to use visualization techniques to help you envision your own personal goals. Try to picture, or imagine what you want to achieve. Remove the word “should” from your vocabulary. This word can have a negative connotation, so you may be setting yourself up for failure. Avoid a statement like, “I really should go back to college to further my education.” Replace a phrase like that with something like this, “I will go back to college to further my education.” Then, take the necessary action to make your dreams come true. Achieving something that you told yourself you couldn’t do will have a positive effect on your self-esteem. Making plans for the future and following through with your plans will give you a sense of accomplishment and achievement. After all, sobriety gave us the ability to truly have a life. We are aware and present, so now is the time to go out and fulfill our dreams and desires.
You may want to take into consideration the idea of making some life changes. How are you living? Can you make any changes for the better? You may want to ask yourself a few questions about your job and your relationships with others. Are you happy with your job? Realistically, is there another job that may be more fulfilling for you? How are your relationships with others? Are you treated with the respect you deserve now that you’re sober, and are you treating others the same? Are you spending your free time with people who make you feel good about yourself? Making changes in your career or personal life can obviously have a positive outcome on your psyche.