4 Tips for a More Confident Recovery
When I got clean and sober almost 10 years ago it didn’t magically fix the unhealthy mindsets and habits that 13 years of active addiction instilled in me. Some of the unhealthy residue was surrounding my fear of how others viewed me, for years of my life I was shaped by the opinions of others. A deep desire for acceptance was my motivating drive. Any original thought or varying viewpoint had first to pass through my personal filter of, “what are people going to think?” A varying viewpoint can seem like a glaring light piercing the eyes and illuminating the shadow ridden abyss of one's mind, but it doesn’t have to be. If we are so convinced that a conviction by which we live is correct we shouldn’t fear an opposing viewpoint. If we truly are correct an opposing viewpoint will only more clearly show the purity and effectiveness of the correct way. Some context is necessary and should go without saying. But I am of course wanting to know what my wife thinks about how I’m doing things, about what I’m saying, and how it’s being said. It is vital to have a small core of close friends that have the right, if need be, to question what I’m doing and saying and how I’m doing it or saying it. Not caring about the opinions of others doesn’t mean being above anyone’s input or suggested correction, it simply means that I’m confident enough in what I’m presenting that opinions or unnecessary criticism won’t change my course or emotional disposition. We need voices that speak out what’s right in this hour more than ever. History has shown us that following the crowd is how you get lost in plain sight. Think if William Wilberforce would have followed the crowd. Just think, if Martin Luther King Jr would have followed the crowd. The list could go on and on. Stand for truth and let the fruit of your life do the talking.
Here are 4 simple tips to gain confidence in being you and letting your voice be heard. 1- “If you live off the praises of man, you’ll die from their criticisms.” -Bill Johnson In early recovery I had to learn that validation can feel good, but validation can not be the fuel to the engine that is my heart. Freedom flooded my life when I began living from a place of knowing that I’m loved and accepted by God, and God’s opinion of me ALWAYS trumps the opinions of others. 2- Define your morals and values, and live by them. A baseline for truth is needed. A moral compass. If there is no solidified definition of what’s right and wrong in your heart any new idea can weaken the foundation and have you getting lost in plain sight with the masses. Doing the right thing always withstands the test of time, while doing the wrong thing usually just helps us fit into a crowd that is going the wrong way anyway. 3- More people are thinking the same thing. In early recovery, it didn’t take long for me to start noticing that some of the things commonly practiced and talked about in the world of recovery are not as effective as many people think. When I started being vocal about why we should change the way we talk about and look at some of the most widely accepted recovery practices I started attracting like-minded people. I’m most interested in what works. When positive results become the focus you will challenge the norm, and challenging the norm is well worth it if the norm isn’t working. 4- Honor and Respect. “Our culture has accepted two huge lies. The first is that if you disagree with someone’s lifestyle, you must fear or hate them. The second is that to love someone you must agree with everything they believe or do. Both are nonsense. You don’t have to compromise convictions to be compassionate.” ~Phil Robertson Just because I disagree with someone doesn’t mean I have to be disrespectful. In the midst of letting my voice be heard, I don’t have to bash others or attack them. True transformation comes through relationships, and just because I am honoring and loving to those around me (regardless of their beliefs) doesn’t mean I agree with everything they say and do. Your voice matters and the hope you have to share is needed. Speak up. ———- Erik is a certified Life Coach and Recovery Coach. He has been coaching people into recovery and more of their life purpose for years.