9 Steps to Rebuilding Confidence In Recovery
In a recent Red Table Talk episode, actress Demi Moore opens up about her struggles with addiction and low self-esteem. She reveals, “I had absolutely no value for myself and this self-destructive path and doubted my self-worth. It very quickly led me to a real crisis point.” She goes on to explain how this dark episode in her life led her to an overdose after 20 years of sobriety, a stint in rehab, and finally, to a new life in recovery. Issues with self-esteem and feelings of value are common themes when it comes to why people turn to substances. Those in active addiction spend a great deal of time living in a sea of low self-esteem, only to spend the same amount of time building it back up in rehab. And the good news is – you can continue to increase your confidence and self-esteem through hard work and lots of self-love during the rest of your sobriety journey. Following the ten tips below will help guide you towards a greater feeling of self-worth, strengthen your commitment to sobriety, and contribute to your overall happiness.
- Time for setting healthy boundaries – during rehab you learned the importance of setting boundaries. Now use those same tools to re-establish boundaries with those who can threaten your self-esteem. Maybe you have a work friend who occasionally judges you, but you can’t leave your job or a cousin who brings up stuff you did when you were actively using during family holidays. Set boundaries with these people by only allowing them the time they deserve and walking away when that time is up, or when things turn negative. You don’t deserve to be torn down and do not have to put up with it.
- Surround yourself with the right people – yes, self-esteem must come from within, but we also need the support of others to succeed in staying sober. Reach out to people you admire, such as your sponsor or counselor, and seek support from them. Attend workshops that help increase confidence or learn a new skill. Not only will you learn something new and improve your self-esteem, but you’ll also surround yourself with like-minded people who are on similar paths to bettering themselves and their lives.
- If it no longer serves you, say goodbye – During addiction, you would hang out with people and spend time in places that you now see were detrimental to your sobriety. Now that sobriety has to come before anything – say goodbye to anything that no longer serves you or your recovery.
- Move – this tip is a big one. Taking an exercise class, starting a fitness routine, getting outside for a run or just doing a You-Tube yoga video at home will not only boost your endorphins but your self-esteem as well. Just think of how good you’ll feel when you’ve worked up a good sweat!
- Set goals, but at a workable pace – there is nothing better than a feeling of accomplishment. Set small goals you know you can achieve, work hard to meet them, and ask for help along the way. It’s okay if you don’t accomplish all of your goals during this time, and setbacks are an essential part of growth – so be kind to yourself, you’ll get there.
- Be of service and volunteer – by helping others, you feel a great sense of fulfillment, which can build your self-esteem and feelings of value. Whether you help at a soup kitchen or provide an ear for a struggling friend, these acts of kindness and service will prove to help you and make the world around you a little bit brighter.
- Boost your inner spirit – by taking the time to raise some positive vibes you’ll also raise your self-worth. Read uplifting books, listen to recovery podcasts, meditate, dance like no one’s watching, or show yourself some love by taking a bath, getting a massage, or treating yourself to a much-needed vacation. It’s time to be kind to yourself and your inner spirit.
- Stop comparing – dealing with recovery is enough – so stop comparing yourself to others during this process. Everyone moves at their own pace in this life, so comparing yourself and your progress to others will only lead to unhappiness. Everyone seems more accomplished or has a better job, or just seems to be having a better time in their lives – but it’s all smoke and mirrors. Comparing yourself will only set you up for feelings of inadequacy – which is the direct opposite of self-esteem. Celebrate your progress and stop worrying about other people.
- Take baby steps – Recovery is a process, and a journey and any progress you make are a step closer to your ultimate goal of living a healthy, sober, and happy life.
During recovery, there may be days that it’s hard to look in the mirror and feel proud of your reflection. But you’re better and stronger now. You are working hard to be a healthier, more improved version of yourself, and that is everything. Remember, building self-esteem and confidence takes time and won’t happen overnight. Don’t be discouraged, and remember at Silver Lining Recovery we are here to help if things get hard. Our post-rehab services include 12-Step, SMART, and other counseling, holistic, and support programs to help you on your sobriety journey. You are doing great and are never alone, call us today at (866) 448-4563 to learn more about our services.