As a self destructive alcoholic and a hard core drug addict who was able to turn his life around and make positive changes, people often ask me about how I am doing it, and what is the easiest way to get there.
The answer to those questions can be a simple word like “change“, however, the word “change” can be broken down in several categories which include, routines, people, places things, and thinking. In my personal experience, working on the way I used to “Think” about things first, allowed me to handle all my other obstacles more efficiently. Rather than focusing on the big boulder that blocked my path, I focused on how to get around the obstacle. Solutions, Solutions, Solutions!
One of the reasons I became a Recovery Coach was to provide different options for an individual going through their journey in recovery. Recovery is not as simple as just telling someone what to do. Individuals have restrictions in their thinking that need to be worked on. People that have struggled with substance have long-held beliefs that need to be challenged, a poor sense of self esteem that needs to be built up, and negative reactions and behaviors that need to be reformed.
While it is very difficult to provide the complete formula for recovery and changing your life, I can give you my top tips to help you to start turning your life around.
The number one thing that has to change before an individual can hope to make a positive life change is his/her attitude. Changing your life is really all about changing your thinking. And the best place to start is your attitude.
It is very difficult to make a positive change and rebuild your life if you are someone who insists on looking at the negative side of things. That negative thinking prevents an individual from being open enough to see opportunities. Negative thinkers are notoriously rigid and in order to change, the ability to be flexible in the way a person looks at things, is highly recommended.
If you are someone who is used to ‘black and white thinking, it will be beneficial to open yourself up to the grey areas. If you don’t think that’s true, consider what got you to the painful place you are now in. It wasn’t your life events or your problems – it was your reaction to them and your thinking about them.
I became an alcoholic because I did not have any coping skills, and felt that numbing myself was the best solution to my problems. I do not beat myself up about the fact that I chose that route, because it was all I knew how to do at the time to stop the pain and to function. But I absolutely recognize that it was not a smart move in the grand scheme of things, and my reaction to my problem was responsible for the life of chaos and complications that ensued.
So if you had no option at the time, or couldn’t control your response to things in the past, remember you have the power to change that now. Empower yourself as an individual and control your response to things instead of reacting mindlessly. You can do it!
My top attitude tips:
- Accept things you can not change
- Practice looking for the positive in every event
- Realize that you are responsible for sorting your life out – even if other people have caused you pain, you have to be the one to let it go
- Cultivate willingness and have an open mind
- Stop being stubborn and getting stuck – instead become determined to change!
- Put your recovery ABOVE ALL ELSE, including your pride
- Ask for help, if you need it