In recovery, many people have a wide range of feelings about the past, including guilt, shame, remorse, self-judgment, worry, and even fear. Depending on your experiences, you might struggle with self-confidence and self-esteem. In fact, commonly, substance use helps to mask those feelings of insecurity and self-doubt. But without the use of substances, those feelings will return, and perhaps even stronger than before. In addition, not feeling good about yourself can trigger cravings and make you vulnerable to relapse.
However, you can do a number of things to boost your self-esteem and help you feel more confident in your own abilities. Maintaining sobriety long-term is possible, and having the tools you need to avoid relapse is essential. Reach out to a treatment center near you.
How to Strengthen Self-Confidence and Build Self Esteem in Recovery
Once you finish treatment and begin the transition back to everyday life, having strategies to fall back on can help you maintain sobriety. Confidence and believing in yourself can help you avoid relapse. Here are a few tips for strengthening your self-confidence and boosting your self-esteem:
- Being honest with yourself
- Pinpointing your strengths and weaknesses
- Don’t beat yourself up
- Don’t compare yourself to others
- Set realistic goals for yourself
- Trust your own feelings
- Take it one day at a time
- Take good care of yourself
- See the good in your life
These might be helpful topics to discuss with your therapist or to work through on your own.
Self-Esteem and Sobriety
1. Be honest with yourself. Whether you’ve been in recovery for a month or years, you likely already know that honesty is the best medicine for addiction. Since denial contributes heavily to addiction, being honest can completely turn your life around.
2. Figure out your strengths and weaknesses. Knowing what your strengths are can add to a sense of feeling good about yourself. Knowing your weaknesses can be just as important. When faced with a difficult task, for example, instead of pretending to know how to get it done and then fail (which can dampen your self-esteem), you can ask for help or simply admit that you don’t have that skill. Admitting your weaknesses is in itself a certain kind of strength.
3. Don’t beat yourself up over your weaknesses. There’s a sense of confidence that you might develop with knowing what you can and can’t do. Instead of beating yourself up for your weaknesses, you’re simply being honest.
4. Don’t compare yourself to others. Although comparing ourselves to others is so easy to do, especially when we don’t have faith in our own lives, this is the first thing that weakens self-esteem. There’s only one life to live, and that’s yours. Taking responsibility for it is the best way to build self-confidence.
5. Set realistic goals for yourself. As you continue to reach your goals and achieve them, your self-confidence will only improve.
6. Trust your own feelings. This is hard to do when you might have been taught in childhood that your feelings are not worth trusting. Often, we are taught to trust reason and logic instead. However, feelings are a certain kind of intelligence that can lead to building self-trust, which can boost self-confidence.
7. Take it one day at a time. Do your best each day. Giving it your best each day can also help boost your feelings about life. In recovery, with each day of staying sober, you move closer and closer to living the life you want.
8. Take good care of yourself. If you make it a practice to care for your physical body, you’ll feel good all around. Exercise, eating well, and the right amount of sleep at night helps with having clarity of mind, the ability to tolerate stress, and staying positive.
9. See the good in your life. Look for your unique values, viewpoints, and beliefs that make you who you are. In fact, you can make it a pattern to look for the good in your life by keeping a gratitude journal.
Reach Out to a Treatment Center Today
At Westwind Recovery®, we offer comprehensive addiction treatment programs designed to help our clients make lasting changes in their lives. Whether you are struggling with addiction or dual diagnosis mental health issues, we’ll create a personalized treatment plan to help you meet your needs. Through private therapy and counseling, detox services, sober living residences, and a host of amenities, we can help you build the necessary tools for lasting sobriety.