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5 Steps to Building Self-Esteem after Addiction

When recovering from addiction, many people struggle with low self-esteem. One of my therapists used to say “If you want higher self-esteem, you must do things that are esteem-able.” One of the reasons that drug addicts and alcoholics have low self-esteem is because of the way that we acted and treated people during our addiction. If you are struggling with low self-esteem, here are some steps you can take.

5 Steps to Building Self-Esteem after Addiction: Affirmations

I love affirmations. I usually assign them to my sponsees when they are struggling. There is something about saying positive things, out loud, even if we don’t believe them, which is very powerful. An affirmation is just a simple, positive statement that you say to yourself. It may feel weird at first. You may not believe the things you say to yourself, but over time, some part of your consciousness starts to change and you begin to feel better about yourself. I recommend keeping a list of affirmations on your bathroom mirror and saying them to yourself every morning while looking at your reflection.

5 Steps to Building Self-Esteem after Addiction: Forgive yourself

If you keep beating yourself up for past mistakes, you will never recover. In our addiction, our guilt over the harm we had caused became a reason to keep using and drinking. In order to really recover, and regain your self-esteem, you have to give yourself a break. Now is the time to recognize and acknowledge what you did, let go of punishing yourself, and commit to doing things differently in the future.

5 Steps to Building Self-Esteem after Addiction: Accept compliments

It’s really common for people to dismiss compliments when they are given. People have the mistaken idea that accepting a compliment can be egotistical or arrogant. Next time someone compliments you, don’t downplay it or deflect it. Accept it. Say thank you. Make this a practice and you will start believing the good things people say about you.

5 Steps to Building Self-Esteem after Addiction: Help others

One way of building self-esteem is doing good works. It gets your focus off yourself and makes you feel good inside. Do random acts of kindness in your everyday life. In every situation and relationship, ask yourself how you can be helpful to the other person. Hold a door for someone; give up your seat on the bus. Cook dinner for a friend.

5 Steps to Building Self-Esteem after Addiction: Start making changes

One of the best ways to build self-esteem is to change yourself. Change the way you act, change the way you treat others. Set goals and start working towards them. When you accomplish things that you set out to do, it can build self-esteem after addiction. You can build things in your life that you are proud of. Celebrate each small change. Praise yourself when you accomplish a goal, and allow yourself to enjoy it before you move on to the next thing.

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