How to show respect for self in addiction recovery

Everyone wants good self-respect. But how can addicts get their respect back after years of drinking or using drugs? Life Coach Keith Bray teaches us the 8 simple steps to achieving healthy respect of self here.

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Steps To Self Respect

Over the past two weeks we have taken a look at “respect” as it relates to addiction; as a matter of fact, we’ve really looked at how it relates to living an abundant holistic life with good mental hygiene practices.  You can find a summary of the definition of respect for addicts here.

Ok, ask me, “Coach, how are you going to guide me to make it happen? Of course everyone wants good self-respect!”

When I coach, I ask ALL clients to take a journey – a journey I refer to as a “Co-Created journey of Life Transformation”. This journey puts clients on a level playing field with life. It is co-created by the client, coach and an outside power. It truly is a journey and provides real addiction help and life transformation. How does it work? In short this is the path and these are the 8 steps that I ask people to take:

The Co-Created journey of Life Transformation for Addicts

1. Acceptance
An honest appraisal of where you are at with regards to “living issues” and accepting that they are for real and have resulted in “unhappiness” as defined by you. You must be able to look in a mirror and feel comfortable that the “issues” are real and own them.

2. Appraisal of Sanity and Spiritual Center
You’ve got to look at your behaviour and decides if it is sane or not. If you feel that there is an element of insanity in your behaviour, you can discuss ways with a coach like me in which you can remove the insanity; and find sources of strength.

3. Affirmations
You need to talk to the people you feel cares about you sincerely and whose honesty is trusted. From them, get 4 or 5 points the “friends” feel fits you, put them into very simple “I am ……. statements, and discuss them with your coach. Put the affirmations on a recipe card and place the cards on a mirror and repeat the affirmations out loud daily.  This is a measurement tool for you. At sometime in the journey, most clients fully understand and believe the statements to be true.  This practice also helps addicts test low self esteem and measure improvements over time.

4. Make Decision 1
After a “spiritual” or “source of power” discussion with your coach, decide that you will give this source a try and taking over problems.

5. Autobiography and Discussion
Using materials provided by your life coach, write an autobiography with emphasis on assets and liabilities and “feelings” associated to past deeds. All secrets must be put to paper. Then the document is discussed in the detail required. The coach never sees this personal document.

6. Make Decision 2
Assets and liabilities are clearly identified. A conscious decision is made to ask the source of power; by now referred to as the ‘higher power”, to remove these defects (and this becomes a daily task).

7. Cleaning Up The Past
You can next identify a list of people who have been adversely affected by you and with who you feel negative emotions (guilt, shame, resentment, etc.) about. After discussion with your coach, a plan is put into place and carried out to remove the negative feelings.

8. Balanced Living
All clients are given a checklist for completion daily. Items included are the keys for holistic balanced living and focus on body, mind and spirit.

Addicts Going Forward into a new way of living

At the end of this process, I find that most people, in coordination with me and their higher power have together “co-created” a new way of living and the client has regained respect for self. From this foundation, an action plan is put together to deal with living issues (career, relationships, etc.) that you want to set goals for and take action. Action is taken with a foundation of self-respect and humility.

Sounds simple, but this is difficult work, results in dramatic change and allows you to see the world with a totally different attitude. At the end of this 8 step process, if not openly and with full honesty, I find also that most people regain a large measure of respect for themselves, have a spiritual center and work in a trust relationship with me in a way that makes almost anything possible.

Life coaching and the 12 steps

If this process sounds something like a 12 step program that is because it is 12 step based. I see no need to reinvent the wheel; the major difference is the introduction of a “coach” and client accountability. The client is held firmly responsible for setting their goals and realizing them. As with a high performing athlete, the coach is trained to bring out the best in the client. In other words, YOU are responsible for YOUR success.

Addiction coaches can help addicts

Addicts lack respect for themselves when in active addiction. Coaching in addiction is not clearly understood, but it works. Hopefully these articles have helped to define respect and have given clear insight as to a way that can bring an addicted person to a healthy level of respect for themselves.  In the next weeks article we will continue take a look at the unique role coaching can play in addiction recovery. But please post your questions, comments, or requests below. I respond to all comments personally!

About the author
I am a Master Life Coach who is ICF certified and a certified addictions coach. I consider myself recovered from the effects of addiction (16 years) but still in recovery mode as it relates to personal growth. Professionally, I am university educated, a former corporate CEO and have been in the consulting business for over two decades. I'm a husband, father, grandfather, friend, uncle son, a trusted confidant and many other things but bottom line, I'm Keith. I hope that I can help SOME out there with ideas that will make you think deeply.
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