Goals and Self-Esteem
In my own funny way, I have always had goals. For a long period of time, my self-esteem was low. Safe to say, I was not a fan of me from the inside out.
The process of "life recovery", as I have experienced, is a process that is from the inside out. To quote an old phrase, “It begins with me". How true.
In creative recovery we start out by setting goals for ourselves. For example, I had goals within the first few years of recovery to re-establish a spiritual life, quit smoking cigarettes, find a more fulfilling job, and upgrade my education in areas that would better allow me to help others. When I hit what I hope will prove to be my personal low point, my self-esteem was shot. For me, my choice was to take deliberate action and create this new life for myself one piece at a time.
This is fundamental to recovery because those who try to boost their self esteem without taking action end up doing so in some artificial manner. Simply sitting on the couch and wishing that things were different is not enough to change a person from the inside out. The real change happens through action; through creation. We have to get out there and make real change happen in our life in order to see positive results in recovery. Our approach cannot be one dimensional; it needs to be holistic and multi-faceted.
Everyone that I have watched in recovery who did not take this kind of action-based approach to their life ended up regressing back to old behaviours. Those who were passive about their recovery inevitably relapsed. Those who took action and tried to create new things in their life did much better.
I do work with some clients where addictions or compulsive/obsessive behaviour are active in their lives, are harmful, and living free of them is a goal. I was there. While it rankles some of my rigid "friends" who are in 12 step recovery, I needed the 12 step program and as well, growth in areas outside of the program; something more holistic**. I don't knock those who are satisfied with what their 12 step program as their exclusive tool gave them. I certainly wanted that solid foundation, but as the goals I mentioned indicate, I wanted more. I wanted a whole life back.
In setting realistic and achievable goals, (some of them stretch goals), I required, sought and took help. I invested in me. With hard work, taking direction and patience, I saw results; goals were met and new ones set. With this bit at a time success, my self-esteem began to steadily improve, and having others who would truly listen and give constructive feedback was a big part of the progress I continue to make. Today I continue my involvement in my 12 step program, have a life coach who is spiritually grounded, set goals and try to take baby steps each day to continue a progressive and holistic journey. It is a journey, not a finite destination.
If I can share my insight with you to help you on your own journey, feel free to contact me in confidence at khbray@hopeserenity.ca.
I'd be remiss if I did not mention that July 1 is Canada Day; our celebration of becoming an independent nation without blood shed in 1867. While Canada is not the biggest, is not a world power, and does have cold snowy winters, I'm Canadian by choice and humbly proud of the country I chose to call home.

**holistic:Look at the winners in recovery, and see if their approach to growth in life is very narrow, or if it is expansive. Chances are good that you will find the people who are enjoying long term success in recovery have found ways to grow in several directions at once. Ask them about their spirituality, about their emotional stability, about their relationships and if they have improved, about their physical health, about their mental status and well-being. Those who stay clean and sober are growing on many planes at the same time.

Author's Bio: 

An expert Certified Addictions and Life Coach coaching success by phone.