Practice “mindfulness.” It’s really just a nice word for, “F’ing pay attention to yourself.” It’s a lot easier to deal with wants, needs, and feelings when you know what they actually are.
Stop being “terminally unique.” Everyone has a right to their opinion. Projecting your view of self and deciding the rest of us feel the same way is more than self-limiting – it denies us the right to be in the same boat as you and to relate and identify with you.
Stay out of your head. It’s a breeding ground for bad ideas and you’re simply complicating things because you hate how they feel.
Listen to your gut – it knows the truth that your head and heart are fighting over.
Involve others in your journey. Reinventing the wheel all by yourself denies others the opportunity of sharing what we’ve learned and overcome.
Stop judging your thoughts, feelings, and memories. If something only occurs within you, it’s doesn’t need to be judged. It’s occurring naturally. How you voice or act on these internal experiences can be judged, but what you’re experiencing alone is not wrong or bad.
And speaking of bad…let’s move away from the black and white of morality in evaluating ourselves and our programs. Ideas about what’s healthy and unhealthy are a lot more helpful toward self-improvement.
Stop competing with others and focus on improving self. It saddens me to see the opportunities when we lose due to our insecurities. Take a long hard look at what you’re competing over. Chances are you’re competing over a potential partner you’ll regret winning in 30 days or less.
Take stock of your insecurities and inhibitions. In all likelihood, these limit you more than any other force in the world. Work your program. Read CoDA’s literature. Overcome them. Inhibitions are a nice word for fears and insecurities are just reasons you believe you’re not good enough (you’re wrong about that).
Find the balance between solitude and isolation. If you can enjoy brief periods in solitary pursuits, great, but after that it’s a slippery slope to avoidance. Remember that Facebook is a lousy substitute for fellowship. Even if you feel like you’re doing just fine, show up for those of us who aren’t.
Jim LaPierre LCSW CCS is the Executive Director of Higher Ground Services in Brewer, Maine. He is a Recovery Ally, mental health therapist and addictions counselor. He specializes in facilitating recovery (whether from addiction, trauma, depression, anxiety, or past abuse) overcome obstacles, and improve their quality of life. Jim offers a limited amount of online therapy to those with very flexible schedules.