It Starts During Rehab – Changing Negative Self-Beliefs (Part 1)

Changing negative self-beliefsDo you want to remake and reshape your life? If you have committed to rehab to overcome alcohol and drug abuse problems that have caused you and others no end of grief, there are some important points to consider about the recovery process.First, it takes time. While this may seem obvious, it’s amazing how many people who enter treatment and emerge expecting instantaneous changes. Life doesn’t work that way. It especially doesn’t work that way in recovery.

In order to realize the full benefits of the treatment you have just completed, you’re going to have to be patient. That and you’ll need to commit to a great deal of hard work, lifelong learning, and determined persistence in the face of obstacles, both expected and unexpected.

Chief among the hurdles that you may experience is coming face-to-face with some longstanding negative beliefs that you’ve lived with for so long that they’ve probably seemed indelibly etched in your mind.

What kind of self-beliefs do you need to work on changing? Let’s look at a list of some of the more common ones and see how taking a slightly different approach may mean a world of difference in your new life in sobriety. And the good news is that this healing process begins during your time in rehab.

From Not Good Enough to Absolutely Good Enough

Maybe you grew up belittled and criticized for every little thing you said and did. Your childhood may have been marked by feeling worthless and incompetent to a slowly growing but recalcitrant belief that you just weren’t good enough.

No one can go back and erase all the nasty things that were said to you by parents, family members, friends, schoolmates or others. Nothing can take away punishment or abuse that was heaped on you by caregivers, including parents in a dysfunctional family.

But you can acknowledge what happened during your youth and resolve that you are going to do things differently today. Those old voices that sought to drag you down can be silenced once and for all. It will take concerted effort on your part, but this is definitely a worthwhile endeavor.

Remember, you don’t have to always be perfect. You just need to be who you are. That is absolutely good enough -- as long as you do the very best you can in everything you do.

From Never Getting It Right to Working Things Out

Having little self-confidence in completing projects or tasks in childhood and early adulthood can lead to a rock-hard wall of no belief in your ability today. This can certainly create no end of problems for you as you begin your recovery journey.

But it doesn’t have to remain that way.

How do you go from never getting anything right to being able to work things out? The secret, if there is one, is patience and never giving up. While you may not solve all the problems or discover all the answers to your questions right away, if you keep plugging away, seeking to add new pieces of information, practicing and honing a skill, developing a strong network and asking for help when you need it, you will be able to amass quite the toolkit.

Strategies for the effective resolution of problems become all the stronger the more you find that they work for your particular situation. During rehab, there will be lots of discussion in groups and with your therapist about how to tackle recurring problems, as well as how to deal with unexpected challenges and issues. Some of these suggestions will likely go in one ear and out the other – until you need them, at which time you’ll be glad if you took notes and have something to refer to when some issue needs immediate attention.

Think of your time during rehab as the first part of a learning journey. This is the time when you will be accumulating healthy coping skills and developing good communication skills so that you will be better able to begin your life in recovery on a more positive note.

Posted on September 3rd, 2013

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