Is your inner voice a snooty critic or an enthusiastic cheerleader?
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For many, many people, the answer to that question is likely to be “snooty critic.” You might count yourself among them. Maybe your inner voice is constantly criticizing you or reminding you of mistakes and regrets. That situation is extremely common, but it isn’t terribly healthy.
That’s especially true for a person in recovery from a substance use disorder.
Why would that be true? Because if you are a person in recovery, you are working hard to maintain your sobriety. That’s challenging enough without having to deal with your own inner thoughts trying to undermine your self-esteem and self-confidence. The last thing you need is for your own self-doubt to put you on a path to a relapse.
So what can you do? Your snooty critic is probably well-established in your mind, and it might seem impossible to replace them with an enthusiastic cheerleader.
But it isn’t. And the notion of cheering for the home team might be the key to making the shift.
Be Like a Cheerleader
When it comes right down to it, a cheerleader only has one job—and that job is right there in the name. A cheerleader leads cheers.
That is always true. They cheer when their team is winning. They cheer when the game is tied. They cheer when their team is losing. Heck, they even cheer when their team is really losing.
Why? Because that’s their role. The cheerleading team is decidedly not a criticism-leading team. No matter what the situation, they are ready to support their team with positive words.
Affirmations are Like Personal Cheers
We’ve got spirit, yes we do! We’ve got spirit, how ’bout you?
That’s just one of many, many cheers you might hear from the sidelines at a game. Each and every one of those cheers is designed to fire up the team and the fans. When things are going well, they keep spirits high; when things are not going well, they remind everyone that they are in it together.
Affirmations work the same way for you as an individual. You can think of affirmations as your personal cheers—statements that remind you of your worth and the value of your effort even when things are not going entirely your way.
Let’s take a look at some examples of affirmations.
You Personal Cheers are Your Own—But Here are Some to get Started
Here are ten affirmations from a list of 100 positive statements for people in recovery from a substance use disorder.
- I am at peace with who I am.
- I will make someone smile today.
- I choose to let go of doubt.
- I am on a good path.
- I can do whatever I put my mind to.
- I am worthy of respect.
- I wake up each day with courage.
- I am manifesting my goals.
- I see the good in everything.
- I turn my dreams into goals.
Some of those might resonate with you. Others might not. For example, you may or may not be comfortable with the notion of “manifesting” your goals. But the good news is that your affirmations—your personal cheers—are yours and yours alone. Find a few you like to get started (we think “I can solve the puzzle of sobriety” is a pretty good affirmation), and then develop your own. If you are cheering yourself on with statements that are true and motivating, you will be on your way to changing the overall tone of your inner voice.
Remember: You are Cheering for Yourself—and for Your Sobriety
It is important to remember why we are suggesting that you employ some affirmations in your day-to-day life. You have already accomplished something hard by reclaiming your sobriety. You should give yourself credit for that. And you should build yourself up when the going gets tough in recovery.
Sometimes a few words of sincere encouragement—even (or especially) when those words come from you yourself—can make a big difference when it comes to staying sober.
We Will Cheer You On as You Reclaim Your Sobriety
At Bel Aire Recovery Center in Kansas, we are on your team. We are committed to helping you regain your sobriety via medically supervised detoxification. We follow that up with a rehabilitation program that includes treatment for co-occurring mental health disorders that may be tangled up with your substance use disorder. And we offer a continuum of care to ensure that you can begin your recovery journey with confidence.
You can count on us to provide personalized care grounded in evidence-based approaches to treatment. Armed with expertise, experience, and empathy, we are excellent teammates devoted to helping you achieve that all-important victory—in the form of lasting sobriety.