By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.
Five ways to sabotage your self-improvement or recovery program.
1. Giving up undermines recovery.
Nothing will so surely end any self-change effort as to lose hope. Highly successful people will often tell you that they kept going when others stopped trying.
It pays to do your homework before tackling a project. Is this what you really want, can it succeed, and are you committed? But once that decision is made, stick to your efforts and believe that this can happen for you if you just keep moving forward.
It is also helpful if you make sure you are on the right path.
2. Telling yourself you can’t prevents recovery.
Negative self-talk will end any chance of success. The mind believes what we tell ourselves repeatedly. You can even make yourself sick by believing that you will get sick and acting accordingly. (See the Nocebo effect.)
3. Making excuses sabotages recovery.
Saying you are too old or too sick, any form of excuse-making, will prevent you from moving forward on your efforts to change. Tell yourself you can, but be realistic about your progress. Going too fast can set you up for failure and so can saying you can’t.
In this modern age, more than ever, people return to school, change careers, and start new lives at ages that would have stopped them in previous generations. I can tell you from experience that some of the best students, the most productive new employees, can be older people who have started a new life direction.
Eventually, the children grow up. Partners may leave, but you will be you. You will live your allotted time whether you try or not.
When someone says they are too old to do something they have always wanted to do, I ask them how old are you now? How old will you be in ten years if you don’t try? Will you be any older if you do try?
I am not a believer that being unhappy and not trying in this life will make you worthier in the next. We all should be seeking to have the happiest life possible and to learn all the life lessons we need to learn. That way you can reach the end of this earthly life with no regrets or fewer ones anyway.
A happy life, for the record, does not mean one that is selfish and self-indulgent. Doing for others can also make you happy. Doing the things you believe to be right adds to that happiness. Doing the right things for all the wrong reasons, helping others for their recognition, does not lead to happiness.
Do not put off doing something good today.
4. Expecting results overnight devalues recovery.
Change takes time. Really changing requires a commitment to keep trying over the long haul. Don’t let your brain overload the rest of you.
People set unrealistic goals for themselves in early recovery. They expect to lose lots of weight that first month. They expect to give up drugs and suddenly get an education, a good job, and the good esteem of all their family or friends. Repairing damaged relationships takes a lot of time.
Take this process of change, one day, one minute at a time. Make little baby steps. And see how far you will have gotten.
5. Going too fast gets you ahead of your recovery.
Anything that you can do in a day can disappear overnight. Slow consistent progress will take you a lot farther than one sprint followed by weeks of inactivity.
Any process of change requires maintenance. You need to change your habits. Habits made you overweight, an alcoholic, or another problem sufferer. It takes time to create a habit. It takes, even more, time to change that habit into a new functional way of living.
There you have the short list: 5 ways to sabotage your recovery. To improve the chances of success don’t do these things.
- Undoing a bad habit – lessons from the big box stores (counselorssoapbox.com)
- 5 Rules for Helping and Being Helped (counselorssoapbox.com)
- 3 reasons why people keep telling you that (counselorssoapbox.com)
- Memory March – How to improve your memory and motivation (counselorssoapbox.com)
Staying connected with David Joel Miller
Seven David Joel Miller Books are available now!
My newest book is now available. It was my opportunity to try on a new genre. I’ve been working on this book for several years, but now seem like the right time to publish it.
Story Bureau is a thrilling Dystopian Post-Apocalyptic adventure in the Surviving the Apocalypse series.
Baldwin struggles to survive life in a post-apocalyptic world where the government controls everything.
As society collapses and his family gets plunged into poverty, Baldwin takes a job in the capital city, working for a government agency called the Story Bureau. He discovers the Story Bureau is not a benign news outlet but a sinister government plot to manipulate society.
Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.
Dark Family Secrets: Doris wants to get her life back, but small-town prejudice could shatter her dreams.
Casino Robbery Arthur Mitchell escapes the trauma of watching his girlfriend die. But the killers know he’s a witness and want him dead.
Planned Accidents The second Arthur Mitchell and Plutus mystery.
Letters from the Dead: The third in the Arthur Mitchell mystery series.
What would you do if you found a letter to a detective describing a crime and you knew the writer and detective were dead, and you could be next?
Sasquatch. Three things about us, you should know. One, we have seen the past. Two, we’re trapped there. Three, I don’t know if we’ll ever get back to our own time.
For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Author Page – David Joel Miller
Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.
For videos, see: Counselorssoapbox YouTube Video Channel