As a chaotic alcoholic, personality disorder sufferer, agoraphobic depressive who was able to turn my life around, people often ask me what the best way to change and rebuild your life is!
One of the reasons I became a Therapist and Life Coach was that it is not as simple as just telling someone what to do. People have limitations in their thinking that need to be worked on. They have long-held beliefs that need to be challenged, a poor sense of self esteem that needs to be built up and negative reactions and behaviours that need to be reformed.
So while I will never be able to get across in just one blog post the whole formula for recovery and changing your life, I can give you my top tips to help you to start turning your life around.
The number one thing that has to change before you can hope to change your life is your attitude. Changing your life is really all about changing your thinking. And the best place to start is your attitude.
You will never change and rebuild your life if you are someone who insists on looking at the negative side of things, because you will never be open enough to see opportunities. Negative thinkers are notoriously rigid and in order to change you need to be flexible.
If you are someone who is used to ‘black and white thinking’ you need to open yourself up to the grey areas. If you don’t think that’s true, consider what got you to the painful place you are now in. It wasn’t your life events or your problems – it was your reaction to them and your thinking about them.
I became an alcoholic because I had a crippling anxiety disorder. I am not going to beat myself up about the fact that I chose that route, because it was all I knew how to do at the time to stop the pain and to function. BUT I absolutely recognise that it was not a smart move in the grand scheme of things, and my reaction to my problem was responsible for the life of chaos and complications that ensued.
So if you had no option at the time, or couldn't control your response to things in the past, remember you have the power to change that now. Empower yourself as an individual and control your response to things instead of reacting mindlessly. You can do it!
My top attitude tips:
- + Accept things you can not change
- + Practise looking for the positive in every event
- + Realise that you are responsible for sorting your life out - even if other people have caused you pain, you have to be the one to let it go
- + Cultivate willingness and have an open mind
- + Stop being stubborn and getting stuck – instead become determined to change!
- + Put your recovery ABOVE ALL ELSE, including your pride
+ Ask for help, if you need it
by Beth Burgess, Therapist and author of The Recovery Formula, The Happy Addict, and What Is Self-Esteem?