Find Your Confidence (Without Becoming Over-Confident) in Recovery
Having confidence is a great quality, but it takes a beating with addictive behaviors. In recovery, therapists and support groups will talk about finding confidence again when it seems your self-esteem has taken a back seat to substance use, but sometimes too much confidence can come across as arrogance. While you find your confidence again, it helps to know how to reign it in just enough so you don’t seem more obsessed with your own recovery than being humble and gracious in the journey.
Being too confident that you have things figured out now is a sign of immaturity in recovery. Perhaps you are new to recovery and it’s the first time you’ve done this. It may be one of many attempts to get sober and clean but you feel confident you’ve mastered some of the skills and now just have to stay substance free. Whatever the reason for being over-confident, it helps to leave room for humility. Without it, you run the risk of relapse because you might not see the forest for the trees, as they say. That mindset may take priority over focusing on humility and healing.
Why Overconfidence is Triggering
When you think of triggers, you might think of people, places, thoughts, or ideas that trigger you to use drugs or alcohol. Truthfully, overconfidence is a big factor in relapse, more than people realize, because you may never see it coming. Being blind sighted by a relapse (or the risk) can feel ungrounding and make you feel vulnerable. To compensate, you might hold the following thoughts in your head that keep you from embracing a humble approach to recovery:
- Distorted thinking: a person with addiction may believe they deserve rewards for meeting their goals in recovery. They might try to convince themselves one drink is not harmful and that they are ‘in control’ of their own behavior. Risky behavior is a slippery slope, so be careful of how you are thinking, what you are thinking about, and being too confident you have it figured out
- Complacency: if you believe your situation is not as bad as you think (or what others say), you may believe your own lies. If you think you can live normally without thinking about recovery, you may believe your own lies. You are never cured of addiction, but you can stay in recovery so long as you focus on going to meetings, being with sober friends, and seeking truth every day to keep you humble
The consequences of overconfidence is not just relapse. It can be harmful to your recovery overall to come across as too narrow-minded or not focused on the positive aspects of recovery. Even people with no history of overconfidence can start to think too much of their recovery and believe they are above others. It is easy to fall into this trap. To avoid it, try going to as many meetings as possible, meeting new people, and reaching out for help constantly. Don’t stop thinking of yourself as someone in recovery. Honor and accept the journey with humility if you want to have full confidence in the recovery, but not so much it keeps you from successfully meeting your goals and finding hope.
A Step in the Right Direction provides quality care for clients seeking support for addiction recovery. We teach people how to live a sober life through programs, therapeutic support, and evidence-based therapies. Our recovery program is staffed by people who understand the power of addiction. For more information about sober living programs for men and women as well as recovery programs, call (877) 377-3702.