5 Reasons Life Coaching Helped Me Thrive in Addiction Recovery
“You will never find success until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine” — John Maxwell
Recovery from an addiction gives you more choices, and most importantly, freedom. You have the freedom to choose how you will use your most valuable asset: time. What if you had someone who could help you navigate the difficulties, fears, and doubts during the most important time of your life?
Have you always wanted to do something you loved, but something kept holding you back? Maybe you felt that you were not good enough or that it would be impossible due to lack of finances. I’ve been there. My addiction to drugs and alcohol lasted from my late teens and into my early twenties. I have been in long-term recovery for the past 12 years and I still can experience these feelings.
People who suffer from addiction often have a lot of shame and guilt. As soon as we make some progress, we are bombarded by limited beliefs that keep us stuck and experiencing low self-esteem.
Dr. Gabor Mate, author of the #1 Canadian best seller “In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts” defines addiction as
“any behavior that a person finds pleasure or relief in and craves but suffers negative consequences and can’t give up.”
This can include food, technology, alcohol, drugs, pornography, gambling, dependent relationships, and more.
But here’s the thing, people in addiction recovery are resilient and courageous. We have to be. Many of us have literally gone through hell and back. So, the challenges we will face in the future may be difficult, but not as difficult as what we’ve already been through.
People living with addiction are oftentimes the most hardworking, gifted people on the planet.
Maybe your desire is to land a new job, support your family, or to be a good parent. Maybe you have excelled and now have greater visions for your life, i.e. to be a motivational speaker, start a business, travel to Bali, buy you first home, or be the best version of yourself and give back to others.
We all have something inside of us that needs to be brought to life.
When it came time for me to think about what I really wanted in life, I sought out a life coach. I remembered reading about a fitness guy who hired a life coach to help him succeed and I figured I would give it a shot. I fired up Google and began the search. I eventually came across a life coaching site I thought was legit and went for it. I had no idea what I was in for.
Besides working with a sponsor, working with a life coach turned out to be one of the best decisions of my life. Like a mentor or sponsor who helps you stay accountable to your recovery, a life coach becomes a cheerleader who keeps you accountable to your goals, vision, and mission. Working with a life coach helped me to achieve bigger goals, like winning the highest award possible at my company at the time. But most importantly, I felt like I had some control over my life for the first time.
“Recovery is a process of change through which individuals improve their health and wellness, live a self-directed life, and strive to reach their full potential.” — Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
What I realized in working with a life coach over the past few years, it that we have a tremendous amount of untapped potential. It’s just waiting to be brought out of us. But just how are we going to tap into it and reach our full potential?
Life coaching can help with this process.
Here are five reasons a life coach can help you navigate your way to reaching your full potential and to what matters most.
1. You Get to Call the Shots
When you’re working with a life coach, you get to choose what you want to work on. If you decide to focus on getting promoted at work, achieving greater health, or improving your personal relationships, your life coach will work with you to make this reality. I loved the idea of being able to choose what I wanted to work on.
The power to change is already inside each and every one of us. A life coach’s job is to help bring this out of you. A life coach can help you discover what it is you really love to do. And living a life on purpose is important to maintaining long-term recovery.
2. You Gain Immediate Clarity on Your Actions and Goals
A life coach will help you co-create a vision for your life and help you focus on the bigger picture. A life coach will enable you to define the next steps in your journey and develop a plan that will keep the future conversations on track. When you’re working towards your own goals, your confidence and self-esteem will increase.
A life coach can help someone who feels lost, stuck and lacking direction in addiction recovery. They will walk beside you and help you to find the best solutions for your particular situation. The fact is that most successful people on the planet have life coaches: athletes, entrepreneurs, entertainers, professionals, presidents and so on. Why not people in addiction recovery?
3. You Have an Accountability Partner for What Matters Most
Knowing you have a connection to someone who cares about your well-being, hopes, and dreams is both encouraging and life-altering. A life coach will keep you accountable to the most important areas of your life. This can include your recovery, health, personal and professional success, relationships, finances, spirituality and hobbies.
A life coach will help you clarify where you are now and meet you where you’re at. A good life coach will challenge you to review your limited beliefs, habits, mindset, life goals, dreams, vision, and purpose. I’ve used a life coach to help me land a promotion at work, start a business, stay disciplined to an nutrition program, uncover my strengths and my life purpose, make more money, and find love (still working on this one!).
4. You Develop Greater Self-Awareness
“As you become more clear about who you really are, you’ll be better able to decide what is best for you the first time around.” –Oprah Winfrey
Self-awareness leads to self-mastery and the ability to gain clarity with where you are in your life and recovery. A life coach will expose you to many tools to learn about your strengths and values. They can help you notice blind-spots and navigate obstacles that alone would be difficult if not impossible to see. A life coach will share, when it is appropriate, their own experiences and insights on a specific situation. A coach is an objective guide who will help you become aware of how you spend your time.
My life coach helped me to conceptualize what it would look like if I was to leave my job. She asked me questions and worked with me to uncover the pitfalls and roadblocks that could get in the way of my success. I would have missed the opportunity to overcome one of my biggest fears and live out my life’s purpose had I not worked with a life coach.
You don’t have to leave your job or start your own business to be fulfilled. You can simply explore a new career or seek a promotion that aligns with your highest strengths and do work you’re passionate about.
5. A Life Coach Becomes a Champion for Your Hopes and Dreams
No matter what is happening in your world, a life coach will be there to remind you that you are resourceful and capable of greatness. Most have walked the walk and know that success is possible for you. One of my favorite reasons for working with a life coach is I have someone cheering for me. I think we all need someone in our corner who will help us celebrate our small victories.
It’s important to celebrate your daily wins, both big and small. It’s all about making consistent progress. A life coach is there to empower you every step of the way.
It’s time to start doing what you really want to do. If your job is sucking the life and energy out of you, it’s probably time to start looking at other options. A life coach can help during this critical transition.
Many life coaches will offer a free introductory session. You can schedule a call with one to see if they are a good fit.
If you’re looking for a life coach that specifically works with people with addiction, there are several options. A life coach is not a therapist. I would recommend a therapist if you are seeking help with past trauma and mental health concerns.
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