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Welcome to the Atheists in Recovery Podcast, where we talk about finding hope in recovery. And now your host, Dr. Adina Silvestri
Hola guys, and welcome to Episode 78 of the Atheists in Recovery podcast. And today, we're talking all about, its a solo episode, and we're talking all about self esteem, and how low self esteem can ruin your recovery. I definitely enjoy talking about low self esteem, because I see it in my office on a daily basis. And it's something that when addressed can really speed up one's healing in one's recovery. And so I love talking about low self esteem. Today, we're gonna talk about a few different things, we're gonna talk about what self esteem is. And we're gonna look at five ish ways to banish low self esteem, banish negative self talk, increase self worth, and really focus on taking back your relationship with yourself. Okay? Let's get started. Number one, listen to your language, listen to the sentences that you're utilizing. These sentences are going to inform yourself as to what your core issues are, in case you didn't know them already. We all have a self concept, we all have a way of thinking about ourselves and identity that we adopt and a set of labels that come with it. And these sentences usually begin with the letter I make sense. Yeah, I am, or I am not. This is a self judgment. And it fuels our self belief in there for our self esteem. So listen to your language, when I'm working with people. And this would be a good tip for you as well. And you might not hear it right away, because you're so used to talking about yourself in terms of what you're not or where you're lacking. But once you get good at it, you can start to drop the negativity. So whenever I hear anything negative with the people that I work with, I immediately have them drop that sentence like a hot potato, remember that remember the game, hot potato guys where you had to get rid of that potato quickly, you had to toss it to the next person. The same thing goes for the sentences, get rid of those sentences, toss them, some people use the imagery of just, you know, rocks, sort of throwing the rocks down and into the sand or, or throwing them in water or however you want to envision it, but get rid of the sentences. And then of course, you replace them with something else. And that sort of leads us to number two, who am I. So I think that and I'm going to talk in terms of men here. But this can definitely be useful for the ladies as well. But there's a lot of toxic masculinity that adds to our low inner self. You know, there are low self esteem. I wrote a blog about it. And I'll actually link to it in the show notes. It was a combination of factors that go into our inner self. And, you know, it could be from childhood, the external messages that you received from childhood. It could be environmental, that toxic legacy of pain, that chain of pain that I talked about in Episode 61. There can be many different factors that go into creating this inner self. what it looks like to us, in real time could be grabbing a drink at a party so that you feel more confident in that and so that you can quiet that anxiety. It can look like harsh inner critics in our head that never give up. They never let up. They are constantly berating us. And so what happens then when you lose the coping mechanisms, even if they were negative, what happens when you lose the alcohol and you lose the drugs when you use when you lose the praise the external praise? What happens then? Yeah, so who am I? And this is something that you might want to jot down. You might even write it, write the phrase Who am I and see what you come up with. And if it's most Negative, I will obviously challenge you to write more, more positives down. And there has to be positives,
or you wouldn't be listening to this podcast or you wouldn't be doing the self help that you need to do, or you wouldn't be putting down the alcohol. So maybe even keep that list of positives in your pocket and you pull it out, every time you start to doubt yourself, or every time you are feeling less than not good enough. Number three, the goal is no self esteem. So what I mean by that is the cure for low self esteem isn't high self esteem. It is no self esteem. If you accept yourself, and you stop judging yourself, self esteem doesn't really exist. But before we go there, we need to look at a case. Let's look at a case. And we'll name this person, David, this is going to be a compilation of cases. So David, I don't know that I've talked about him on the podcast before but David was joined by his wife, Elaine and his son, Chad. And David came to me not because of low self esteem, I can guarantee that. He came to me because his marriage was failing, he came to me because he got into a fight with his 18 year old son who's failing out of high school. He came to me for these reasons. David was depressed but he wouldn't have self identified as depressed. He was addicted to work. He drank every night. Yeah, he had pain but didn't allow himself to feel it. Until he was forced, forced. sounds harsh, but probably that's true forced to come to therapy, because everything in his life was falling apart. And that's when the work began. I mean, it was months of therapy, before we finally were able to get him to uncover the root cause of his depression. But as he did that, be honest months really isn't that long if you've been suffering all your life, but as he did that his family grew even more close to him the behaviors that he thought he needed to boost the self esteem, the workaholism, the praise that work, the alcohol, the, you know, whatever other maladaptive behaviors, there were those things that he thought he needed to boost to self esteem turns out or just supplements, they were just supplements to his self esteem, he didn't need them anymore. And so he worked hard to find new behaviors to increase his self acceptance. Number four, how to accept yourself for who you are. Well, stop judging yourself is a great way. But that's very simplistic, right? One way is to start talking to yourself, maybe even use the second or third person language. I think that that really helps to give you more objectivity when viewing your thoughts. affirmations definitely help they form new neural pathways with a more positive reference point. And I do that a lot with hypnotherapy, we'll look at the new belief that will replace the old belief of not being good enough, then we visualize that future self along with the power of suggestion. And that's really powerful, right? They're very powerful. And so to get you on your way, to viewing your thoughts more positively, to banishing that inner critic. To have more positive self worth, I invite you to listen to number five, which is questions to ask yourself, this is an exercise. You know, as you probably already know, your brain is a problem solving vessel, its capacity is to literally just solve very complex problems. So let's help it do its job. Let's write these questions down to be answered by you. Number one, who are you comparing yourself to? Number two, what attributes are you comparing? You can't be great at everything. And so being really realistic with you know, if you're comparing yourself to an Olympic runner, and you just decided this year, you're gonna start running. That might be a little unrealistic. Three is what you're telling yourself actually true. I love this question. Is it true that I'm a bad parent? Is it true that I'm a bad Dad? Is it true that I can't do anything right? Is it true that I'm letting down my family that I always let down my family, you ask yourself, Is this true? Is this actually true? Number four, when was the last time you were connected? assertive, felt accomplished. For something significant? This is also a really great question.
And it's probably one of the most frequent questions I ask the people that I work with, what was the last time you felt this way? Because if you felt this way before, you can do it again, and even on a more consistent level. And the last question, Are you too focused on the present? Here, are you too focused on what you're doing wrong right? Now. Maybe that means then you need to start thinking about your future you because we all make mistakes. And there is going to be a future you and that's what you're going to look towards, you're going to look towards the person that is free from alcohol and drugs that is free from workaholism or sex addiction, or love addiction, that it's free from gambling, you're going to look to that person, and you're going to start to emulate the behaviors of that person right now. The thoughts, the behaviors, the mental framework, that's what you're going to visualize. You're going to visualize that right now. Okay, guys, I hope you enjoyed five ways to increase your self esteem, and to help it to stop ruining your recovery. Remember, if you're not happy with yourself, make a plan to change it. This of course, takes daily attention and practice to feel better about yourself. But then it doesn't, right until until you get really good and those new neural pathways are formed till it doesn't take daily practice, then it becomes almost automatic. And so if you're interested in learning more, I provide it in a therapy to individuals in Virginia at my office and worldwide via zoom and you can just head to Adinasilvestri.com to learn more. Okay, I hope you guys have a great rest of your day and thanks for listening. Bye.
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Welcome to today’s show!
Is low self-esteem holding you back? In today’s solo episode I outline 5 ways to banish negative self-talk, increase self worth and take back your relationship with yourself to keep you from “ruining” your recovery.
WHAT WE’LL LEARN
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