It is not possible to make an addict embrace sober living. There may be ways to physically prevent this individual from drinking alcohol or using drugs, but as soon as they are able to they will resume the behavior. In order for these people to escape the misery of addiction they will need to develop the right motivation. Receiving encouragement from friends and family can certainly be beneficial but unless the individual is able to develop self encouragement they are likely to fail.
To encourage means to inspire courage, spirit, or hope. When the individual is able to cause such qualities to arise in themselves it is referred to as self encouragement. This ability of the individual to inspire themselves can also be referred to as self motivation.
If people have the ability to motivate themselves to get things done it is highly advantageous because:
* There is not always going to be other people there to offer encouragement. Those people who are only able to achieve things when cheered on by other people will not be able to do much in life.
* Self motivation is far more effective than encouragement from other people. This is because the individual will be following their own dreams and aspirations and not just trying to please other people.
* Self encouragement can benefit from the snowball effect. The individual can start off by motivating themselves to achieve small goals but later move onto more ambitious projects as their confidence grows.
* If the individual does not believe that they will be able to achieve something the chances are that they will not be able to achieve it. By developing self motivation the individual will have needed to cultivate their belief that they can find success.
* Those who have taken on an ambitious goal will almost certainly have days when doubt starts to enter their mind. The ability to offer self encouragement will allow them to get beyond this doubt.
* The ability to offer self encouragement is an asset that will benefit the individual in many areas of their life.
* It should mean that people are less prone to fall into the trap of negative thinking. This is because the individual feels empowered to take their life in the direction they want to go.
* Self motivated people act as inspirations for other humans – it is an appealing personality trait that tends to attract others.
Self encouragement is hugely important for people in recovery. Building a life in recovery can be a bit of a challenge for those who have been trapped in addiction for years. Such individuals need all the inner resources they can muster for the challenges ahead. Some of the reasons why self motivation is so necessary for people in recovery include:
* If the individual is not self motivated in recovery it is highly unlikely that they will succeed. Those who try to stop their addiction for other people will usually relapse once they decide it is safe for them to do so.
* It is common for addicts to alienate friends and family, and this can mean that these people will not be there to offer encouragement.
* The addict will have been a prisoner to their substance abuse for many years. In order to find success in sobriety they need to reclaim their freedom and take charge of their own life.
* Just because people escape an addiction it does not mean that they will avoid the ups and downs in life. The ability to offer self encouragement will help them make it through the bad times.
* Some people continue to experience occasional cravings for years after they get sober. Those who are self motivated should be easily able to dismiss such dangerous thinking.
Those individuals who are skilled at offering self encouragement are said to share certain characteristic traits including:
* Humility – the individual has a beginner’s mind, and this means that they are able to obtain the information they need.
* They are persistent, and this tenacity means that they don’t give up until they have achieved their goal. The only real failures in life are those people who stop trying.
* They have the ability to rise above adversity. They do not just give up because the road to a goal appears difficult.
* They participate fully in life.
* Those who are self motivated tend to be dedicated to fostering their own physical, mental, and spiritual health.
* These are people who realize that sometimes you have to take risks to achieve things, but they will avoid being reckless.
* They are energetic enough to get things done.
* They act as if they have already achieved their goal – this is because they know that they are a success no matter what happens.
* These are people who value lifelong learning. They never reach a point where they believe they know it all.
* They are not afraid to set themselves difficult challenges.
By developing some of these character traits it should make it easier for people to become self motivated.
There are things that people can do to increase their ability to self motivate including:
* It is suggested that people have clear dreams and aspirations. It is easy to self motivate if people know what it is they are trying to achieve.
* It is recommended that people view obstacles in their path as a friend and not the enemy. It is these difficulties in the path that give the individual the opportunity to develop the tools they will need to achieve their goals.
* Watch or read the Last Lecture by Randy Pausch. He describes how obstacles in the path to a goal are only there to stop those who aren’t really motivated to achieve it in the first place – if everyone could easily achieve everything it would take away from the value of reaching these goals.
* In order to stay encouraged and motivated it is suggested that people should track their progress. This can be done by keeping a journal which is updated regularly.
* Negative thinking is the enemy of self encouragement. Those who entertain thoughts of failure could be creating a self fulfilling prophecy.
* Positive visualizations is a form of self hypnosis that can be used to increase motivation. The individual imagines themselves achieving their goal and this gives them encouragement to keep working towards it.
* Keep an open mind and consider all possible options for achieving the goal. If people are too opinionated and narrow minded it can stop them learning, and they will find it more difficult to stay self motivated.
* The individual shouldn’t expect the path ahead to be easy – if it was they wouldn’t need self motivation. It is almost certain that people will need to leave their comfort zone if they hope to achieve anything worthwhile.
* Happy people find it easier to be self motivated. People can choose to be happy and can do things to promote their feelings of happiness.
* It is usually preferable to concentrate on finishing one task before moving onto the next one. Multitasking can actually get in the way of progress.
* Spend time with other people who are self motivated. These individuals are inspiring and well worth trying to imitate.
* Some people find that it is helpful to set a schedule of rewards along the path to their goal. Upon reaching each of these rewards it will give the individual’s motivation boost so they can move towards the next goal.
* It can be a sensible idea to break down big goals into smaller goals. If the task seems too overwhelming it can sap self motivation, but by focusing on these smaller goals the individual is able to stay motivated.
* Self encouragement does not mean that the individual needs to go it alone. It makes sense to take advantage of any available resources and seek advice from anyone who can help.
* Some people find that find it easier to stay motivated if they have a deadline to meet. The problem with lack of deadlines is that it can easily lead to procrastination.