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Living with addiction and mental health issues can wear us down until we feel totally powerless, weak and afraid. Our relationship to our fears is full of resistance, avoidance and denial. We’re afraid of being afraid, so we run from our emotions and try to avoid having to feel them. Finding the courage to face our fears means tapping into our inner sources of strength and resilience. When we embrace our courage, we’re able to make great strides in our healing and transformation.

To tap into our courage, we have to forget all the lies we’ve been telling ourselves that we aren’t strong or brave. We have to shed the limiting beliefs that make us feel like we’re not good enough, as though we’re powerless over our addictions and doomed to be unhappy. We have to start telling ourselves a new story, and reminding ourselves of the truth – we are strong, we are brave, we are capable of healing ourselves. Many of us have lost our faith in ourselves. We don’t believe we can succeed, in recovery, or in life. We feel down on ourselves. We have a very negative self-perception and a pessimistic outlook on things.

Tapping into our courage means working to believe in ourselves again. We’re bound to experience fear in our lives. Courage is having faith in ourselves. Courage is the ability to transcend our fears and to stop allowing them to derail our progress in life and undermine our happiness. Fear is a natural, unavoidable and inevitable part of life. Courage means knowing we will be confronted with challenges but also knowing we can overcome them. How do we start to believe in ourselves again?

Begin by reframing your thoughts about yourself. Start a daily practice of listing things about yourself and your life that you feel grateful for. Include attributes and accomplishments you’re proud of. Take time to think about all the beautiful things in your life you’re blessed with. The more we give energy to thinking about the things we love and admire about ourselves, the more we build up our sense of self. We start to create a new self-image for ourselves, this time out of self-love, self-respect and appreciation. Talk to yourself with positive, encouraging words. Be quick to forgive yourself. Treat yourself with understanding and compassion. Praise and congratulate yourself. Be kind to yourself with your self-talk.

The more we build ourselves up, the more we’ll be able to see and feel the courage and strength that inherently reside within us. We’ll feel more empowered to tap into our courage and apply it every day in our recovery.

Our personal experience with addiction and recovery make us uniquely able to understand you and relate to your story. Call Riverside Recovery at (800) 871-5440 for more information on our treatment programs.