It is important to bring about a change in oneself so as to improve the self-esteem. 

  • The first step towards building self-esteem is ‘Goal Setting.’ This is important because one needs to feel motivated, challenged, and excited to feel good about oneself. This is very important in the development of addicts and alcoholics so as to make them realize about the capabilities, needs, desires and wants, thereby making them aware of other important areas of life apart from drugs and alcohol. The goals that are to be set should be specific, measureable, attainable, reliable and time-framed.
  • The next step towards improving self-esteem is ‘Risk Taking.’ It is important for addicts and alcoholics to find another “high” in their lives apart from the substance that they use. To get a “high” from productive things in life will help one feel proud about themselves for the efforts that they have put in to reach their goals, whether won or lost. Risk taking is a hard yet exciting way for discovering the abilities a person has thereby working through limitations and fear.
  • The third step towards nurturing self-esteem is ‘Opening Up.’ This is another major problem in chemically dependent people. They find it difficult to open up about their feelings and thoughts among and for the people around them. This leads them to be dishonest and in the process they live their lives in denial. It is very important to open up because it gives clarity about what they are and what they want especially to people who trust and encourage you.
  • The fourth step is ‘Wise Choice Making.’ This comes from sharing our thoughts and feelings, and getting a feedback about behaviors from people around us. Addicts and alcoholics have always compromised on making a wise choice because of their low self-esteem. Therefore, it is important for them to share and talk about their decisions to someone before taking any action. 
  • This needs a lot of patience which brings us to the fifth step ‘Time-Sharing.’ Growing or building up of self-esteem doesn’t happen overnight. It requires a lot of patience and efforts, which in turn requires time. It is important for addicts and alcoholics and their families to understand that if you don’t allow yourself room to grow, you may find yourself doing more stagnating than renewing. It is a good idea to maintain journals or records to assess your growth after a period of time. 

This brings us to the final step of ‘Healing.’ This includes the physical health and well-being, involving interaction between mind, body and spirit. It is important to heal emotionally to feel positive so as to get rid of self-defeating characteristics, thereby nurturing self-esteem. It is important to pay attention to minute details like grooming and general etiquettes. Meditation is also another way of mental healing to quiet the stress and anxiety within. It is thus important to feel love for yourself and nurture yourself so as to grow your self-esteem.

“Self-esteem is as important to our well-being as legs are to a table. It is essential for physical and mental health and for happiness.”

-Louise Hart