The 6 Critical Mindsets You Must Develop to Stay Clean and Sober

The 6 Critical Mindsets You Must Develop to Stay Clean and Sober


Looking back at the time when I was still drinking, I can’t believe how much my mindset has actually changed. I’m talking about the attitudes, beliefs, and mental tendencies that I have come to develop
in recovery.

Photo by Rick Harris

When I was still using drugs and alcohol, my attitudes and beliefs were quite different. I was constantly obsessing over how to find and use more drugs and alcohol. In terms of consciousness, I was simply existing–moving from one drink or drug to the next, with no thought of personal growth; no appreciation for what I had experienced. There was only that next high.

It’s amazing how much my ideas and attitudes have changed. Here are the 6 mindsets that have empowered my recovery:

1) Fundamental belief – I noticed this even more when I quit smoking cigarettes, but the idea is the same with any addiction. You have to shift your thinking about who you are. I am a non smoker. I am living free of drugs and alcohol in recovery. This is a fundamental mindset about who you are, admitted to your most innermost self. It is a decision you make. This is the equivalent of step one in a 12 step program.

2) Process – The old way of thinking was to view things as events. Everything was an either/or. You either won the dance contest or you didn’t. In recovery, you can empower your life when you start to see things as a process. You might not have won, buy you’re learning to dance. And loving it.

3) Vision – There is a huge movement out there about “living with purpose.” That’s what vision is about. Big meaty goals for your life. When you’re living clean and sober in recovery, having a vision
to aspire to makes it all worthwhile. I’m also convinced that having a vision/goal/purpose is the drive necessary to propel you in the creative life in recovery… is not enough to merely want to avoid
the misery of addiction.

4) Zero-tolerance policy (discipline) – Say you quit smoking cigarettes. How do you make it through that first week of misery? With a zero-tolerance policy, of course. No one has ever done it any
other way. You simply can’t allow yourself the luxury of a single puff. This has proven to be a critical mindset for growing in recovery, and can be applied in a number of different areas. When other solutions fail you, the zero tolerance policy comes through for the win.

5) Overwhelming force – Now we are really talking. How do you conquer addiction with confidence? Throw everything you’ve got at it. For me, that meant 20 months in a long term treatment center (best decision I ever made), followed by dedicating my life to helping other addicts to recover. Think that sounds like fun? Trust me, it’s a blast!

6) Gratitude – This is the big kahuna. If you are truly grateful for existence itself, then you’ll breeze through a day in recovery like it’s nobody’s business.

Take these concepts and apply them in your life, and you’ll be on your way to a creative life in recovery.


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