Stop Making Things Worse Before You Start Making Them Better.

Perfectionism and addiction often go hand in hand. People who struggle with addiction are frequently driven by a desire to achieve a perfect state of mind, which can lead to self-medicating behaviors. Unfortunately, this pattern of perfectionism can also perpetuate addiction when we feel the need to continue using substances in order to maintain that perceived level of control and success.

In addition to its impact on addiction, perfectionism can also have a negative impact on mental health in general. Research has shown that perfectionism is associated with higher levels of anxiety, depression, and other mental health disorders. This is especially true for people who set unrealistic standards for themselves and engage in self-critical behaviors.

In early recovery, it is important for individuals to develop self-compassion and learn to accept themselves for who they are. This can be a challenging process, especially for those who have spent years striving for perfection. However, by working with a counselor or a coach, individuals can learn to recognize and challenge their negative self-talk and develop a more positive, self-affirming mindset.

Make Room for Self-Compassion

When we are on the path of recovery, even if we have achieved continued sobriety, a slight mishap can lead us to be hard on ourselves and potentially unravel. This can cause feelings of guilt and shame, which if intense and prolonged, may result in a relapse.

To avoid this, we must not expect perfection from ourselves. Recovery is a bumpy road, and setbacks – whether minor or major – are a normal part of the journey. We must understand and accept this from the outset to avoid feeling discouraged.

Remember: setbacks do not indicate that anything is wrong with your recovery. They are a part of the process.



Jack Kornfield

“If your compassion does not include yourself, it is incomplete.”

Set bold (but realistic) expectations

Keep Those Goals SMART

This pillar is designed to encourage you to set inspiring yet realistic expectations and create attainable goals for your life. Start by committing to stop making things worse. Taking care not to worsen our own situation and working to improve relationships little by little is not only more attainable but also a more noble endeavor.

Trust that this is a virtuous effort.

Making a series of responsible decisions will compound over time and lead to unbelievable improvement in our life.


S - Specific


M - Measurable


A - Attainable


R - Realistic


T - Trackable


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