from addict 2 advocate marilyn l davis

Become an ACTOR: Attitude Changes Transform our Recovery


By: Marilyn L. Davis

“If you want a quality, act as if you already have it. If you want to be courageous, act as if you were – and as you act and persevere in acting, so you tend to become.” ― Norman Vincent Peale
from addict 2 advocate marilyn l davis

Regret Your Actions?  Then  Act Differently

For many of us, when we look back on our life before recovery, we regret many of our attitudes and actions like: 

  • How arrogant we were about our way of doing things
  • How much money we squandered in our use
  • How often we disappointed our family
  • How dismissive we were of help
  • How our fearful outlook prevented change
In rare moments of honesty, we realize that we did not run the world well, and now we would like better outcomes and results.  However, instead of following suggestions, we balk at the instructions from others about how to recover. Can you see the conflict in attitude and actions?  
Sometimes our attitude becomes negative because we are not in charge.  If you realize that you are angry that you aren’t in charge, just remember, like me, how you mismanaged your life in your addiction and take advantage of an opportunity to let others give you better life solutions.

Attitudes Influence Actions 

If attitude and actions are critical to our outcomes, then what is an attitude?  An attitude is what we think and feel about a person, subject or circumstances. It is these thoughts and feelings about a person, object, or situation that determine our attitude.from addict 2 advocate marilyn l davis

We often describe attitudes as positive or negative. If we view something or someone favorably, we have a positive attitude; if we dislike the person or subject, we probably have a negative attitude.

Optimistic and Pessimistic Attitudes

Opposite opinions and attitudes are both correct. For instance, one person believes that recovery is possible; another believes that it is impossible. Both of these attitudes will reinforce the anticipated outcomes for two reasons.

  1. Believing that something is possible, people plan actions to support this possibility.
  2. Believing that something is impossible, people find excuses to prove this conclusion.  
One attitude is positive and optimistic; the other is negative and pessimistic. How do optimistic and pessimistic attitudes influence our recovery?  Our attitudes show what we expect our recovery.  For instance: 
  1. If we have an attitude that recovery is just hard work, it will be. 
  2. If we are grateful for the opportunity to recover, then the work seems less daunting. 
Beyond the positive and negative attitudes that we talk about; there are other attitudes that will hinder or help your recovery.

The Most Difficult Attitudes to Change

While my attitudes hold me back, the most difficult attitude to change is the one that holds you back from receiving help. 

Only you can decide which negative or pessimistic attitudes you have that hold you back. I would urge you to explore your internal attitudes that create the barriers to recovery. However, there are certain attitudes that will prevent you from receiving help.  They are:

  • Arrogance
  • Conceit
  • Entitlement
  • Close-minded
  • Unwillingness
All of these attitudes, considered as negative and pessimistic, will net negative outcomes. If nothing else, these attitudes alienate people in a position to give help to you to recover. Frequently, they stop giving valuable solutions to someone disinclined to receive them. 

Working with ACT – Becoming the ACTOR

Maybe it is time to start thinking more positively and acting differently.  ACT, or Attitude Changes Things is helpful for two reasons.

  1. It reinforces what we have the most control over in our lives – our attitude about people and situations.
  2. We can “act as if.”   

What do I mean by that? How would I choose to ACT differently from the typical negative attitudes?  I simply need to know a balancing or opposite attitude to adopt to possibly change the outcomes. For instance:

  • Humility, unassuming nature, humbleness as opposed to arrogance
  • Modesty, reserved, realistic appraisal of self as opposed to conceit
  • Neither less than nor better than, not privileged, on par with others vs. entitlement
  • Open-minded, willing to listen, unguarded as opposed to close-minded
  • Willing, cooperative, ready to change, as opposed to unwilling

Become an ACTOR


A better attitude to adopt in following directions is to be hopeful and trusting.  People will not typically give directions that have not worked before, so there is confidence that these solutions have merit.   

When people are hopeful, trusting, and confident, it is easy to be optimistic about successes in recovery and those are positive attitudes to adopt. When we intentionally act as if, and become an actor, we often experience different results. We transform or alter our perception. However, it’s not paying lip service or presenting a false front and not making the effort to transform our attitudes. It is making a genuine effort to:
  • Demonstrate interest in recovery
  • Cooperate with people trying to help
  • Make use of instructions to improve your life
  • Becoming the ACTOR

Writing, and recovery heals the heart


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