How Addiction Recovery Can Teach Leadership Skills
When an individual suffers from drug abuse or addiction problems, they may also suffer from a wide range of physical, mental and emotional damages as a result. No matter their own addiction struggles, however, there is one thing for certain: the individual is unable to address or cope with some difficulty in their life and is using drugs in order to suppress the undesirable symptoms of this difficulty. Unfortunately, this means that they are not truly in control of their life, and are often simply following behind others in order to just “make it by”.
The purpose of addiction recovery is to restore the individual to the ability to live a healthy, happy and productive life. This means that true addiction recovery is far more than an opportunity for an individual to become sober. After all, achieving sobriety is not actually the real problem – the real problem is the individual’s inability to address and cope with difficulties in their life. It follows then that addiction recovery must be able to empower the individual to take back control of their life, their decisions and their actions, and build the self-confidence and self-respect necessary to remain strong and healthy no matter what difficulties their life may present them with. It is in this way that addiction recovery can teach leadership skills.
Recovery and Leadership
A recovering drug addict learns that the process of recovery is not some single event that occurs randomly, but rather an ongoing process that they have to take part in for some time. They have to learn how to change their routines and patterns in life in order to dispense with bad habits they may have adopted and in order to adopt new, better routines and patterns. They have to learn that rather than seeking instant gratification that can lead to further damages and problems, they must address their problems and challenges in life head-on and resolve them. However, even this is not enough, because the individual will also need to address the root causes for their past drug use and take responsibility for resolving the damages their drug use has caused in their relationships, health and life. This means that the individual will no longer be able to follow others or simply drift along in their life, but will have to learn how to lead himself and others.
When an individual is working through recovery it is true that they will need support, encouragement and guidance from others. This may be largely due to the fact that they have proven, through their drug use problems, that they are not actually strong enough in their current condition to address the many challenges and difficulties that arise in their normal life, let alone those that arise through the course of recovery. There will be plenty of times when the individual feels that it would be far easier to give up and return to drug addiction than it would be to persist through to full and lasting recovery. It is at these times that the support, encouragement and guidance of others can be most helpful, because others refusing to give up on the individual can bring him slowly around to the point where he refuses to give up on himself.
As much as the individual requires support, encouragement and guidance from others during the early stages of recovery, they can discover that they are eventually able to provide support, encouragement and guidance to others who are likewise working through the long and often difficult path to full recovery. It can be highly rewarding to reach out to others and help them through the difficult first steps of recovery, which can help the individual build his self-confidence and self-respect. This can also strengthen their leadership skills, as they advise others to push and drive themselves forward into lasting recovery despite all obstacles they encounter along the way.
Whatever support, encouragement and guidance a recovering addict receives from family members, friends, medical professionals and addiction specialists, many addiction recovery programs recommend that a recovering individual establish a mentor to guide them through the entire process – especially when things become particularly tough. This relationship can actually become quite valuable for the individual, because as he learns to place some trust in another, he also learns to place trust in himself. This can aid him greatly in further building his self-respect and self-confidence, which in turn can help him build a greater desire to work harder at setting and achieving his goals in the future. Of course, whether one is leading self, a family, a company of something larger, one is still a leader in their own life.
Addiction recovery includes bringing the individual forward into recognizing when they’ve made a mistake – and then doing something about it. This is actually a very valuable leadership skill because leaders are not meant to be perfect all the time, but to garner respect and support through being responsible for their actions and decisions. This means they own up to their mistakes and then do something about them, thereby learning from them and becoming stronger, more able leaders.
Seeing a Better Future
Addiction recovery can be a humbling experience for any individual, and it can also set the stage for a much better, healthier and happier future. The individual can learn not to judge people by their mistakes, but rather by their abilities and their strengths, and then work to help them build these even stronger, a fantastic skill that is the mark of a true leader,