Random Acts of Kindness: Boost Your Self Esteem in Sobriety

Dr. Norris Von Curl, II, MD

Dr. Norris Von Curl, II, MD

There is a well known saying that goes, “In order to build self-esteem you have to do esteemable acts.” It’s fairly straight forward and to the point and sums up very nicely how one can go about rebuilding their shattered self-esteem once they get sober.

Over the course of their active addiction, many alcoholics and addicts completely destroyed their self-esteem because they had to engage in behaviors that were not conducive to building a positive self-image. They would have to steal, lie, manipulate, etc. in order to continue on with their addiction and even if they were not caught doing these things they paid the consequences by slowly deteriorating their self-esteem. It was almost impossible to maintain a positive self-image while engaging in these acts and it was made worse by the guilt that was felt at their inability to stop using. Many addicts and alcoholics before they got sober were unaware that their addiction was not a sign of weakness, but rather an illness. Not knowing this, a great many addicts and alcoholics further ruined their self-esteem with feelings of uselessness at their inability to overcome their addiction.

Now sober, the rebuilding process begins. The slow movement towards having a healthy self-esteem begins day by day, building up with each good action. As the days mount, you begin to feel a self-worth that you may have never felt before and in time, you come to love yourself and know what you are truly worth.

It is an incredible experience and one of the wonderful by-products of getting sober, but as stated in the quote above, to experience this, you have to do esteemable acts. On a certain level, we are all aware of what this means, but I have found that possibly the greatest esteemable act to engage in is random acts of kindness.

How Random Acts of Kindness Improve Your Self Esteem

One the greatest lessons that a person learns in sobriety is that in order to experience something within ourselves we must first be willing to show that quality to others. For instance, if we want to forgive ourselves we must first forgive others. I am not sure why the world works this way, but it does and so the same goes for building self-esteem. In order for us to come to understand what our own worth is, we must first be willing to show others what theirs is.

Part of how this is accomplished is through random acts of kindness. Performing these acts allow others to feel loved, accepted, and worthy and in the process, we begin to feel these things ourselves.

Some may say that doing things for others in order to feel better ourselves is selfish, but this is not the case and it really is just overthinking a good thing. The fact that doing something nice for someone else makes you feel good is not selfish, but rather is human. Most of us want to help others and so when we actually get the chance to do this, we feel accomplished and happy about it. Those two things, feeling accomplished and happy about our actions, are what help build our self-worth, letting us know that we are not awful and that we are worthy ourselves.

kindness is a language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see

Ways You Can Perform Random Acts of Kindness

It may sound silly to list ways that you can show kindness to others, as this is something that we are all taught in grade school, but sometimes it is easy to forget how the simple things in life can go a long way to helping improve someone’s day. Below are some acts of kindness that you can participate in with little to no effort.

  • Compliment someone

  • Try to help someone see the positive in a situation

  • Encourage someone to pursue their dreams

  • Hold the door open for a stranger

  • Smile at people as you walk by them

  • Pick up someone for a meeting

  • Talk to the person by themselves after the meeting

  • Call someone and ask how their day is

  • Thank someone for something they’ve done for you

  • Treat people with respect

In and of themselves, these acts seem to be very small and unimportant, but by doing them throughout the day, you not only notice that you’re interactions with others become warmer, but you will also feel better about yourself. You begin to see on a deeper level that you are a good person who really cares about others and in the process, you perform more acts of kindness, which just feeds the process even further.

The thing most powerful about acts like these is that they are done at random, without any provocation. They stem from a spontaneous desire to make the world a better place, and even if they aren’t coming from this place, they accomplish that goal nonetheless. Just smiling at someone can brighten their day and in doing so will brighten yours as well.

It’s very easy to wander off into negative thoughts in the world that we currently live in. If you put on the news any given night you will see terrible things going on all over the world. Staying positive and understanding that you are the change that you want to see in the world is a good way to build self-esteem, and it beats the alternative of falling into misanthropic thinking.

Getting Help For Your Addiction and Rebuilding Your Self Esteem

Before getting sober, talking about your self-esteem may seem incredibly corny. It probably even sounds like something you should make fun of, but once you get sober you will realize how important this is to living a happy and fulfilled life. It is not always easy to do and the first step towards doing this is getting sober. If you need help with your drug or alcohol addict then call First Steps Recovery today, at 1-844- 244-7837. Our trained professionals can help give you the tools necessary to recreate your life on a sober footing. By doing this you can start the process of rebuilding your self-esteem and in time learn once again how to love yourself.

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