The Competence-Confidence Loop
When you first get on the path of sobriety, there is a lot of anxiety and apprehension because you know how strong those cravings are. You know how difficult the climb is going to be. These nerves get you doubting and questioning yourself, which only makes it harder to keep going. However, the truth of addiction recovery is that you wander awkwardly at first but if you stick to it, and keep practicing the skill of self control, you’ll get better at it. As you get better at it, you’ll feel more confident in yourself and your ability to stay true to the course.
This feedback loop is called the Competence-Confidence Loop.
The more you practice something, the better you get. The better you get, the more confident you become. The more confident you are, the better you get.
It’s the same in sports, academics, and job skills as it is with addiction recovery and controlling your unhealthy cravings. You just keep at it, practice exercising your will over your addiction every single day. If you fall down and relapse, then get back up and keep going. Resolve yourself anew every time that you’ll get further this time … and you will.
The more you commit to the process and just log the hours, the easier it will get over time. The confidence of succeeding in sobriety and self-control is a reward in itself, which will pay out in dividends across all other spheres of life. Confidence is knowing you can do something. There’s no more powerful or effective way than to see yourself do it.
One of the ways to improve and optimize this feedback loop is to review your progress frequently and remind yourself of your skills and achievements. When you’re staring back on a week-long relapse, it can be easy to forget the six month stretch of sobriety that preceded it. Focus on your successes and the failures will diminish over time.
It’s a marathon, not a sprint.