Self-esteem 2012?

2012-Mission to Improve Self-esteem


To be of service to others, I do a lot of reading and research. Original thinking is fine but what I know and coach originated from others.

The biggest issues I help others to come to grips with are related to self-esteem. Today I share writing from Francine Ward, a lady I wish I had as a coaching client!

“Self-esteem comes from honouring your healing journey

My life is not perfect. I make a lot of mistakes. Sometimes, I stumble and fall. I am a work in progress. And when I remember that simple fact, I am better for the experience.

It’s easy to start on a path of change and get so busy doing what we need to do that we forget to stop, breathe, and acknowledge the effort we’ve already made. We forget to honour our own healing journey. There are times when I have to be reminded to do for myself what I do for others. The other day, a friend caught me denigrating the work I put into a project because it wasn’t done perfectly. When she asked how it was coming along, I said, “I can’t seem to get it down perfectly. It’s horrible.” I then spent ten minutes – which was as long as she could tolerate my ranting – downplaying the work I had put into the project so far. She couldn’t believe she was listening to me. “You could be one of your own clients,” she said. And how right she was. I needed to be coached at that moment in time. And after our conversation, I called my coach.

Healing is hard work. It takes great effort to stay on a path that leads to purposeful self-discovery. It takes energy – persistent energy – to be an active participant in the creation of our lives. A healing path requires having the courage to shine a light or allow a light to shine on parts of ourselves that we’d rather keep private. It means having the courage to see the work that still needs to be done. Honouring our healing journey invites us to appreciate the effort that has been made.

It’s important to heal and to honour the work done.”

What a great message, a message from someone who truly understands the path to achieving healthy self-esteem and one who appreciates the important role a coach plays.

Want to achieve more in your life in 2012 and live the life you were meant to? Get over your scepticism and give coaching a try! Contact me without obligation!


A NEW YOU IN 2012?



Here we are, 9 days in to a new year and most things back to normal. By now, a majority of people who have made resolutions have broken them

As you looked at a new year, what changes have you committed to make in how you live? More importantly, how are you going to make them? What has held you back?

Winston Churchill once said, “I’m always ready to learn, although I don’t always like being taught.” Can you relate?

A reminder to myself every January (and most days) is that I have no power over certain people, places and thinks and long ago I accepted completely that this includes alcohol, drugs and certain other behaviours (habits). As long as I keep this at the forefront, within reason my life has remained manageable.

I did not achieve this way of life on my own and had much help along the way. Over the past nearly two decades, I have had the good fortune to coach others and help them find the ability to make major change within themselves.

Do you want a new you in key areas of your life this year? Are you ready for change?

I am a change catalyst; please feel free to contact me in confidence.

Self-Esteem Recovery

How Do I Recover Healthy Self-Esteem?
As a senior manager in the work place, self-esteem is often an issue with employees as they advance in their careers; particularly those new to management roles.

As a coach, this self-esteem is an issue I deal with with every client. I have never had an exception. It makes a guy wonder what happened along the trail, and also wonder what happened first, lousy self-esteem or addiction?

My personal esteem
The place I always start to look is at my own personal circumstance. Being a recovering addict and also a senior manager, I have had to gain some insight along the way.

I was brought up in what most would have thought to be a very comfortable home. I was healthy, reasonably bright and didn’t want for too much materially. Yet, for a reason I now understand, I never felt that I was good enough nor did I feel that I measured up to the expectation of “others”. If a reasonably sound upbringing left me like this, I can easily understand how those with a less fortunate childhood can have self-esteem issues.

7 tips for self-esteem building
Some basic how to “overcome” actions for me (and for many of my clients) included:

1. Use positive affirmations.

I went to, and I send clients to, the few people in life a person can really trust. Positive “I am……….” statements are obtained from these honest sources, such as “Keith is a truly caring person”. Four or five are lots. Put them on a recipe card and tape the card to your favorite mirror. Initially you won’t believe; do the work and you’ll know them to be true.

2. Spend quiet time everyday.

If you can learn how to shut your mind down, divorced of brain chatter, interesting things (positive) will be revealed to you.

3. Journal daily .

Get those good thoughts and negatives externalized. You’ll be shocked how they look on paper. Set some goals, dare to dream some good dreams.

4. Get outside help .

Everybody needs a mentor. You need a “trusted confidant” in your life, one who you respect and admire, who has walked the road and come out in sunshine; it may not necessarily be some one you like or know well..

5. Right size yourself.

Learn that you are not the center of the universe and in the big picture, not all that important. Find that proverbial power greater than you that you can build a trusting relationship with.

6. Give yourself credit.

Make sure you give yourself credit for all your successes, no matter how big or small. It is far too easy to focus on failures.

7. Set some small achievable goals.

Baby steps will carry you on a journey and the journey never starts without a first step. When you hit a goal, give yourself a small reward, maybe a small pat on the back.

Think about it. You were born with a purpose, and that purpose was positive. It still is. Each of us in our own small way have something to offer. If you learn to believe in you, achieve healthy self-respect, your world will be a much brighter place to live in and so will be the world of every person you have contact with!



I am blessed to be acquainted with a great group of people who are involved in addiction recovery and helping others.

Patrick Meninga who operates the web site is one of those people. Over the years, Patrick and I have collaborated on several pieces of work and we share many common beliefs. Both of us recognize the good work of 12 step programs; both of us believe that there are several options to the addicted to regain a fulfilling life that is addiction free.

In the world of illness and disease, there is a process that is known as recovery. I fully believe that addictions are a (mental) disease and believe that to live without the disease being active, that a planned program of recovery is needed.

Today I share an article from Patrick posted on April 2. I have taken the liberty to make minor edits and have added, in brackets, some personal comments. I think you will find this article of use IF you are interested in living a life free of mood altering addictions and behaviours.

Do You Need a Recovery Program to Recover from Addiction or Alcoholism?

It is a fair question for anyone who is struggling with drug addiction or alcoholism: “Do you need a recovery program in order to recover?”

Many people who are exposed to traditional recovery programs such as AA or NA are instantly turned off by them, for a variety of different reasons.  For example, some addicts and alcoholics have a level of social anxiety that makes it extremely difficult for them to sit in a meeting, much less to participate in one.(For many of my clients, their work lives require a high degree of anonymity).

Others may start out in a traditional program of recovery, only to have their growth plateau eventually while their recovery stagnates.  What was supposed to be a lifetime solution for recovery lets them down because they do not actively push themselves to keep learning new things and growing in other areas of their lives.  So in effect, many addicts and alcoholics who stay in such recovery programs experience common traps where by:

* Safety and security in a familiar program and fellowship lead to complacency and potential relapse.

* Strong faith in “the program” itself keeps the person from exploring new avenues of growth (such as fitness, nutrition, holistic health, etc.).

* Those who get stuck in a rut and stop learning continue to attend the same support groups or meetings, where they are reassured that they are “on the right path.” (I know several I consider to have become addicted to their support group).

* A sense of fear regarding relapse keeps people from leaving traditional recovery programs in order to seek their own solutions, which may be more effective for them in the long run.

* Extreme faith and reverence is put in the program and we put ourselves down as being incapable as individuals. We dis-empower the self in order to stay humble and be accepted by our peers as having a healthy level of humility and caution regarding the possibility of relapse.

In my own personal experience, I started my recovery by using a program of traditional recovery and attended 90 meetings in the first 90 days.  However, by the end of 18 months I had stopped going to meetings entirely, and over a decade later I am still going strong without a traditional “program” in my life. (I still attend meetings, but as a part of service to others).

My opinion is that there is nothing wrong with any recovery program, so long as it does not lead you into traps like the ones mentioned above.  Anything that gets the struggling addict to take positive action is at least in the realm of being genuinely helpful.  But in the long term you have to consider that most people fail to make the jump from short term to long term recovery. This means that:

* Most addicts and alcoholics relapse before the end of their first year of recovery. Pretty much anyone can get by for a few months or so on raw willpower and social “12 step meeting speak” while hanging out at meetings every day.  But look at the raw data and see how many are still clean and sober after the 12 month mark.  Even AA World Services census data shows that 95% of newcomers leave completely the first year and never

ever return (see figure C-1).  Of those who stay, some even relapse but continue to stick around.

  • Short term recovery tactics do not translate well into long term recovery. Holistic health and personal growth become the tools used to overcome complacency in the long run.  Really dig into the ideas used in most short term recovery solutions (outpatient treatment, counseling, 12 step meetings) and you will see that they do not push the idea of holistic health or personal growth all that much.  No, the substance abuse community uses a certain set of ideas to help people sober up, and then their bottom line is simple “do more of that stuff!” in order to transition to a lifetime of recovery.  Fail!
  • (Coaching looks at addictions as a symptom of a problem, and works with clients to set “life” goals that lead to a holistic balanced approach to daily living and encourages life long growth).

Do You Need a Recovery Program to Recover from Addiction or Alcoholism? is a post from: Spiritual River. Visit at Keith can be reached through or .



I work with people who simply put, want to make major change in their life.

The reasons vary and may include addiction, abuse, stress, and depression. The common denominator is that the zest for life is not what they want and personal relationships are stressed or gone. Most of my clients do not love themselves.

Life transformation and the recovery of the life you want is a process. My experience and learning tells me it is a holistic process and one that requires “outside expertise” to guide the journey.

If we could fix ourselves then most of us would do so and if we could learn it from a self-help book, there would be far more joyful people in this world.

The most challenging part of holistic transformation I find in working with others is getting them over the “spiritual” component. Most hear “religion” when the word spiritual is brought up. Some of those I coach may find a “spiritual” home in an organized religion; most don’t.

While reading today, I came across an interesting definition of spirituality that I want to share.

“Spirituality is…..the awareness that survival is a savage fight between you and yourself”. (Lisa S.)

Most of us are aware of an inner struggle; I know as I faced the challenge of transforming my life, I certainly was.

There is good reason that this struggle exists among many, and I gleaned a far better understanding of it while involved in a group study of Eckhart Tolle’s “A New Earth” and from reading his “The Power of Now”. From this study, I read words that helped me achieve clarity as to what was occurring inside of me and to understand why “spirituality” was so important to my life going forward.

One simple thought I had to buy into to allow me to move forward- there is a great power at work in this world and that power is not me. I made a mess of the world that I tried to run which resulted in a number of things that could be filed under the general heading of “unhappiness”. Once I allowed myself to accept that there was a power greater than me at play in this world, my life was open to change.

To survive in a better state of mind, I became very aware of the savage fight going on within.

To get the life I wanted, and to get the courage to change, adding a conscious spiritual component to my life was essential, and the coaching I received was a life saver.

If the hair on your neck bristled slightly when you saw the word spirituality; if that word made you flash (negatively) to the word religion or if you acknowledge the struggle for survival inside of you that Lisa S. refers to, let’s have a chat. Nothing ventured; nothing gained.

(Contact through; websites and



Do you have an addiction problem?

You’re reading this because you are looking for information about “addictions”. I address this to two groups of people in particular.

* The person who thinks s/he has a problem.
* The person trying to drink/drug/behave in moderation.

Many are here because deep down they think they might have a problem. Guess what? If you think you might have a problem with drugs or alcohol, chances are very high that you do.

Some of you may be looking at how to do certain things in moderation. For you, my personal 25 years of research proved to me there are certain things I could not do in moderation.

So, to these two groups of people: there are certain activities you are involved in that try as you might, you just can’t stop doing them. They are at a point where they’re having a negative impact on you and likely those around you. You’ve tried cold turkey, read and done many other things to no avail. You just can’t stop.

So why?

What prevents you to stop smoking, drinking or taking drugs?

Well, I’ll share from personal experience… and my experience has been validated by hundred’s of others I’ve worked with. In every case, it’s not exactly the same, but you will be able to relate.

1. Denial fuels addiction

At first I couldn’t stop because I was in denial that my addiction was a problem let alone an addiction. I’m a strong person and do not consider myself to be of weak character and lacking in will power. If I had a problem, then I was sure I could fix it myself. Remember the Bible, as I recall, says something about “physician heal thy self”.

Over time, signs within me and feedback from others were persistent enough that I started to really wonder if there was a problem. This was the first step of over coming denial and accepting my addictions may be real. Continued research taught me that not only could I not carry out my addictions in moderation, but I was not able to “fix them myself”.

2. Reliance on self keeps you in the problem

Another old saying, anyone who has themselves for their lawyer has a fool for a client”, and for a period I was the fool. Simply put, I learned that I had a problem and could not fix it myself and if it were going to be fixed, I had to swallow my pride and ask for help.

As addiction treatment evolves, the role of “support” comes more and more to the forefront as a key ingredient to successful recovery. If you read the mission statement of Addiction Blog, you’ll learn that there is no one way to address your addictions, and there are options as to the help available. Read the contributions that have been made on this site and learn of the options and know that “addiction treatment” is very slowly changing. Know also that a vast majority of family physicians know very little about treatment and addiction. They do see the physical results. Get help that works for you from a source that knows the issue intimately.

How to get out of the addiction trap

I believe that “specialized support” is a key ingredient for all who want contented freedom from their addictions. “Support” is one of the reasons that coaching is being used more and more by the addicted- either as their primary help point in addressing addiction, as a supplement to other recovery options (12 step groups, counselling) or as the primary support following residential treatment. It is a viable option and I am pleased that the success rate of my carefully chosen clients is very high.

So you can’t stop?…reach out for help

I hope you have a better appreciation of why you can’t and what you have to process to begin real recovery. Action and asking for help are the keys.

I encourage your comments and the suggestions you may have as to topics you’d like addressed from a coaches perspective. Until next week. Live today! Keith (contact

Photo credit: Shifteye



Over the past weekend, I had the privilege of attending a “spiritual retreat” at a wonderful place of peace called Manresa .

What is a spiritual retreat? Sounds out there!

For me it is like taking a time out from life and listening to a leader lead discussions on things of the inner spirit (not necessarily religious) in a setting that is removed from a lot of life’s daily distractions; and after listening, to be able to ponder and meditate on things that were at one time baffling or just didn’t matter.

There are a number of books that have had a huge impact on the human race. One of them is the book “Alcoholics Anonymous” (known as “The Big Book”), who’s twelve steps and principles formed the foundation of AA, a movement that was the first of hundreds of 12 step help groups.

On page 25 of the Big Book, the author states” we were approached by those in whom the problem had been solved; there was nothing left for us but to pick up the simple spiritual tool kit left at our feet. We have found much of heaven and we have been rocketed into a fourth dimension of existence of which we had not even dreamed.

Because of my own journey of recovery, I had read these words dozens if not hundreds of times. On the weekend, they took on new meaning (and thanks Mildred Franks for the focus).

What does this mean to me?

I was aware of the importance of spirituality in the transformation of my life.

We are “rocketed” into this fourth dimension of existence, the spiritual, when the dimensions of our physical, mental, and emotional states are in harmony and balance, each with the others, occasioned in the moment by our total surrender with complete abandon to our Higher Power. (The 3 dimensions, in which we, as humans, live, experience and struggle with).

 My physical, mental and emotional states came into harmony; I was at a good level of peace. I did consciously surrender to the belief that “my Higher Power is everything”, because if that weren’t so then it was nothing; it had no meaning or purpose in my life. I became “awake” to the fact that a quantum shift had occurred within myself and as I now understand, in that moment, I was rocketed into a fourth (spiritual) dimension which I never considered, but now, through maintaining daily conscious contact with a power greater than myself (and I consciously work at making that contact); I continue to live in.

This, for me, was a huge transformation.

Today I can live in a place where I know I am not the center, and can reach within for a source of power and peace that I always had, but had denied and suppressed and intellectually fought against for many years. From this source, particularly where I make a conscious effort, I receive the ability to live in peace and harmony within me, knowing that I have the ability to live with both the good times and bad times that life continuously throws my way. I can make good choices.

As crazy as it seems, I now can appreciate that when three dimensions, through hard work and the help of my higher power, came into harmony, I was able to surrender my need for control to my higher power and was rocketed into a 4th dimension of existence. I exist today in a place where my spiritual well being and conscious contact must come first; and a wonderful place it is. Want to explore this 4th dimension or share a personal spiritual awakening experience, then you know what to do.

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