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Being Humble in Recovery But Confident at Work – And How to Stay Balanced

To build your career, you need to be confident. You need to be the one knocking on doors, networking with the right people, and willing to do whatever it takes to get in the door and move yourself, and your career, forward. But at times, this balance can be difficult to manage with recovery and the need to stay humble.

Humility in recovery is essential. The process of recovery, of righting wrongs, and keeping your recovery active and healthy can be difficult. The willingness to stay humble during the difficulty is an important characteristic to learn and to hold onto throughout the entirety of your journey, so naturally, when you’re at the point in your recovery where you’re intersecting with a job hunt, career move or professional advancement, tact and balance must be learned.

Balancing Act

To balance the humility in recovery, but boldness and confidence in the workplace, remember these three practices:

  • Keep constant communication with your mentor or sponsor.
    Though you may already have regular communications with your professional mentor or sponsor, it’s especially important to keep communication lines strong when you’re a growing professional or if you’re actively searching for a job. Be sure to bring this up with your supports and mentors and let them know you’re looking for balance between humility and confidence. Having their input will help you find an appropriate middle, while having their insight and feedback will speak into your life and career journey when you need it – or if you suddenly become out of balance. Set expectations and let them know where you are and aren’t comfortable hearing their feedback, and consider setting parameters around what you’re looking for from your sponsor vs. your professional mentor.
  • Learn how to turn it on and off.
    The ability to switch yourself in and out of boldness and forward-thinking can be tough, often not learned right away, and not quite as black and white as a simple “on” and “off” switch. But though it might be difficult, it is a skill worth learning. Whether you learn how to tailor your disposition through mindfulness or proactive self-talk, remind yourself occasionally to “turn it off” when you’re transitioning out of work and going home for the day, and to “turn it on” when re-entering a more appropriate work environment. While this may be a good place to start, you will need to be mindful of this switch in disposition throughout your day, as boldness and confidence are often needed in your personal life, just as humility will be required in your professional life. Balance is key, and the ability to tailor your disposition appropriately to your environment will be a skill that will benefit you in all of your life.
  • Keep yourself in balance by a moral inventory.
    Whether or not your recovery is based in the principles of AA or NA, a moral inventory is always a good idea – both personally and professionally. While you’re staying in communication with your recovery supports, you also want to stay in communication with yourself. Regularly assess yourself and your performance both as a professional and as a person living in recovery. Where are your confidence and boldness helping you? Where are they healthy? Where is your humility lacking and where could you work at improving? By asking these questions – and being fearless and honest in your self-assessment – you will be better equipped to handle the ins-and-outs of your disposition while managing yourself appropriately no matter your surroundings.

A Lifetime Skillset

The ability to be both humble and confident, leveraging the requirements of your recovery, personal life, and career journey is a skillset that will last an individual through the lifetime, and will most likely be a life-long lesson of how, and when, to do adjust yourself.

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