Recovery Connections

John Schwary is CEO of Transitional Living Communities, an 850-bed recovery program he founded in Mesa, Arizona January 9, 1992, when he had a year sober. He's in his 28th year of recovery.

In these posts, he views life mostly through the lenses of recovery. While the blog is factual, he often disguises events and people to protect anonymity.

Thursday, April 28, 2016


 I often do hypnosis with clients who ask me to help them improve their "self-esteem."  In other words help them feel better about themselves.

In the face of these requests I realize I have quite a challenge. Because when I ask them to be more specific it generally turns out that they're comparing themselves with others.

Maybe they're comparing themselves with a family member who's never used drugs or been in trouble. Or with a school friend who was a born natural athlete and has gone on to promote that talent and self-discipline into career success.

But hypnosis is not a way to make us be like someone else, to mimic their success. And that's because some of us aren't as smart as others; we just weren't gifted that way. What hypnosis can do is help us to help us unleash our drive and motivation so we can take advantage of the skills and abilities we do have.

A better solution to those of us lacking self-esteem is to learn to love ourselves as we are, to feel good about what we've been given. And to make the most of it.

Acceptance of who we are can help us discover abilities we never knew we had.  Our natural talents aren't going to thrive and grow if we're always unhappy with what we were born with.