“Just believe in yourself. Even if you don’t, pretend that you do and at some point, you will.” ~~Venus Williams
“Life can go in many directions but the belief in yourself is the map to the unknown.” ~~Anne Neil
“You may be the only person left who believes in you, but it’s enough. It takes just one star to pierce a universe of darkness. Never give up.” ~~Richelle E. Goodrich
#13 I am responsible for myself and for my actions.
I am in charge of my mind, my thoughts, and my life.
In our WFS Reflections for Growth booklet our founder, Jean Kirkpatrick, PhD writes “Do you have faith in yourself? Do you have faith in your ability to accomplish? More importantly, do you have faith in your sobriety? Faith is belief. To stay sober, we must have faith in ourselves. We must believe, trust, and have faith in our ability to accept our self-responsibility.” This is an eye-opening way to examine faith in our New Lives and put action into Statement #13.
Addiction removed the ability to accept, believe or feel confidence in myself. My belief system had become misplaced, and I unconsciously allowed others to make decisions in my life. Faith in others came way before faith in myself. Because of the WFS New Life Program, sobriety and recovery helped change direction and feel a sense of balance.
Challenging myself became a way to practice Statement #13 and feel responsible, which definitely increased belief in myself. For example, knowing I wanted to get involved with WFS, becoming a Certified Facilitator was a route available. I could either start a F2F meeting or one online. Being more comfortable online, I chose to start a F2F. This cemented faith, growth, and responsibility. Today I know and have faith that I am a capable, competent, caring, and compassionate woman!
Hi 4C Women,
In the beginning, I was like a rebellious teenager when it came to Statement #13. I wanted to say, I am NOT responsible for myself and my actions. I mean if I’m responsible, that means I have to actually stop my blame game and learn to make my own decisions, cope with the mistakes I would and did make, change my entire way of thinking and it was scary. So much easier to blame others and just sit back and do nothing. In totality, the 13 Statements are building blocks, a phenomenal guide to taking responsibility, to feel completely in charge of our minds, our thoughts and our lives. I eventually began to feel empowered. I didn’t have to hide my power; I could speak my voice. It felt fabulous. And mistakes, well it was shocking that the world didn’t stop turning when I made mistakes.
I am sure the people in my life were delighted with this change. No more constantly complaining how horrible my life was because of others. I was no longer an emotional victim of life’s situations or other people nor did I want to play that victim role anymore. There are still times when I feel overwhelmed with being in charge yet I would rather work through those times than be stuck and fearful of a challenging situation or person. And knowing I am in charge of my responses, my choices, provides a strength and courage I hold on to tightly.
Here’s the best part – I no longer deny my authentic feelings of fear and confusion at times. I am fortunate to have the tools and the support of my WFS sisters to hear without judgement, provide insight from their own life experiences and space to make my own decisions.
Nancy Cross once shared a message with some questions from Iyanla Vanzant as it related to this Statement. These questions helped me define how willing I was to practice Statement #13 in earnest.
1. Are you willing to be a free and independent thinker? (This one truly spoke to me the loudest. When I was married, I didn’t realize how much I repeated my former husband’s point of view on everything. One day, a co-worker asked me if I realized that I started every sentence with, “Ed said.” He asked if I had thoughts or opinions of my own. Wow! That was a wake-up call.)
2. Are you willing to stand up for yourself? To speak up for yourself?
3. Are you willing to be the one who calls the shots?
4. Are you willing to walk away from the people who will be very upset when you stand up and speak up? (This occurred during my separation when I found my voice. It is challenging especially if we hold onto guilt from the past and feel we don’t deserve to speak our wants and needs. Oh, but we do! Remember that your past does not equal your future. We used alcohol or drugs to cope and practicing the WFS program teaches us to value ourselves as we work towards a New Life in recovery.)
5. Are you willing to have fun and joy in total peace all by yourself, if necessary?
6. Are you comfortable with saying no and realize it is a complete sentence?
7. In learning to be responsible for yourself, have you set healthy boundaries to achieve your wants and needs?
Bonded in learning, growing, reaching out for support and being in charge! Dee