Some contend that there are seven C's that makeup resilience. These seven C’s can and should be taught to adults and children alike. The Seven C’s, first published by the American Academy of Pediatrics in 2006, can help individuals learn how to handle just about anything. The Seven C’s can easily apply to recovery.
Resilience is an important skill to master, especially if your job exposes you to higher levels of stress. Learning how to be strong in the face of adversity can help you navigate the world as a healthier and more confident person.
#1: Confidence – Believing in Your Abilities and Self
You have probably heard the phrase, “confidence is key.” Unfortunately, true confidence can be difficult to develop. You might feel as though you need to meet certain expectations, but do not believe you can get there. Confidence comes from knowing what you are good at and being recognized for it. This recognition can come from external praise or knowing that you are good at something. Being good at something takes practice. That is where “C” number two comes in.
Confidence can do wonders in recovery because self-esteem has an enormous impact on self-image and mental health. If you have a negative sense of self, you might lack confidence. You may not see yourself as a capable person, which makes it hard to feel good.
#2: Competence – Having the Skills to Thrive
Confidence comes from somewhere. Whether this means that you feel confident in your job, about how you raise children, or about how you move in the world, there has to be something to feel confident about.
Competence happens when you learn skills. You will not start out knowing everything, and that is fine. That is where you learn and train. It takes time to be competent, and it is something that you develop. Recovery can give you the opportunity to learn the skills you need or recognize ways in which you are competent.
#3: Connection – Working, Growing, and Learning Together
Relating with others is an essential part of recovery. Human beings are social creatures. We need connections with each other to feel safe and secure. Treatment and recovery are both very social experiences. The social connections you make ultimately become your support system and allies. Your connections can help you through anything.
#4: Character – Being a Good Person
The fourth “C” focuses on who you are as a person. This aspect of resilience helps you understand who you are and who you want to be. You might not have the best impression of yourself. This can be based on your previous actions or how others have perceived you. When you consider a person’s character, this is in regards to what their actions say about them. Are they a good character or a bad character?
You are in charge of your own actions and can decide to have good character. Owning your actions and doing good can make you resilient. This is important in recovery because it can make you aware of how your current and future actions can impact who you are as a person, while also reminding you that you can change your character for the better.
#5: Contribution – Helping Others Helps You
It is natural to feel good about doing things for others. Sometimes people might be reluctant to receive help because they worry about the other person feeling bad for them. When you help others, do you do it out of pity, or do you do it because it feels good to help? Since humans are social creatures, we rely on contribution. It helps keep society together.
Think about how you contribute, whether it be positively or negatively. How can you contribute in a positive way?
#6: Coping – Using Your Toolbox
One of the biggest issues in recovery is learning how to deal with cravings, bad mental health, and stress. In the past, you may have decided to cope in ways that were destructive, rather than helpful. You might have been used to self-medicating with substances because you were never taught healthier ways to cope. You might have been modeling how your parents or friends coped with stress and mental health issues.
Learning how to properly cope when things become difficult can become an important asset during recovery. Treatment centers typically teach coping methods such as mindfulness, exercise, relaxing, and reaching out when things become too hard. If you are able to cope when things feel difficult, you can develop resilience to any situation.
#7: Control – Having a Choice
It is common for those who have substance use disorders to have a history of not being in control. Whether it was exposure to a traumatic experience, dealing with family that did not allow you to feel in control of yourself, or even the experience of being a student, you may have often have felt like you were not in control. This is why you have turned to substances to feel more in control, even though you eventually lose control of your substance use.
The best ways to feel more in control include knowing what you do and do not have control over, while also giving yourself the option of choice. It can be an enormous stress reliever when you realize you have a lot more choices than you think. You are not confined to just one option, one way of reacting, or one way of thinking. Having the option to choose can help you feel freer in the long run.