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  • Writer's pictureChoice Recovery

I Don't Want to Hear It

Are you coachable? Does being called out when making mistakes or acting inappropriately motivate you to be a better person? Or, does receiving constructive feedback cause you to respond with, “I don’t want to hear it” or “that won’t work for me” or “it wasn’t my fault”? Hearing that you have a temper problem, that you are not doing what you should be, that you are selfish, etc.… is no fun. However, your awareness and openness to such conversations is an essential piece to becoming the person you want to be. And, only with that type of awareness, can we move toward intentional change.

When working with a sponsor, therapist, life coach, or even a friend, it is important to remember they are on your team fighting for your interests. If the coaching seems frightening, look inside and ask yourself why. Try gaining some solace in the fact that every single person who has ever walked the face of this earth has had defects of character. Character defects, like the ones you have, are not unique; what is unique, is having the willingness and openness to make the necessary changes to become the person you want to be.

Through therapy, working the 12-steps, and attending group, you are seeking transformational change. This type of intentional and transformational change can lead to unlimited joy and possibility, which translates into a life beyond your wildest dreams. Unfortunately, the pain, fear, shame, and guilt that can arise when openly addressing difficult issues can limit your coachability. It becomes a barrier inside of you. And when this happens, and your walls begin to rise, how do you find the courage and motivation to participate openly and honestly? Real and lasting change can only occur if you let your walls down and become open to this type of constructive feedback and coaching.

Here are a few easy suggestions for how to start accelerating change in your life:

· Write it down: Write-down what your coach is telling you: good, bad, and other. Put serious effort into making sure you get down precisely what you are being told. The reason is, when being told about our shortcomings, we tend to make things up about what is being said. We often go to the extreme and exaggerate the negatives in our own mind, making a situation far worse than it really is. When you write it down, word-for-word, your mind/internal voice cannot embellish the feedback. Using this method, you are forced to recognize the facts and leave the emotion and rationalization out.

If at that moment, you cannot write it down, repeat back what you just heard. Do this several times if needed, until you have registered the exact feedback without amplification or your own interpretation.

When you have the exact language, and a clear understanding of what was said, it becomes much easier to breakdown and define what must change.

· Ask questions: Criticism often triggers us to act in one of three ways: We can go on the offensive with explanation and justification and personally attack the person sharing their thoughts, we can shut down entirely in an effort to end the conversation as quickly as possible; or, we can assemble the courage to ask questions about the feedback we just received.

If we can muster up the strength to do the latter and ask questions, we can gain a better insight into ourselves. We can also gain a better understanding of others and how they view the situation and our behavior. And only then, can we compare this information to our internal personal belief system and decide if it is right for us.

· Take a step back: After receiving the feedback and documenting the facts, take a pause. Put it aside for 24 or 48-hours so you can let it digest in your heart and mind. Hearing feedback about what is wrong with us usually generates destructive thoughts and emotions, which in-turn, limits our honesty. This type of attitude will always affect our reasoning. And, in order to find comfort in the situation, we may find ourselves justifying our behavior or reacting with what feels good in the moment, rather than what is right. In this state of mind, it is hard to produce positive change.

If you can step away from the situation for a couple of days and let yourself decompress, your objectivity can return. With this fresh perspective, you allow your heart in to have a say. And, once your mind clears and you are able to make healthy observations, transformational change can really occur.

Your addiction uses shame to keep your life stagnate. It knows that if you feel bad about yourself you will be less likely to generate the courage to improve your circumstances. Your addiction is keenly aware that it is much easier to move your life backward rather than push it forward. When shame dominates your being you seek solace in responses like “I don’t want to hear it” or “that won’t work for me” or “it wasn’t my fault”. For that moment, these responses provide a comfort, and that comfort makes you believe that you are okay. However, if you are really honest and truthful with yourself, you will recognize that you are moving backward, and your addiction has won again.

Who do you want to influence your behavior: your coach or your addiction?


Addiction treatment is about so much more than staying clean. It starts with finding a reason to stay clean. A reason that is more powerful and motivating than that voice in you head that continually suggests a hit or a drink is the answer. Choice Recovery's alcohol and drug addiction treatment program is here to assist you in finding that reason to stay free from drugs and alcohol. We are here to foster a lifestyle that results in better relationships, a more satisfying career, and a life full of joy.

If this sounds like something you want, please visit our facility in Mesa, Arizona or call us at 480-527-0337. Choice Recovery offers intensive outpatient alcohol and drug treatment ("IOP") to those ready to make a life change. We take AHCCCS insurance including Mercy Care, United Healthcare, Care 1st, Banner University, Health Choice Arizona, and AZ Complete Health. Choice Recovery also accepts private insurance like Blue Cross Blue Shield.

Our office is located at 2222 S Dobson Rd., Ste 1002, Mesa, AZ 85202 which is in building 10 in the Dover Shores Office Complex. Once you find the courage to make a life change, our clinical team would be honored to support you on the journey!


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