A SMART Look at Self-Acceptance

Here’s a true story from my distant past. I was selling life insurance for a living. Well, I was supposed to be selling life insurance, but I was really bad at it. So, my Sales Manager, being concerned, took me into his office and declared, “John, your problem is that you have low self-esteem.” That statement sent my already sucky self-image spiraling even further down the cesspool of my then miserable life. He had me convinced that I was seriously messed up, but that wasn’t true. Not then, and not now. The truth was simply that I hated selling insurance. Weeks later, I left that job just as he was angrily jumping across his desk, I think with the intent to punch me in the face.

Anyway… In this video, Arthur explains why in SMART Recovery, the focus is on self-acceptance, not self-esteem. Thank goodness for me!


00:00 Self-Acceptance

02:58 What do I tell friends who ask why you no longer drink

05:44 Four questions Arthur asks prior to working on unconditional self-acceptance

07:16 Three forms of unconditional acceptance

09:30 Unconditional Self-Acceptance

13:28 Why we shouldn’t think in terms of self-esteem

15:00 Tackling the Dire Need for Approval

22:36 Overcoming the Rating Game

27:38 The importance of putting our own self-interest first

30:23 Making recovery your number one value

31:31 Don’t label yourself as self-centered

33:14 Word exchange “want” instead of “need”

35:51 The trouble with self-esteem

41:40 The difference between self-esteem and self-worth

42:08 Book recommendation, “Unfu_k Your Brain” by Faith G. Harper

47:27 Idea for next week’s show


“Unconditional Self-Acceptance (USA)”

“Tackling Your Dire Need for Approval”

“Overcoming the Rating Game”

“The Trouble with Self-Esteem”

“Developing Enlightened Self-Interest”

“I Am Not My Behavior”

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