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How to Earn Respect When You’re in Recovery

The Law of Addition (from the 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, by John C Maxwell) says that you, my friends, are either a plus or a minus in the lives of others. You either add to the lives and the quality of the lives of other human beings or you subtract from the lives and the quality of the lives of those people. This, along with the Law of Respect helps us understand how to earn respect, rather than demand it.

The Law of Addition

I understand that we are not just one-dimensional, and we have professional lives, and we have personal lives, but the goal is to be in the plus column in both those areas. There are people that are wonderful at what they do at work, they’re influential at their organizations, they’re hard workers, they add to the organization, they’re pluses, they’re valuable. When they sit at their end-of-year reviews, their manager or the owner says, “you know what, you are a great resource to this organization.” However, when they go home that same person doesn’t show up, they are a minus in their personal life. Oftentimes because they are too tired, oftentimes because they think that because they were a plus somewhere else that they don’t need to be a plus anywhere else. They provide, they do what they have to do, but you know what, tell that to a seven-year-old child that’s waiting for the plus to come home, and the minus keeps coming home. Which one’s more important? That’s a choice. It’s a choice I can’t make for you. But the goal is to be a plus in the lives, both personally and professionally.

How Do You Add Value?

Leaders add value man, you got to add value. So when you look at yourself in the mirror do you add value to that reflection? When you look at the people that you lead in your life, whether it’s your family or at work, do you add value? 90% of leaders that do, they add value by being intentional and deliberate about adding value. 

So for example, you go look back at four years of me doing this, at least I’ve been doing these talks on Saturdays for a decade, but literally for four years I’ve been doing it you know and here’s what happened. I’m sitting back, Covid happens, we’re like “Ah, I can’t connect with people, I can’t talk to people,” and we take it to social media and take it to Facebook and YouTube and I don’t care if there’s two people watching man, or 20 people watching, I don’t care if I’m talking to the screen by myself. I’m intentional and deliberate with trying to add value to the lives of others. When you have to carve out a specific time on a Saturday it doesn’t just happen. Everything I do around it revolves around the intention and deliberation of doing this. And I do this, you know, if you’re ever local in town, I know some of you have been coming. This last Tuesday we had over 30 people in there – it’s a family education support group. It’s what I do here but in person. I do it every week myself on Tuesdays from 6:30 to 8:00 pm. If you are in the Orange County area I strongly advise you to come down and check it out. It’s always free of charge. The group participants, if you’re watching this, give me a little shout out. There is no angle or sell – it’s just a matter of adding value. I’m intentional and deliberate with it.

The Law of Respect

Everybody wants to be respected and a lot of us have felt disrespected in life. And respect is one of those things that’s really important, you know. It’s like even the Italian mafia puts respect as one of the highest elements of their belief system. So even gangsters believe in respect, and I think all human beings understand what that is. But I’m telling you this – until you look in the mirror and respect the reflection looking back at you, good luck trying to have other people respect you. Good luck trying to respect other people. It all starts with self. It all starts in that exercise with that mirror in front of you three feet away. Do you respect that reflection looking back at you? Because if you don’t you’re going to start seeking it and searching for it and constantly being disappointed. When the world does not respect your reflection why should they, and why would they? You see, I wish that all human beings can just go out and freely respect each other. I really, really do, because life is already hard enough. But I believe on the same token that respect is one of those things that needs to be earned on some level. Not in a hard way you know, if you show up and you’re a hard worker and you’re committed and you got some good values and you’re just a good decent human being, I believe that’s good enough to be respected. But if you’re not doing all those and you just want respect because you feel like it’s owed to you, I’d really look and see where that thought process comes from, and just explore the possibility of it being a fallacy, or being faulty.

Become a respectful person first, become a respectful friend, be a good friend, and see what happens.

Respect is earned and when you are able to gain the respect here are the things that are important when they respect you as a person. You’ll start to be admired. Admiration doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad thing. I can admire many different qualities and characters of other people and not put them on a pedestal. Just like admiring, “wow, that person is such a good speaker,” admiring, “that person is such a good friend,” admiring the fact that person is so loyal, admiring the fact that person is so caring – it’s not a bad thing. So when you are respected people will start… when you demonstrate and ooze respect, people start to admire you, admire at least some qualities and characteristics that you have when you’re respected as a friend. People start caring for you. We always want the people to care for us and sometimes some people that come from disadvantageous upbringings and situations that were just tough, and no one cared for them, they walk around the world just begging, hoping somebody just cares for them. Become a respectful person first, become a respectful friend, be a good friend, and see what happens. But you’re like, “nope, I want someone to be a good friend first,” you know and that’s such limited thinking, self-imposed limits. And when they respect you as a leader they will follow you. When you look at yourself in the mirror and you respect that reflection man, you’re going to follow that person everywhere. You’re gonna follow that journey.

No Respect, No Influence, No Ability to Lead

When you do things and say things that are disrespectful to yourself and others what happens is what do you expect from the world to do, a person that cannot respect themselves, their body, their mind, the people around them? When somebody constantly, constantly, constantly disrespects opportunities and chances do you really think the world just shows up? I don’t believe that we need to unconditionally respect things that are overtly and innately disrespectful. When people are out there doing harm and people are out there lying, cheating and stealing, I have zero desire to respect them. Now, I can care for them compassionately as a human being but I don’t have to respect the choices they’re making, and I sure as heck don’t have to respect the consequences of those choices. 

Call Buckeye Recovery Today!

Are you in recovery but not making progress? Recovery is not only possible but attainable, and it all begins with reaching out for assistance. By addressing both addiction and mental health issues, individuals can break free from the cycle of despair and embark on a path to a healthier, more fulfilling life. Contact Buckeye Recovery Network today and initiate your journey to recovery and improved mental health. Our dedicated team of professionals is here to guide and support you every step of the way.

Today is going to be the best day of your life.

Kelsey Gearhart

Director of Business Development

Kelsey carries multiple years of experience working in the substance abuse and mental health treatment field. Her passion for this field comes from her personally knowing recovery from addiction.

Prior to Buckeye she held titles of Recovery Coach, Operations Director, and Admissions Director. Kelsey was brought on at Buckeye Recovery as the Director of Business Development. She has a passion for ensuring every individual gets the help that they need, and does so by developing relationships with other providers.

Kelsey also oversees our women’s sober living environments – The Chadwick House for Women. She is committed to creating a safe, nurturing, and conducive environment for all women that walk through the doors of Chadwick.