What Are The 4 Agreements?
The Four Agreements is a best-selling self-help book written by Don Miguel Ruiz. He was inspired by ideas from the Toltec, a group of indigenous people who lived on what is now Mexican territory over a thousand years ago. The goal of learning about these agreements is to challenge the beliefs you currently hold. For many people, and recovering addicts in particular, long-held beliefs can be damaging and limit your potential. Negative thought patterns often lead to unhealthy behaviors, so learning these emotional skills can help addicts make better choices and change their lives. The Four Agreements are simple guidelines for a better internal thought process that encourages emotional stability and healthy coping.
Remember The Power Words Hold
One of the four agreements is “Be impeccable with your word,” a short but powerful suggestion. This agreement emphasizes the impact that words can have, positive or negative. It encourages readers to be as kind and honest as possible in speaking not only about others, but also themselves. For addicts, prioritizing honesty can help break them out of habits they learned while using. This is a reminder that words help shape how we think about ourselves and others.
Develop a Strong Sense of Self
The second agreement, “Don’t take anything personally,” can be counterintuitive. It’s very tempting to use how people treat you and what they say about you to form your own self-image, but this can be harmful and lead you to believe things about yourself that may not be true. Instead of doing this, you can learn to take people’s hurtful actions and statements as what they are: a reflection of them, and not you. In order to learn how to separate other people’s perceptions from your actual self, you need to develop a strong sense of who you are as a person. Self-knowledge is vital to being able to cope with unfair judgment and treatment from others. When you understand who you truly are, you can thrive in spite of how others might treat you, instead of losing self-worth because of it.
Ruiz aims to get readers to step out of their own thoughts with the point, “Don’t make assumptions.” He uses this statement to suggest that when you make assumptions, you reduce the chance of honest, effective communication. When you assume that you know other people’s intentions, you can easily start to take people’s interactions with you in bad faith. Instead of creating your own theories about the reasoning behind people’s actions, learn to ask people honest questions about their intentions. You can use their responses along with concrete evidence to form your opinions instead of getting stuck in paranoid thoughts.
Make an Effort
“Always do your best.” According to this agreement, the key to self-satisfaction is to fulfill your potential. By living up to your own expectations, you can develop self-respect. Remember that your own personal best can fluctuate according to your circumstances, but make sure to respect yourself by doing as well as you can. For addicts, the loss of self-respect and self-compassion can be debilitating. If you commit to doing your best, you can get a better sense of your own abilities, and reap the benefits of all the work you are putting into your life.
The ideas in this book are valuable for learning to change the way you think. They are uniquely helpful to addicts who have learned to think about their lives, themselves and others in a negative way that distorts reality and precludes positive change. The agreements encourage thoughts and actions that are productive toward living a healthy life, because they come from a place of emotional balance. When used along with rehabilitation, the ideas presented by Ruiz can help change lives. Contact Clean Recovery Centers today to learn more about options for treatment, or call at 1-888-330-2532.