The Four C’s of setting and keeping your bottom lines

I’ve read a lot of motivational and ‘self-help’ literature – you could say that I have an addiction to that kind of stuff.  But some of the ideas I found helpful.

One concept that has stuck with me is the Four C’s:  What are they?  You may have read about them in motivational literature.  They usually center around the task of setting and reaching goals.  And setting a bottom line is a lot like setting a goal.  But instead of stating where you want to go, you are stating where you don’t want to go…

Here are the Four C’s:

  • Commitment
  • Consistency
  • Clarity
  • Confidence

Let’s face it.  Anyone can set a bottom line.  The day my three year old grabbed the curling iron when it was ‘on’ was the day she decided not to grab it anymore.  After a bad burn to her right hand and many, many tears, curling irons quickly became her ‘bottom line!”

But when you’re an addict and you want to quit your addiction… why is it so damn hard to keep the bottom lines that you so willingly set when you first started the program?

Before you can set and expect to keep your bottom lines, you must have the desire to do so.  Without a strong desire to reach your goal of sobriety, you will encounter great difficulties and frustration, but you will not be able to go the distance.

Desire is fundamental to maintaining your motivation.  As it states in step one of the 12 steps of SLAA:  “We admitted we were powerless over our sex and love addiction…”

In fact, admitting to your powerlessness is where your desire for recovery begins.

This is not referring to our helplessness; powerlessness is not helplessness.  To admit to your “helplessness” would be admitting to your defeat.  There is no motivation found in that hopeless word – only sad resignation.

To admit, on the other hand, to your powerlessness is to begin realizing that, up till now, you have done it all wrong.  And that is where you begin to feel the desire – the need – to find a better way… a way that will correct all your mistakes and bring you power and healing.

I want to spend the next few weeks examining the Four C’s.  How do they relate to our addiction?  How can we use the four C’s to help us understand how we can successfully set and keep our bottom lines?  Next week we will take a look at the first C: