“Progress, not perfection” is a common phrase used in the rooms of recovery fellowships. The concept is derived from the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous. After presenting the 12 steps, the Big Book states: “Do not be discouraged. No one among us had been able to maintain anything like perfect adherence to these principles. We are not saints. The point is, that we are willing to grow along spiritual lines. The principles we have set down are guides to progress. We claim spiritual progress rather than spiritual perfection.” Our focus is on progressing in our development and striving to do our best by continually making the right decisions in sobriety. Men and women in recovery are flawed. Not because they suffer from the disease of addiction, but because they are only human. Everyone makes mistakes, but in sobriety we choose to learn from these mistakes and use them to continually learn and grow through our process of self-development. The point is that we do the best we can as we develop the tools necessary to achieving and maintaining sobriety. In The Four Agreements, a book of Toltec wisdom, Don Miguel Ruiz explains, “Regardless of the quality, keep doing your best—no more and no less than your best. If you try too hard to do more than your best, you will spend more energy than is needed and in the end your best will not be enough. When you overdo, you deplete your body and go against yourself, and it will take you longer to accomplish your goal. But if you do less than your best, you subject yourself to frustrations, self-judgment, guilt, and regrets.” We can easily be discouraged when a conflict exists between our best and our unrealistic expectations of perfection. The frustration and shame that can result from our inability to achieve perfection can easily lead us into a self-defeating cycle of depression, which could put us at risk of wanting to give up completely on our journey of recovery. Instead, we learn from our failure and show gratitude for whatever progress we have made in any given situation. Defeat can hurt us for a moment, but carrying the lessons we learned from it aids us in our personal and spiritual development in sobriety.
The cycle of addiction keeps us from being able to move forward and reaching our potential. You can begin taking the first steps toward progress in recovery by seeking help now. Oceanfront Recovery, a treatment facility in beautiful Laguna Beach, offers the opportunity to develop all the tools necessary to achieve long-lasting sobriety in a serene beachfront environment. For more information about treatment options, including Residential Treatment, please call today: (877) 279-1777