Recovery: Growth Mindset

When trying to overcome any challenge in life, being confident and believing in yourself is one of the most important focuses. It can be nearly impossible to overcome a challenge when you repeatedly tell yourself “I cannot accomplish this”. When your inner monologue is consistently self-doubting, your brain and body begin to believe the things you tell yourself. With the lack of faith in your abilities, you eventually stop working diligently to overcome the challenge you are facing.

The challenge we face in this case is addiction. Addiction is something so many of us struggle with, but often are unsure how to begin to tackle the challenge of getting, and staying, sober. The action begins in the mind, specifically with a “growth mindset”. A growth mindset is believing that you are in control of your own life and choices. With this perspective, you give yourself the power to own your recovery and take the necessary steps to get well. You are in control of being able to learn and improve. Thinking and living according to a growth mindset allows you to expand the realm of what is possible when it comes to recovery and confidence begins to grow.

What exactly does a fixed mindset look like? A fixed mindset is when a person believes that any given situation or personality trait is unchangeable. This mode of thinking is dangerous because it leaves a person with little hope that he or she will be able to make positive changes, and have a feeling that the situation or trait will be the same for the rest of his or her life. This can be especially dangerous for an addict. A fixed mindset in addiction might sound like “I am an addict” or “I am a bad person.” Reframing fixed thoughts is extremely important when beginning the journey to recovery. “I am an addict” can be changed into “I am a person with addiction, but have the ability to recover”, and “I am a bad person” can be changed to “I have made bad choices, but through recovery I can learn a new way of life.”

Recovery from addiction is no easy feat. Having your brain and body work against your efforts can be especially difficult to overcome. One must first have hope that he or she can recover before the action is deemed to be a worthy endeavor. Recovery takes HARD WORK. It is difficult to overcome the challenges early recovery throws at you if you are constantly telling yourself “I cannot do this.”