Addiction recovery requires growth and change. It involves repairing relationships with friends and family, developing coping strategies for triggers, and engaging in hobbies and passions that help you stay away from drugs or alcohol.
Making these changes requires a certain mindset. You need to open your mind to the possibility of personal growth and recovery and believe that you can do it. Otherwise, you may find yourself stuck in the same thought and behavioral patterns that caused you to turn to drugs and alcohol and be frustrated with your inability to overcome them.
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What’s the Difference Between a Fixed Mindset and a Growth Mindset?
In her book “Mindset the new psychology”, psychologist Carol Dwerk sets out what she calls a mindset theory. Dwerk and her colleagues explore the idea that people either have a fixed mindset or a growth mindset.
People with a fixed mindset believe they are born a certain way with fixed traits, talents, and abilities that they cannot change. They believe they have a fixed amount of intelligence and live with the consuming goal of proving themselves to others. It can prevent people from making progress in recovery because they believe there are some challenges they cannot overcome.
People with a growth mindset think they can develop their own intelligence, personality, or character. They see challenges as opportunities to learn, improve and grow as a person. This allows them to see their goal of sobriety as attainable and commit to achieving it.
How Can I Achieve a Growth Mindset?
Having a growth mindset is fundamental to addiction recovery - but how do you achieve it? Changing your perspective is easier than you may think, and certain strategies can help you make the transition.
Monitor Your Thoughts
Start by being aware of and monitoring your thoughts. When you recognize negative thoughts, try to change them to positive ones. Instead of thinking that recovery seems impossible with insurmountable challenges, assure yourself that while recovery may be difficult, the challenges you face will help you grow.
This shift in thinking patterns can be an incredibly powerful tool for people in recovery.
Record Past Successes
Another good strategy for transitioning to a growth mindset is to write down some challenges you have overcome in the past.
Your engagement in the recovery process shows that you have made it through the hardest times. If you have conquered those difficulties, you can overcome future challenges and succeed in your goal of long-term recovery. Moreover, the act of writing itself has therapeutic benefits that can aid your recovery journey.
Set Short-term Goals
Setting yourself short-term, achievable goals can help boost your confidence and self-esteem. It helps you see clearly the progress you are making and the challenges you successfully overcome. With this knowledge, you can feel assured that you can conquer future difficulties too.
Take Inspiration From Others’ Success
People with a fixed mindset often feel jealous of other people’s successes. However, the stories of other people in recovery can be incredibly inspiring. Attending support groups like Alcoholics Anonymous is a great way to motivate yourself by hearing the achievements of others.
When you listen to other people’s success stories, believe that you can do the same. Our intelligence and abilities are not fixed - even if their achievement seems unattainable to you at the moment, remember that you can grow and develop so that you can overcome the same challenges.
Be Compassionate With Yourself
Being compassionate with yourself is key to having a growth mindset. Instead of seeing setbacks as a failure or a sign that you cannot achieve something, try to learn from the experience. Look at what you could have done differently and what skills you might need to develop. In the future, as you grow and move forward, you will have the tools to overcome challenges and continue your recovery journey.