Why a growth mindset in recovery matters

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Exhausted nurse sitting on the floorRecovery from addiction is nuanced and complicated. It’s not simply about abstaining from drugs and alcohol but rather about improving the way you interact with yourself and the world. There are many ways in which our mental chatter can cause us a whole host of problems. For instance, we have intrusive thoughts, worry too much about the wrong things, or have unrealistic expectations of ourselves and others. One major way we do ourselves harm is by having a fixed mindset instead of a growth one.

What exactly is a growth mindset and why does it matter? American psychologist Carol Dweck is credited for identifying two main types of mindsets. A growth (also called learning) mindset is rooted in the belief that with hard work, desire and perseverance, most people can reach their highest potential.

On the other hand, those with a fixed mindset believe that the cake is already baked — you either have certain characteristics or you don’t. In other words, they might not be as inclined to better themselves because they believe it’s futile to try if others already have an advantage over them.

Unfortunately, this isn’t the right way to go about treatment. When you’re first considering seeking help or just starting out in recovery, it can be very hard to imagine a better future. You’re probably at your lowest or else you wouldn’t be considering a major life change. All of your future possibilities are colored by your current reality. This is especially true if you have a fixed mindset.

However, a growth mindset turns challenges into opportunities — and there will be no shortage in recovery. The good news is that a challenge is an opportunity to learn something new about yourself. It might prompt you to learn new skills and hone your resilience muscle. Every new challenge recovery presents is an opportunity for personal development and will prepare you to overcome even bigger challenges down the road, even when recovery is long and over.

In short, adopting a growth mindset is one of the best ways to help you see a path forward in addiction recovery. It makes you resistant to change, better able to imagine a happier life without drugs and alcohol, and it turns every new challenge into a chance to grow.

Speaking of growth, we at Deer Hollow are committed to supporting you throughout your treatment. We provide a safe space where healing and recovery are paramount. Contact us to learn more about our programs and how they can help you in your journey. You don’t have to go this alone. https://deerhollowrecovery.com/