Growth and personal development are cornerstones of the addiction recovery process. Learning to embrace new skills, identify and address personal obstacles, and continuously employ coping strategies and life skills is crucial from the first step into detox to celebrating one’s sober anniversary. However, even as an individual graduates from a recovery program and exits the recovery facility, maintaining hold of the growth mindset instilled there is critical for maintaining one’s prolonged sobriety. Understanding what the growth mindset is and strategies to reinforce this method of thinking can help continue to aid in relapse prevention and further the development of one’s sober identity.
What Is a Growth Mindset?
A growth mindset is a mentality that lends itself to the development of new ideas and experiences. It is a way of thinking that doesn’t allow an individual to become complacent or simply accept their current state of affairs, making it an incredible tool to develop during a recovery program. This mindset allows an individual to be more open to new methods of addressing obstacles and view the hurdles in one’s recovery journey as opportunities to grow rather than succumb to the fallacy of an “impossible obstacle” in recovery.
Growth mindsets are crucial both for maintaining motivation and developing personalized therapeutic techniques. Individuals who employ the growth mindset feel encouraged to continue pushing towards their next milestones, both regarding maintaining their sobriety and personal and professional goals beyond the recovery sphere.
Keeping an Open and Curious Mind
One of the most important attributes of a growth mindset is its ability to remain open to different opportunities and experiences. No problem or hurdle in addiction recovery is easy to overcome. Many of the trials that a person faces every day can be confusing, emotional, or otherwise elude definitive, concrete answers. Being open about the possibilities, both in the resources available to oneself and the nature of new approaches to one’s therapeutic practices, can help address these hurdles in new and effective ways.
Developing a growth mindset also indicates that a person is not just able to open themselves up to new therapeutic approaches but is also constantly working on continuously developing their strategies in many ways. Simply because a current strategy is proving effective for coping with urges, anxieties, depression, or any number of other persistent hurdles in addiction recovery doesn’t mean that an individual cannot continue to look for new approaches to the same problem, constantly strengthening one’s recovery toolkit and acting as the great ambassador of the growth mindset.
Letting Go of Binary Conclusions
Binary conclusions can inherently limit the effectiveness of the growth mindset. Thinking in terms of binaries means that an individual is constantly dealing with absolutes, such as measuring everything they do on only a pass/fail metric. Thinking that an individual has completely failed at their goals is a debilitating feeling and is often not truly reflective of one’s experiences. It can be possible that while some parts of one’s goal may not have been met, other aspects or coping mechanisms were employed successfully. A binary way of thinking often overlooks this fact and instead reinforces the idea that it indicates failure if something–or someone–isn’t perfect.
Rather than deeming one’s goals as either an outright success or failure of any kind, employing non-binary language and thinking of progress and success as a spectrum of opportunity can be more in line with a sustained growth mindset. A person hasn’t necessarily failed; they just haven’t reached it yet. Or, while an individual hasn’t gotten a promotion they were chasing, they have still learned and embraced new professional talents. Accomplishing a goal can take time and any number of attempts, so failures cannot be considered absolutes; rather, goals should be viewed as works-in-progress.
See the Successes
Growth mindsets operate on a sense of progression and development that isn’t dictated by any defined end-goal or failure state. However, they still need to be reinforced to maintain motivation to continue through the work of employing such a helpful frame of thinking. Implementing rewards systems, taking the time to celebrate when one’s goals have been achieved, and acknowledging the successful implementation of non-binary language or a new therapeutic strategy is essential in developing one’s growth mindset as a tool for making progress.
The growth mindset continues to motivate each person and bolster their self-confidence each step of the way. Weekly reflections, journaling, or even attending regular meetings to update supports on the changes and progress towards one’s goals, regardless if the goal is still being worked on, is essential for seeing one’s growth objectively and for maintaining the growth mindset as a cornerstone of one’s continued sobriety.
A growth mindset is a powerful tool, from the beginning of one’s recovery journey to outside the recovery sphere, as you pursue your personal and professional goals. We at Everlast Recovery are ready to help you embrace this new way of thinking by helping address the unique ways in which addiction recovery has affected your life. We are prepared to meet you where you are in your own recovery journey, whether you are looking to take the first tentative steps towards detox or continue to develop, maintain, and expand your sober toolkit as an alumnus. Growth is something that never stops, and Everlast Recovery is here to help you grow in your own strategies, support circles, and develop your sober identity every day. For more information on how we can help you or to speak to a caring, trained professional about your unique situation, call us today at (866) 338-6925.