Addiction is a set of maladaptive, self-destructive habits. Through treatment and ongoing recovery, men nurture a new set of habits which keeps them moving forward with their sobriety. Maintaining a growth mindset is critical for this perpetual motion, helping men build better habits in recovery.
- Identifying weaknesses as areas for improvement: In a fixed mindset, weaknesses are seen as an acceptable level of “failure” because the fixed mindset believes weaknesses cannot be improved. A growth mindset helps men identify weaknesses as areas for improvement. Meaning, weaknesses are not death sentences but opportunities for new talents. Anything from weaknesses surrounding relapse, to procrastination, to relationship habits are areas for growth.
- Opportunities vs burdens: Challenges are plentiful in life. Recovery is full of challenges both mental and physical. Under the constant influence of drugs and alcohol, men ignore the challenges life presents them. With clarity of mind in sobriety, challenges can no longer be shied away from. Operating from a growth mindset helps men approach challenges, whether trial or tribulation, as an opportunity rather than a burden. Instead of growing bitter men cultivate gratitude for their ability to fully experience life in the present moment.
- Improving neuroplasticity: Brains have the ability to change. Changing, learning, and growing, aren’t things that just happen in the brain. Structurally, the brain shifts when men are in an ongoing state of learning. Neuroplasticity is the lifelong ability of the brain to keep learning and growing. The more men learn, grow, change, and adapt, the more ability the brain actually has to do so. Fixed mindsets weaken neuroplasticity by never engaging or pushing the brain to its potential. Addiction is progressive. Recovery is also progressive. A growth mindset helps men keep progressing in their recovery.
- Dropping validation for personal gain: Recovery support meetings are full of clapping. Every little nuance of recovery is wildly validated with accolades and celebrations. Validation can become addicting for men in recovery when approval seeking becomes as fruitful as drug seeking. Dropping validation for personal gain is more rewarding and builds new neural responses to growth. Building recovery habits purely for the validation from others is not genuine, which leads to an inauthentic lifestyle, which can eventually lead to relapse. Living recovery for oneself, committing to learning instead of committing to validation, is critical. Recovery becomes an intent rather than an accomplishment.
- Purpose and process: What is the purpose of getting and staying sober? Recovery is not as much about the purpose as the process. As it is commonly said in spiritual jargon, recovery is about the journey, not the destination. Ultimately with recovery, there is no destination, other than continuing to stay sober. There is a purpose in staying sober, which is the ability to continue learning and developing in a growth mindset. Without the weight of mind altering drugs and alcohol, men have limitless potential. A fixed mindset of addiction prevents their potential from ever being reached.
Growth leads to change. Change leads to recovery. Your life can change, today, by picking up the phone and calling for help. Tree House Recovery offers men’s treatment programs in Orange County, California. Our innovative curriculum helps men find freedom from addiction and build a sustainable recovery. For information, call: (855) 202-2138