A growth mindset–coined by Carol Dweck–is living with the idea that abilities can be developed and do not rely on a fixed mindset as either passed or failed, and can be applied to the addiction recovery world in a way to break stigmas, create healthier lives, and provide equal and surpassing opportunities for all to achieve great success. This type of mindset leaves room for growth, expansion, and positivity unlike a fixed mindset, which leaves room for misery and negativity to invade our lives. Using the term yet, or not yet creates a pathway into the future, changing a mindset that pushes you out of the comfort zone you’ve been built into; which is key to developing new neurons in the brain for gaining intelligence and a healthy mind towards recovery.
This is built upon examples from studies done where students where tested and ranked at the end of year as passed, or not yet, not pass, or fail which provides a feeling of pressure and a want to give up in the testers mind. The fact that we don’t say that these subjects have failed creates a higher success rate of grades and happiness within the community and district. This can be shown heavily in settings of inner cities and places like Native American reservations where there is much inequality and unequal opportunities through societal settings.
This same concept can be applied to addiction, labeling, stigmas and the self-fulfilling prophecies. A self-fulfilling prophecy is created when someone is told something like, “You’ll be just like your father” (who was an addict or alcoholic), and then this very behavior someone said at you becomes a basic human path and almost is inherent to become that being from internalized feelings of stigmas and labeling. Through a self fulfilling prophecy it’s told that if something is said enough, it will come true, this is the simplest form of a self fulfilling prophecy to date. Telling someone they will fail and not giving them a chance to begin success with the end all being things like labels and stigmas sets up youth and young adults higher chances of addiction rates and gives those who are stuck in active addiction a lower chance of even gaining recovery or betterment.
So, simply to treat someone as if they are an addict and not a true human being—which is what they are—or to treat someone as if you look down upon them from a branding that society has bred from altered mindsets. This then further creates a chance of engaged addiction and failed recoveries.
A growth mindset is what is needed in society to break and end the barriers of labels and stigmas and to prove to people that they are not just words but they are ways of life that when said are instantly put onto the person being afflicted. Therefore, those around them suffer consequences, too not just the afflicted but the consequences lie on everyone within the vicinity of this derogated pathway. You’re not just hurting yourself when you call someone names and assign them stigmas, but you are further creating a society that will breed greed and benevolence to say “I’m better than you because you’re an addict.”
A fixed mindset is a do all or nothing mindset and is considered black or white thinking, which means there is no grey zone or in-between reasoning. It would go to say there are winners and losers instead of what is needed to be heard which is just a difference between things that are not pure devotion to negativity. This type of mindset is what we call a fixed mindset and is usually associated to people with low levels of social exposure. The types of people who not only have a fixed mindset but use it towards others in a negative—or derogatory—way is the essentials to where stigmas and labels come from. The fixed mindset is a breeding ground for hurt, hate, and inequality.
What is truly needed is a growth mindset, and this entails giving those who might struggle, are struggling, or have struggled the peace of mind they deserve by using words like yet, or not yet. By saying you’ve not yet gotten there (wherever your happiness lies) shines a light and hope to saying that you someday you will get the recovery you so desire, or may not even become an addict at all. This creates the opportunity for success and is a breeding ground for positivity not negativity. There's a chance for pure betterment and that is what people struggling from addictions need, want, and desire. This creates a sincerest, righteous, honest, and hopeful chance for a successful future. So, I think you’re catching on, and you will get it, soon in the future just know there is a yet moment waiting for you.
Praise the process that those in growth mindsets engage in and it creates people that are hearty and resilient. A growth mindset creates people that are able to recover and are able to stay away from harmful things like engaging in addictions, or whatever their vice may be. Knowing there is an opportunity for better just makes being here and now so much better and let’s us live with a sense of pure peace in our life by knowing things do really, honestly get better. Knowing that we don’t have to use words like addict, junkie, tweaker, alcoholic, but we are allowed to use phrases like, “You’re just not there yet” or “You’re close to your goal of recovery but not yet.” This leaves an unequivocal possibility for a safe and sound future. The growth mindset is what gives us a chance to recover. “Yet…” there is hope.
So make a movement not just with your words but your actions and mindset because stigmas do create a more harmful place to be in whether in recovery or not. These words are used as slander just for about anything! Don’t be a fixed thinker, be a growth thinker. Be positive that you can learn to live through a healthy changing mind where there is only room for the future, realizing that you just haven’t discovered it yet!
Words aren’t words they are tools for human interaction so PLEASE… use them carefully!
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