Change The Way You Think, Then Change The Way You Live
The Importance of Mindset in Recovery
When it comes to beginning a journey to sobriety in a non 12 step rehab, it’s important to have the right mindset. Having an appropriate mindset going into a non 12 step treatment center will greatly increase the likelihood of success, as a person’s mentality is often what keeps them from making progress or improving the situations they’re in. Altering and improving upon one’s mindset will not always come easily, but learning to control thoughts and stay positive will be beneficial in many different situations throughout life, especially in a non 12 step treatment program.
By and large, there are two opposing mindsets most people have: fixed mindsets and growth mindsets. The outcome of a person’s sobriety often weighs largely on which type of recovery mindset they possess. Read on for a few effective strategies on how to change the way you think.
- Pass/Fail: Those who possess a fixed mindset often perceive things as being yes or no, pass or fail options only. For instance, if someone with a fixed mindset receives an 80% on a test, in their mind they’ve done just as badly as if they’d received a 50%. If a person tends to think this way, it’s likely this mindset will transfer over into their sobriety. They’ll start to see setbacks as failures. This mindset can be a detriment to their recovery at a non 12 step rehab, as it’s likely they’ll make mistakes or relapse during their journey to sobriety, and having the correct and appropriate reaction when that happens can make a huge difference.
- Allows negativity in: At its core, a fixed mindset will do nothing more than allow negativity to seep into one’s recovery journey. Those looking for “non 12 step programs near me” need to keep in mind that they must have the right headspace while they’re looking up programs, otherwise, they may become discouraged. Having negative thoughts creeping into the mind will only set a person back further, so it’s important to be able to calm those who are prone to negative thinking when they have them, and instead transform them into positive thinking and goals.
- Good or Bad: Another issue is the strain this type of mindset can put on the relationships with others during one’s non 12 step treatment program. If one is stuck in the mindset of seeing people as either with them or against them, it may start looking like the people they love most are the ones against them. However, this simply isn’t true. During the recovery process, it’s important to remember family and friends probably have the best interest in mind. One just needs to communicate with them and remember they want what’s best for them. Otherwise, it’s easy to begin pushing a potential support system away.
- Give up: People who face everyday life with a fixed mindset may sometimes give up on achieving their goals. This is because a fixed mindset makes people feel as if things don’t have much worth. They may feel like certain aspects of treatment from a non 12 step drug rehab are pointless or have no real value. However, it’s important to be able to separate logic from one’s mindset. While it’s true, at first one may feel a little unsure about the purpose of the substance abuse treatment, clients need to trust and try to understand that it’s all in an effort to help them become and remain sober.
- Threatened by success: One aspect of having a fixed mindset is being insecure. Those with fixed mindsets may look at the people around them and envy their success or feel threatened by it, as they feel they have no comparable successes. Those with fixed mindsets may even begin to push the successful people around them out of their lives, as they feel it’s a threat to their success.
- Abilities determine worth: Those who have a fixed mindset often have the opinion that their abilities or successes are what define their worth as a human being. However, it’s important to understand that this is flawed thinking. It’s important to know that it’s possible to continue to make progress in an area, even if it presented with difficulties in the past. It’s possible to continuously change and improve as a person.
- Self-fulfilling prophecy: It’s typical to see those who have a strong fixed mindset get into these self-fulfilling prophecy cycles. What happens is they predict they won’t be successful in their goals or within their non 12 step treatment centers, and as a result of them putting the idea of failure in their mind, they do run into trouble. That trouble to them can often seem like the end of the world, which can result in not being true to their sobriety.
- Abilities can be developed: Those who have a growth mindset are comforted in the fact that their abilities can continue to be developed over time. Because they know they have the potential to make changes, they don’t feel the same pressure those with a fixed mindset may be feeling. This makes it easier for them to implement the changes they need to during their time at a non 12 step addiction treatment program.
- Grey areas: Those who possess a growth mindset also acknowledge that things aren’t just good or bad. They understand that there’s a grey area. This helps them deal with possible setbacks on their road to recovery. For example, if a relapse does occur, they understand they’ve made a mistake but they were doing well before that. This allows them to move on instead of staying in the past.
- Leaves room for improvement: People who have a growth mindsets know there’s always room for improvement. They understand that addiction recovery is a process that takes time. While people who have a fixed mindset may be of the opinion that once they achieve sobriety their addiction recovery is completed. However, sobriety is a life-long decision, and those with growth mindsets understand that they can continue to grow even years after they’ve achieved sobriety.
- Determined: Developing and improving upon growth personalities tends to instill determination in people. Knowing that they have room to continue growing constantly gives them the drive to keep accomplishing things and push even harder in their non 12 step rehab than before. That determination is what keeps people with growth mindsets on the right path throughout their journey to sobriety, and what helps keep them accountable.
- Learns from failure: While people who have fixed mindsets are often prone to giving up their effort after a setback takes place, people who have growth mindsets usually do the opposite. They look at their setback or issue, find out what went wrong and set out to improve or fix that problem. This allows them to more easily bounce back from various issues throughout their time at a non 12 step drug rehab, like a relapse for example.
- Inspired: People who have growth mindsets often find themselves feeling inspired by the success of the people around them. Whereas those with fixed mindsets become closed off and unhappy at the thought of someone else’s success, people with growth mindsets use the successes of friends and family to motivate them. That motivation is what keeps them making progress on their own journey.
- Effort determines worth: One thing that people who possess the growth mindset know is that the effort they make to accomplish their goals is what determines their worth. They know that the work and time they put into improving their lives and becoming sober is what matters in the end. They realize relapses may happen and mistakes may be made but at the end of the day what’s most important is picking yourself up and trying again.
- Knows their worth: Those who have the growth mindset know that they deserve better. They realize they deserve to be sober and happy, which is why they have a willingness to put in the work necessary for that.
- Envisions their future: Those who have a growth mindset are always keeping their future in mind. They always look forward to the future instead of dwelling on the past. This allows them to move on from any issues and keep going forward in life and in their individual sobriety.
- Uses the word “Yet”: One of the most important vocabulary words for someone who has a growth mindset is the word ‘yet.’ The word ‘yet’ is meant to inspire the future and keep you moving towards that. Instead of saying “I failed,” you can say “I haven’t reached my goal yet.” It keeps the thought of accomplishing your goals in your mind and stops you from getting caught up in any setbacks.
How to Shift Mindset
One important term when it comes to positive mindset and how to change it is ‘neuroplasticity.’ ‘Neuroplasticity’ basically represents the brain’s tendency to change its shape over time. Throughout a person’s life, their brain will alter shape, forming new pathways for their brains neurons to take. The pathways in the brain are developed by acting or thinking a certain way; think of it like a brain’s neurons getting accustomed to the path they have to take when a habit is performed. Once these routes or pathways are developed in the brain, it takes time to change them. There are a few basic things you can do to begin making changes:
While it may sound a little odd, the best thing a person can do is be conscious of the thoughts they may be having. Recognizing which thoughts are positive and which are negative before sorting through the negative ones is the first step. A person should allow themselves to soak in the positive thoughts some, and let them serve as motivation to continue doing well. The negative thoughts pattern should be addressed, reworded in a more positive way (keep the word ‘yet’ in mind) and new goals should be set afterward. This process serves to change negative thought pattern into a positive one, and it will become easier and easier the longer it’s practiced.
- Short term goals: While it’s true that one’s sobriety journey lasts their entire life not just while they’re at a non 12 step treatment center, it’s important not to set overly long-term goals. Not only are they less realistic, but they also don’t give those small victories that keep those with growth mindsets motivated during their time at a non 12 step drug rehab.
- Reflect on accomplishments: Start celebrating wins. Looking up “non 12 step rehab near me” is a victory and should be treated as so. One of the issues with people who have a fixed mindset is that they don’t stop and celebrate the things they do right, and instead dwell on what they may have done wrong. To change a mindset, one has to change the way they react to accomplishments and setbacks.
All in All
When it comes to getting and staying sober, your mindset is incredibly important. Sobriety is certainly a challenge, and when considering a non 12 step rehab, it’s important to begin your journey with the right thoughts in mind. Keeping positive, acknowledging your victories and learning from your setbacks (all aspects of a growth mindset) are all vital to the process of becoming sober. Growth mindsets also remind people that they always have room to improve and better themselves. Mastering the growth mindset is one key to living a happy, healthy, and sober life.
Scott Friend, MSW, M.S.
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