The way our mindset works is the keystone of our entire life’s journey. Get it right and a wealth of learning and happiness awaits you. Get it wrong and frustration coupled with disappointment might rule.

A fixed mindset suggests you are either good at something or bad. Smart or dumb. A poet or a joke. Those with a fixed mindset believe that our abilities are fixed at birth. Yet when you dig deeper into any creative genius all you find is years of hard work and effort. You don’t just turn up and bend it like Beckham. But for some reason, we latch onto talent and claim it’s innate. This same mindset leads people into the blame game. I drink too much because of my genes, I  don’t have any willpower…

Willpower is like talent, there is a tendency to believe some people have it, whilst others don’t. In the same way the fixed mindset belittles all the hard effort and training that helped David Beckham excel at football. The fixed mindset belittles those who put in a ton of effort to quit drinking.

In her groundbreaking book ‘Mindset – The new psychology of success’, the queen of the mindset Carol Dweck put’s it likes this:

‘In one world, effort is a bad thing. It, like failure,  means you’re not smart of talented. If you were, you wouldn’t need effort. In the other world, effort is what makes you smart or talented.’ Carol Dweck

The great news is that there is another mindset, one that believes in hard work and is not scared of failure.

A growth mindset can change your life in an instant. The key concept is that we are not fixed objects and that growth is possible in all domains, from IQ to sporting prowess and willpower. The growth mindset values hard work and effort over so-called innate talent or willpower. Those who embrace this mindset can create a totally different world. You no longer have to avoid being “found out” as smart or dumb, life is just a learning process. You can take on challenges and know that through effort you can overcome them. Of course this does not mean hard work guarantees willpower or creativity but these traits can be improved upon.

Those who decide to employ a growth mindset not only seek challenges, they thrive on them. Whilst those of a fixed mindset need to stay within their comfort zone through fear of being found out. They can’t afford to display weakness because their view of the world means that every single challenge defines them as smart or dumb / winner or a loser. So the best way to keep winning or in this case not losing is to avoid, hide, play it safe and then mock those who try.

Some people might mock and say that you will never be able to do 30/90/365 days off alcohol. They will bet any money that you will fail. People with this fixed mindset believe that people cannot change. They want you to fail. It’s sad but true, in fact, they need you to fail to provide their own limiting theory that we are all fixed individuals who cannot evolve over time. They will wait and when you slip up, as often happens they will make sure everyone knows, they will rubbish your efforts as proof you could never do it.

You have two options – You can believe them and agree that you are fixed, doomed by your genes and can never change or you can use this as motivation to learn from your slip up and come back stronger. The growth mindset says that just because you didn’t nail it the first time doesn’t matter. Life is about growing, learning and coming back stronger. If you slip up – so what? Repeat the process until you crack it and show the world that you can grow.

Research suggests that those people with a growth mindset to life, are happier, suffer less depression and even live longer.

Cultivating a growth mindset is a wonderful way to kick start any alcohol-free period and it will make this challenge so much easier. The belief that you can change and that what you do matters is a key. Life is a quest of never-ending improvement and going alcohol-free will unlock so much of this potential.

If you have not done so already, come and join in the fun and sign up to a challenge by clicking this link.

Andy Ramage

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