I recently listened to an NPR TED Radio Hour podcast on the topic of change called Nudge about how small efforts can encourage or cause a large degree of change in a person's perspective and behaviors. The first segment of the podcast introduces the concept of Mindfulness and how new-comers often struggle with this new approach. Judson Brewer, a psychiatrist, encourages patients struggling with addiction to embrace curiosity and awareness rather than abstinence. He describes how his patients drop into their sensations and become disenchanted with their addictions. As a result they are much less likely to relapse. Brewer's full TED Talk is worth a watch.
I believe mindfulness, aka curiosity, is a critical aspect in the process of change because it encourages us to step out of our fear, anger, and learned behavior patterns. Instead we let go and make choices of how to respond, react, and interact with others based on our values rather than our irrational emotions.
In the second segment of the Nudge podcast, Carol Dweck, psychologist and author of Mindset, focuses on how language can drastically change how children and adults feel and behave. In her TED Talk she introduces the concept of Growth mindset vs. Fixed mindset. People with a growth mindset understand viscerally that their abilities can be developed, they are progressing and improving. People with a fixed mindset understand that their talents and abilities are fixed, never capable of improving. Carol says, "Everything sends a message. Just a few different words, sometimes just one word, conveys a whole different world of meaning." Your mindset is one way of how you see yourself. Carol asks us to consider, "Am I the fixed creature that has to look good all the time and validate myself or am I this dynamic, growing person who has this infinite undetermined future that I can work toward? Does this struggle mean I'm dumb or does it mean I'm growing my brain, I'm making those neural connections stronger and getting smarter. They're two different worlds and we get to choose which we get to inhabit."
I really appreciate that Carol emphasizes that our mindset is a choice we make. I believe that we have an infinite number of choices available to us each day and how we frame each of those choices substantially impacts how much we struggle or thrive.
If you're wanting to change something in your life or within you, start with listening to the podcast episode below. When you're ready to begin, schedule an appointment.