• Heidi O

How to Investigate & Challenge Your Mindset in Sobriety

Updated: Jan 13

The Two Mindsets




In her book "Mindset: The New Psychology of Success," psychologist Carol Dweck explores mindset theory. Dweck and her colleague's study that people either have a fixed mindset or a growth mindset. Our perspective is powerful - much more powerful than we might even realize; my goal with this post is to empower you to learn about your attitude and grow your mindset in sobriety. You begin this by admitting you have the power to change your mindset and change your life. The two perspectives can determine a great deal about you. Learning about these mindsets and surrendering to the growth is expansion.


Here we go!

The Growth Mindset believes that you can cultivate and grow through your efforts and ask for help when needed. The Growth mindset lets us see that anyone can be anything, and anyone with the motivation and application can become whoever they want to be. The growth mindset creates a solid devotion to learning.


Creating a growth mindset in sobriety is about challenging failure by praising your efforts with grace and self-compassion.


The other side of the coin is the Fixed mindset is where you may believe that your skills and qualities are designated. The Fixed mindset creates an urgency for you to prove yourself repeatedly. You think you only have a fixed amount of intelligence, a specific personality, or moral character within this mindset. You must constantly prove you have the amount you have. A fixed mindset is a thought that we are given what we are given, and that's it, no more, no less. How do we get a fixed mindset, you might ask—We have adopted the belief that we are all we will ever be.


Limiting Beliefs


Limiting beliefs are assumptions you may have created over time about yourself and how the world works. They are individual truths that guide your behavior and actions. Your experiences and your conditioning build this mindset. It could be something your parents had told you repeatedly when you were younger or a general view shared within the culture in which you grew up.

Our limiting beliefs (also called a fixed mindset) act as an excuse not to do something and protect ourselves from something terrible. They can hold us back from what we want.

Instead of letting limiting beliefs stop us from taking action, we can identify them, analyze them, and ultimately strip them of their power using positivity and possibility.


3 Limiting Beliefs that could be holding you back⇢

01. Fear of Failure- This one shows up as fear. Fear that you can't do something, that it is out of your grasp. In sobriety, you may feel it is impossible, so you limit yourself by thinking they will fail or won't be good at it. The fear of failure can keep you from even trying to stop drinking. 02. Fear of Success- This can show up as you fear hurting another's feelings, like a family member or a partner, so you stay where you are. You may succeed in work or sobriety and begin thinking you won't make another milestone or success.

If you are successful in sobriety, you may fear life changes like losing friends or community.

03. Scarcity - Scarcity is fear of not enough within the world for you. You think everyone else gets a share except for you.

4 Ways to Challenge Your Beliefs ⇢

01. Identify the Limiting Belief. The limiting belief is the thought or idea keeping you stuck in the belief loop. Your limiting beliefs will be the thoughts that are recurring for you. The one that keeps you stuck or not moving ahead. In sobriety, a limiting belief may be that you won't be fun anymore...which isn't true! 02. Analyze + Challenge the belief. What evidence is there (or not there!) that makes this belief accurate? Can you know whether it is true, or do you believe it to be accurate based on past experiences? Where did you pick this belief up along the way? 03. Strip the Belief of its Power Explore the belief by reversing it. We do this by creating or stating the new idea - use an affirmation or mantra to support you.

An example would be "I am growing every day" or "I am allowed to be a work in progress."

Create affirmations that help reverse your limiting beliefs.


04. Be Compassionate With Yourself. Being compassionate with yourself is key to having a growth mindset. Rather than visiting setbacks as a failure or a sign that you cannot execute sobriety, try to learn from the experience. In the future, as you grow and move forward, you will have the tools to overcome challenges and continue your recovery journey.


Making these changes requires a certain mindset. You need to open your mind to the possibility of personal growth and recovery and believe that you can do it. Otherwise, you may find yourself stuck in the same thought and behavioral patterns that caused you to turn to drugs and alcohol and be frustrated with your inability to overcome them.



I am sending you the best as you investigate your mindsets and challenge your limiting beliefs.

xx, Heidi


The image below is from Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D. Mindsets: The New Psychology of Success. It helps explain the Fixed and Growth mindset ever further.

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