As you can tell from my last post, I am fascinated by the “growth mind-set” and it’s partner in crime deliberate delusion. In addition to helping kiddos get better grades, it’s useful for self-growth, cultivating self-confidence and working with our self-talk and beliefs to tap into our incredible potential as dynamic humans.
Paul Tough’s writing about a “growth mind-set” helped me realize that my values for personal growth are anchored in a fundamental belief that we are absolutely capable of growing and changing. I might even go so far as to say that I believe that dynamism is part and parcel to what it means to be human.
This is a value and deep-seeded belief for me, but don’t take my word for it. There’s plenty of evidence to back this up in neuroscience. [Check out this wiki on Neuroplasticity.] Brains (and their owners) change and we can directly influence this change. Deliberate delusion helps and so does a “growth mind-set.”
Deliberate delusion is a useful concept, because we often believe that we aren’t capable of changing something because of our past experiences or because of what others have told us.
Neuroscience, blah blah blah. C’mon man, you don’t understand how ingrained my (addiction, habit, belief I’m genetically wired & permanently X) is.
Some folks don’t believe change is possible for them because they have absolutely no evidence from their past of being/acting any other way and no support in their current environment. They are perpetually looking through the rearview mirror.
A simple example from my own life: I’m a sugar addict.
As a child I pried off already-been-chewed gum from the bottoms of tables and popped it into my mouth to eek out that last bit of sweetness. (I know it’s gross. I promise I haven’t done it in years.)
I also ate things like chapstick and ketchup packets in addition to gobbling down normal desserts like icecream (still my favorite) and pastries.
Being a sugar fiend has become part of my identity. “Do you want dessert?” is a rhetorical question for me. And going out for sweet treats is trademark Mary, and my friends & family know they can rely on me to indulge with them.
Beyond being a habit and an addiction, I have a long love affair with sugar and no memories of feeling in control of my sugar habit. Zero.
Based on this, I’d have to be crazy (read: delusional) to believe that I could never eat sugary treats again or–let’s be realistic–just eat them once a week and be a happy person. It’s very, very difficult for me to get my brain around having a different relationship with sugar.
But, thanks to neuroscience and a host of past experiences which propelled profound change and self-growth, I know deluding myself to get started on the path to change will be helpful. In fact, it’s the only real way to start.
You don’t have to see it to believe, you have to believe it to see it (watch the video on that link; it’s a paradigm shifter).
What are you deliberately deluding yourself about in service of making an important change in your life?