The Power of a Growth Mindset in Overcoming Overeating
A big factor that prevents people from accepting support with their eating struggles is their assumption that they 'know' it all already- they know who they are, what their struggle is, what they've tried in the past, and what the result will be if they try again. They know that the last time they were about to ask for help they had a major binge, and decided it wasn't the time. They know they have a problem, and they know it's big, and with all this 'knowing', they begin to believe they aren't capable of change.
Now consider an alternative perspective. "I know there is a solution to be found. I know I will overcome this struggle."
Which beliefs will evoke forward action? Which perspective will create a willingness to try?
Maintaining a growth mindset is the single most powerful tool we have to create change. A growth mindset involves being willing to learn about ourselves, and assuming that nothing we have is fixed or unchangeable. A growth mindset implies that our potential is infinite, and our potential to succeed at something we have previously failed at is always possible. A growth mindset challenges patterned thinking, behaviours and actions.
Taking the foundational stance that success is possible, change is possible, and there's nothing that I can't accomplish creates a powerful mindset shift where instead of looking for evidence that you can't do something, you start scanning for evidence that you can. Again and again you ask how can I, instead of thinking I can't.
The challenge is, that for so many people, they choose to maintain the belief that they can't (fixed mindset). There is some comfort in taking the pressure off and resigning to 'the facts', but that comfort is only temporary as intuition and higher desires begin to pipe up again, asking for change.
So what does a growth mindset look like in action?
1) Look for examples of changes you've already created in your life. Seek evidence that you are capable of growth, and remind yourself often.
2) Accept the perspective that change is possible for you too and begin to practice new thoughts. Example thoughts/beliefs: "It is possible to change. Other people have overcome binge eating so it's possible for me too. My body is flexible and adaptable- nothing is set. My mind can learn new ways of thinking. My past doesn't dictate my future. The perspective I choose can change my reality. Actions and thoughts are habits, and habits can change." And so on.
3) Begin shifting old patterned thoughts to questions of curiosity. "I need to stop bingeing" becomes "how could I stop bingeing?". "I can't control myself" becomes "what areas of my life can I control myself?" "I have so much weight to lose" becomes "what would health feel like at this weight?" "I am who I am" becomes "who am I really and what am I capable of?"
Switching old beliefs and patterns of thought into questions opens up the door for new ideas to come in. It creates an opportunity for a new perspective to be practiced. It creates a state in the brain where instead of shutting down, it seeks to find answers.
What it really comes down to is this: when you assume growth and change and weight loss and overcoming overeating is possible, then it is possible. End of story. So go ahead and start believing that. And go ahead and start looking for evidence that it's true. If you look, you will find. Then go ahead and ask yourself, "how can I overcome this issue?" and wait, expectantly, for the answer.