Health & Fitness:Mental Health
The phrase victims mindset gets thrown around far too readily these days. Usually by people who are just tired of confronting others who just don't seem to want to change. But what if I told you that there's something behind all of that and that? Something that keeps the person stuck in this cycle that if we were to learn a different approach to then we may all be better off for?
That something is learned helplessness, a term first coined in 1967 by Psychologists Martin Seligman and Steven F Maier. Their initial research pointed to the idea that once a person has experienced helplessness (or even perceived helplessness) in enough situations they go on to believe that they are in fact helpless in other, if not all situations. Thus creating a cycle of believing you are helpless, not trying and therefore confirming that you are helpless.
Thankfully Seligman and Maier's research did not stop there, Seligman in particular shifting his own mindset from "what is the cause" to "what can be done". In doing so he discovered that optimism is the minds natural defence against learned helplessness. Which to anyone who identifies as a pessimist this is a disheartening discovery, however he further went on to discover that optimism in itself is something that isn't inherent, but can be learned. Which he discusses in his book Learned Optimism.
In this episode we look at the different factors that could be keeping you (or your loved ones) in learned helplessness and explore ideas on how you can escape from it.
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