Don’t get caught up in this death spiral that causes permanent failure for so many!
Learned helplessness, a condition where by we learn to become helpless. Learned helplessness is like a death spiral, it begins with temporary defeat (always a part of goal attainment), slowly we develop a negative outlook towards our endeavors and begin to adopt this dangerous mindset that nothing we do can work! This mindset becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, the death spiral analogy and things begin to go down hill.
The Manifestation Of Learned Helplessness
You have failed so why bother? As this attitude of ‘why bother’ leads to further failure this failure triggers and strengthens learned helplessness. We have all been affected by this condition and it’s a dangerous condition at that!
This condition occurs as a defense against disappointment. If you don’t try you won’t fail – safety! I also believe that the majority of us have not come to terms with the innate abilities we posses and are always looking for feedback that proves we are incapable.
Symptoms Of Learned Helplessness
I think that it is important to recognize that this is a condition as opposed to reality and the way to overcome it is to first acknowledge it. Have a look at this list of symptoms.
- loss of confidence
- constant complaining of how hard it is
- feeling victimized
- disorganized action
- weakened desire
- Jealousy and envy
I would say that these are the most common symptoms of learned helplessness. What started off as a journey filled with hope, faith, passion and excitement has quickly turned to constant negativity, helplessness and frustration. You know you’re suffering from learned helplessness when there has been a clear shift in attitude.
How To Snap Out Of Learned Helplessness
This can be a tricky one. You can snap out of it instantly or it may take time. This really depends on each individual and their levels of resistance. If you are a cooperative person and just need a kick up the bum then this may do it. If on the other hand you are somebody that has a strong history of negativity and change is a slower process, then you may need a more consistent approach. Something like mentoring, coaching, counseling etc.
Basically what you need is somebody that can work with you to both keep you on track and help you get down to the deeper causes of why you struggle with learned helplessness.
I firmly understand that the first step to change is awareness and if you can make sense of something you can begin to work on it. I hope this post triggers some awareness for you!
Thanks again for reading and stay tuned for more self development articles.