Learned Helplessness. Dr. Martin Seligman coined this term and it comes down to one thing — control. The cause of learned helplessness is being repeatedly exposed to an uncontrollable event. After many repeated and failed attempts, your brain “learns” that success is beyond your control; that you cannot affect the outcome. Basically you get to the point of thinking, “Why bother?” Once “conditioned” in this belief, you give up hope and effort, even in situations where you actually do have control and the ability to change the outcome. In effect, you’ve learned to become helpless.
Here is a Step by Step plan to overcome helplessness :
- Recognise and accept your learned awareness and get to the root of it.
- Identify your limiting beliefs. Reframe them in a positive, optimistic light.
- Watch you self talk. How do you talk to and about yourself? Change negative self talk into positive.
- Improve your self-awareness through journaling.
- Set SMART goals.
- Change your environment in a way that helps you achieve your goals.
- Take one small action every day.
- Celebrate small wins and important milestones.
- Learn and implement self-care.